Masquerade, a children's picture book by Kit Williams. 1980 edition.


Written and illustrated by Kit Williams. First American edition, eighth printing, 1981. Shocken Books, publisher.

Author Kit Williams was shocked when his beautiful and beguiling picture book set off a nationwide treasure hunt for the "the Jewel of Masquerade". The story tells of how the Sun falls in love with the Moon and enlists Jack Hare to deliver her gift of the special jewel, and how it is lost. News stories at the time reported people digging holes in yards across Great Britain in search of the bejeweled hare. It even involved minor scandal.

"Once upon a perfect night, unclouded and still, there came the face of a pale and beautiful lady. The tresses of her hair reach out to make the constellations, and the dewy vapours of her gown fell soft upon the land.

This lady, whom all mortals call the Moon, danced a merry dance in the pathless sky, for she had fallen in love, and the object of her devotion was the Sun. Although all happiness was in her dance, there was also a little sadness, for whenever the dance led her into the same part of the sky as the sun, she seemed to simply fade away, and feared the Sun might never notice her.

The Sun, for his part, and contrary to his appearance, was always sad. The thing he wished for most was a friend...

On this night the lady of the pale complexion resolved to make herself known to the Sun by sending him a token of her affection. To this end...she plucked from the sea of clouds a most brilliant rose-coloured moonstone. Next, with a little gold taken from the dawn sky, she cunningly wrought a splendrous jewel that was the perfect mirror of her love..."

Only a wonderful story, and beautiful artwork, could send so many children and adults in search of the Moon's love token, a search that went on for two years and sold millions of books.

Kit Williams (1946 - ) is an artist, illustrator, and author, celebrated for his intricate and interactive artwork. He gained widespread acclaim with "Masquerade." Williams' work extends beyond literature to elaborate public clocks and interactive installations, showcasing his mastery in traditional oil painting techniques and marquetry. He also wrote The Bee on the Comb, Pebbles From the Brook, and Bobbing for Apples.
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Condition: Near Fine/Very Good. Dust jacket: Mild shelf wear; three very small indentations on the front; small area of brown spots on the back, at upper edge. Blue cover boards. Pages are clean, undamaged, and complete.

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