The biggest selling children’s picture book in the UK in it’s time; the greatest treasure hunt in Britain. By March 1982 the golden hare was found.
First published in 1979 with two further reprints, Kit Williams’ detailed art and inquisitive nature threw this reclusive artist into the limelight with his book Masquerade which made him a millionaire.
Searching for the golden hare, the treasure the book alluded too and provided clues for, gripped the nation and saw people digging up plots of land in the hope they had understood this beautifully illustrated book and would find the hare made of solid gold.
Although written as a children’s book, these pages intrigued grown-ups, Kit Williams broke boundaries with his creation which enthralled the nation.
“The artist achieved unwanted fame when the search for the hare became an unlikely national obsession, with lawns dug up around the country as a result of the bizarre and often misleading clues contained in the elaborate paintings that comprised the book.” (The Telegraph, Matt Warman, Consumer Technology Editor, 13 Apr 2011) (1)
When the treasure hunt came to an end, the news of the jackpot find was on the front cover of the Sunday Times in March 1982.
Kit added complex clues throughout the pages of his story of the moon falling in love with the sun which lifted the tale to a new level. Within my research into books that are more than a story but ones that can be used to develop multiple facets of storytelling, Kit Williams developed a masterpiece.
“Within the pages of this book there is a story told of love, adventures, fortunes lost, and a jewel of solid gold. to solve the hidden riddle, you must use your eyes, and find the hare in every picture that may point you to the prize.” Williams, K., Masquerade, 1979.