I probably won't get this answered since my "clues" are so vague, but here goes:
I'm looking for a picture book I remember from my childhood. My dad
bought it, and it was marketed as a treasure hunt/mystery. All of the
clues were supposed to be within the text and images of the book, and
the prize was "buried treasure." I believe the treasure was a carousel
horse with money inside. I feel like within the images of the book was
a black horse and maybe a girl with a red cape. The overall tone of
the story was quite dark and hopeless, and I remember being a little
frightened by it.
The book would probably have been published in the United States in
the 1980s, since that's when I remember paging through it.
I also remember seeing a segment on a TV newsmagazine show many years
later (the early '90s maybe?) about the "solution." Someone either
finally found the thing, OR no one ever found it and the author or the
people in charge of the contest just dug it up.
So, anyway, I'm looking for the title of the book. I can then probably
find it online for purchase. Hopefully.
The only other thing I remember was that the first letters of the text
on every page spelled out a sentence, but that's probably not going to
help you find the book.
Again, apologies for the vagueness. Thanks to anyone with any insight!
Request for Question Clarification by
19 May 2006 12:40 PDT
Do you think the book you recall could be Masquerade by Kit Williams?
?Like a lot of kids who grew up in the late 70's/early 80's, I was
absolutely enthralled with a picture book called Masquerade. The book,
written and illustrated by Kit Williams, could be read as a standard
child's fable about the moon falling in love with the sun, but it was
designed as a real-world treasure hunt: Follow the subtle clues
dropped throughout the book, and you'd discover the location of a very
real hand-made jewel, valued at the time at $5,000. My father brought
the book home one day as a gift and I was hooked. I was sure I would
be able to solve the riddle.?
"Solving the riddle of Masquerade involved an elaborate system, subtly
indicated in the book, of drawing lines starting from the eyes of
characters within the paintings, proceeding through the tips of middle
fingers and big toes of the same characters, and finally pointing to
letters which appear on the border of every painting within the book.
Decoding and following this method reveals the nineteen-word message:
"CATHERINE?S LONG FINGER OVER SHADOWS EARTH BURIED YELLOW AMULET
MIDDAY POINTS THE HOUR IN LIGHT OF EQUINOX LOOK YOU"
You can see all the paintings here:
An article in the London Times
If it isn?t Masquerade, the book might be one of the books mentioned here:
See closed hunts at the bottom of the page.