The Eleventh Hour: A Curious Mystery; A book is read, a story ends, a telling tale is told. But who can say what mysteries a singled page may hold? A maze of hidden codes and clues, a clock at every turn, And only time will tell what other secrets you may learn...
Graeme Base New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1989. Presumed First U.S. Edition, First printing. Hardcover. Format is approximately 9.5 inches by 12.5 inches, Ink notation (gift) on fep (not from author). 32 pages illustrated in full color. The sealed section contains the solution to the Curious Mystery of The Eleventh Hour, as well as detailed explanations of all the clues and puzzles in the illustrations. The Seal has NOT been broken. First published in Australia by Penguin Books Australia Ltd. in 1988. An elephant's eleventh birthday party is marked by eleven games preceding the banquet to be eaten at the eleventh hour, but when the time to ear arrives, the birthday feast has disappeared. The reader is invited to guess the thief. Graeme Rowland Base (born 6 April 1958) is a British-Australian author and artist of picture books. He is perhaps best known for his second book, Animalia published in 1986, and third book The Eleventh Hour which was released in 1989. He was born in Amersham, England, but moved to Australia with his family at the age of eight and has lived there ever since. He studied a Diploma of Art (Graphic Design) for three years at Swinburne University of Technology at Prahran. He worked in advertising for two years and then began illustrating children's books, gradually moving to authoring them as well. His first book, My Grandma lived in Gooligulch, was accepted by the first publisher he sent it to. The Eleventh Hour: A Curious Mystery is an illustrated children's book by Graeme Base. In it, Horace the Elephant holds a party for his eleventh birthday, to which he invites his ten best friends (various animals) to play eleven games and share in a feast that he has prepared. However, at the time they are to eat—11:00—they are startled to find that someone has already eaten all the food. They accuse each other until, finally, they're left puzzled as to who could have eaten it all. It is left up to the reader to solve the mystery, through careful analysis of the pictures on each page and the words in the story. The book was a joint-winner of the "Picture Book of the Year" award from The Children's Book Council of Australia. Base was inspired to write the book by reading Agatha Christie novels. He traveled to Kenya and Tanzania in 1987 observing animals in game parks and collecting ideas for the book. Written in rhyme, the book includes large and lavish full-page illustrations of Horace's opulent house and the events of the party, packed with hidden details. The author invites the reader to deduce the identity of the thief by examining the illustrations and making deductions and observations. Also among the details in the illustrations are hidden messages, ciphers, and codes for amateur cryptographers (for example, one page's border consists of Morse code while another page set in the ballroom contains musical clues as to which guest is guilty). The biggest and most noticeable clue lies in a paragraph of ciphertext at the end of the book, which is to be decrypted, once the reader has discovered the identity of the thief, by means of a Caesar cipher mapping A to the first letter of the guilty animal's name. The solution to the cipher confirms the answer to the puzzle and offers an additional challenge to the reader. The final portion of the book contains the answers to almost all of the clues in the book (including the cipher), and how to solve them. These last pages are sealed together, as the reader is encouraged to try to solve the puzzles themselves first. Readers are able to solve the mystery either by the coded messages, analysis of the illustrations, or through the text itself. Condition: Very good / Very good.
Keywords: Children's Literature, Mystery, Fiction, Animals, Detective, Rhyme, Illustrated works, Pictorial Works, Puzzles, Ciphers, Codes, Solutions