Author(s): John Masefield
Strange things begin to happen the minute young Kay Harker boards the train to go home for Christmas and finds himself under observation by two very shifty-looking characters. Arriving at his destination, the boy is immediately accosted by a bright-eyed old man with a mysterious message: "The wolves are running."
Soon danger is everywhere, as a gang of criminals headed by the notorious wizard Abner Brown and his witch wife Sylvia Daisy Pouncer gets to work. What does Abner Brown want? The magic box that the old man has entrusted to Kay, which allows him to travel freely not only in space but in time, too.
The gang will stop at nothing to carry out their plan, even kidnapping Kay's friend, the tough little Maria Jones, and threatening to cancel Christmas celebrations altogether. But with the help of his allies, including an intrepid mouse, a squadron of Roman soldiers, the legendary Herne the Hunter, and the inventor of the Box of Delights himself, Kay just may be able rescue his friend, foil Abner Brown's plot, and save Christmas, too.
At once a thriller, a romp, and a spellbinding fantasy, The Box of Delights is a great English children's book and a perfect Christmas treat.
John Edward Masefield (1878-1967) was an English poet and writer, and Poet Laureate from 1930 until his death. He is remembered as the author of the classic children's novels The Midnight Folk and The Box of Delights, two novels Captain Margaret and Multitude and Solitude and a great deal of memorable poetry, including "The Everlasting Mercy", and "Sea-Fever", from his anthology Saltwater Ballads.
Quentin Blake's first drawings were published in Punch when he was 16. He is known for his collaboration with writers such as Russell Hoban, Joan Aiken, Michael Rosen, and, most famously, Roald Dahl. He has also created much-loved characters of his own. His books have won numerous prizes and awards, including the Whitbread Award, the Kate Greenaway Medal, the Emil/Kurt Maschler Award and the international Bologna Ragazzi Prize. He won the 2002 Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration and in 2004 he was awarded the 'Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres'. Now in his 70s he is recognised as 'a national institution'. In 1999 he was appointed the first ever Children's Laureate.