Welcome to this collector’s guide and illustrated bibliography of the complete works of the brilliant illustrator Errol Le Cain. I have created it to help other lovers of his work to build up their collections. It includes images and links to the books, as well as a short synopsis and description of the illustrations contained therein.
Errol Le Cain was born in Singapore in 1941. He was educated there, but had no formal art training. He traveled through the Far East, lived in India for 5 years, and moved to England where he worked in advertising and film studios, designing sets for BBC television shows, and working on cartoons and graphics. His first illustrated book was published in 1968, ‘King Arthur’s Sword’, which started his new career as an illustrator. He was twice runner up for the Kate Greenaway Award (for The Cabbage Princess in 1969 and Thorn Rose in 1976), and finally won it in 1985 for Hiawatha’s Childhood. Errol died in 1989 after a long illness.
Errol Le Cain’s Illustrated Bibliography
You can sort the bibliography below by title, date, etc, as well as search for keywords. The default number of entries visible is set small for bandwidth issues, but you can increase this at any time. If you have any suggestions or comments, or would like some help from the hive mind in tracking down a particular work, please comment below. And also let us know which book was your first introduction to Errol Le Cain, or which is your favourite! I first encountered his work by reading King Arthur’s Sword, but I started my collection with his stunning fairy tale picture books, and I still pore over the artwork in these today.
|Cover||Title (click to buy)||Author||Publication||Notes|
|The Sailor and the Devil>||Michael Williams & Errol Le Cain (directors)||Richard Williams' animation studio||Animated film.
At this studio, he also worked on film titles that included (among others) A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Casino Royale, and The Charge of the Light Brigade.
|King Arthur’s Sword||Errol Le Cain||1968: Faber and Faber||A picture book that tells how Arthur received a magic sword from the Lady of the Lake, and how his wicked sister Morgana le Fay tried to use it against him.
Pictorial dust cover, pictorial boards
Decorated title page, 5 full page and 14 other coloured illustrations. Illustrated endpapers.
|The Pleasantries of the Incredible Mulla Nasrudin||Idries Shah||1968: Jonathan Cape |
1975: Picador (paperback)
|The Sufi wisdom of Mullah Nasrudin.
Black and white text illustrations throughout the book.
|The Cabbage Princess||Errol Le Cain||1969: Faber and Faber|
1975: Faber and Faber (paperback)
|Picture book about a King with a very bad temper. He calls everyone names until he offends an enchanter and learns just how dangerous that can be.
Pictorial dust cover, pictorial boards. Decorated title page, pictorial endpapers, 2 double spreads, 5 full page and 7 other full colour illustrations.
|Sir Orfeo||Anthea Davis||1970: Faber and Faber||A retelling of a mediaeval English poem: the wife of a harper king carried off by supernatural powers, and he wins her back by the power of his music.
Pictorial dust cover, pictorial boards. Decorated title page, 7 full page and 7 smaller colour illustrations (spread over 2 pages).
|The Faber Book of Children’s Songs||Donald Mitchell & Roderick Biss||1970: Faber and Faber||A collection of 36 songs that showcase the imagination and delight of childhood.
Pictorial dust cover, 8 full colour plates, 2 full page and 45 smaller line illustrations.
|Collected Poems and Verses [Walter de la Mare]||Walter de la Mare||1970: Faber and Faber||All of Walter de la Mare's poems for children in a huge collection (320 pages) divided into chapters.
Pictorial dust cover, decorated title page and 10 further chapter title pages in black and white.
|My Cousin Rachel||Daphne du Maurier||1971: Edito-service (Geneva)||Orphaned at an early age, Philip Ashley is raised by his benevolent older cousin, Ambrose. After Ambrose's death, a grief-stricken and suspicious Philip prepares to meet his cousin's widow Rachel with hatred in his heart.|
|The Child in the Bamboo Grove||Rosemary Harris||1971: Faber and Faber||A Japanese folk tale about a tiny child found inside a bamboo reed who sets her tiresome suitors impossible tasks.
Pictorial dust cover, pictorial boards. Decorated title page, large colour illustrations on every page.
|The House on the Strand||Daphne du Maurier||1971: Heron Books||A young man trials a new drug that allows him to travel through time to medieval Cornwall.
7 full page black and white illustrations.
|Moonshadow||Charlie Jenkins (director)||1972||Animated story of Teaser and the Firecat, inspired by and set to the Cat Stevens song.|
|Cinderella or The Little Glass Slipper||Charles Perrault||1972: Faber and Faber||A stunningly illustrated version of the classic tale of Cinderella.
Pictorial dust cover, pictorial boards, 9 full page colour illustrations, 3 full page and 4 smaller black and white halftone illustrations, 7 coloured decorative borders.
|The Beachcombers||Helen Cresswell||1972: Faber and Faber|
1978: Puffin (paperback)
|On a seaside holiday, Ned meets the charismatic Dallaker family on the beach and helps them search for long-lost treasure.
Dustwrapper illustration. Four full page and seven smaller black and white illustrations
|The Rime of the Ancient Mariner [limited edition]||Samuel Taylor Coleridge||1972: Arcadia Press||Produced in a limited edition of 110 copies, signed by the illustrator, calligrapher and paper-maker. Contains 10 colour plates.|
|Early Britain: The Celts, Romans and Anglo-Saxon||W. Norman Pittenger||1972: Franklin Watts, NY||A textbook teaching about early Britain, 76p.
Boards, front cover illustration. 18 full page black and white illustrations.
|The Caine Mutiny||Herman Wouk||1972: Edito-service (Geneva)||A novel of life (and mutiny) on a navy warship that grapples with the moral complexities and the human consequences of World War II.
9 full page line illustrations in black and white.
|Let’s Find Out About Halloween||Paulette Cooper||1972: Franklin Watts, NY|
1974: Reader's Digest (paperback)
|A book to teach school children about halloween, its origins and customs.
Pictorial boards, illustrated dust wrapper. Illustrations on every page in line and one colour - alternating black blue/black orange.
|The King’s White Elephant||Rosemary Harris||1973: Faber and Faber||White elephants were highly valued in Siam. It was the custom for the Supreme King to own one and its presence was thought to bring benefits to the whole country. But there was once a Supreme King who had no white elephant.
Pictorial dust cover, pictorial boards. Decorated title page, 8 full page and seven smaller colour illustrations.
|The Devil’s Piper*||Susan Price||1973: Faber and Faber|
1977: Puffin (paperback)
|Although he weaves some strange spells, no one believes that Toole O'Dyna is a leprechaun - until, planning vengeance for a friend killed 200 years ago, he plays the pied piper with his penny whistle and lures Mike and his friends into fearful danger.
*Cover art only.
|The White Cat||Errol Le Cain||1973: Faber and Faber|
1986: Macmillan Picturemacs (paperback)
|A king sets his sons two tasks - to find the cleverest dog in the world and then to find the most beautiful lady. The White Cat helps the third son succeed.
Pictorial dust cover, pictorial boards. Decorated title page, 11 full page and 6 smaller line and colour illustrations.
|The Lotus and the Grail||Rosemary Harris||1974: Faber and Faber||A collection of 18 stories based on legends from around the world.
Pictorial dust cover, 8 full page colour illustrations.
|The Dragon Kite||Thomas P Lewis||1974: Holt Rinehart and Winston, NY||When he visits the city on his eighth birthday to see the huge dragon kite, a Tibetan boy decides to stay and become a monk.
Pictorial dust cover, pictorial boards. Decorated title page, 13 full page illustrations, 10 large illustrations spread over 2 pages, and 15 further smaller illustrations, all in red and brown half-tone.
|Wigger||William Golding||1974: Harcourt, Brace Jovanovich||A picture book about the adventures of Susanna and her small pink blanket Wigger.
Pictorial dust cover, decorated half-title page, 10 full page illustrations in line and pink.
|The Flying Ship||Rosemary Harris||1975: Faber and Faber||There was once a Czar of Russia who loved his only daughter so well that he could not bear her to marry and leave him. So he decreed that no suitor should marry her unless he came for her in a flying ship.
Pictorial dust cover, pictorial boards. Decorated title page, 6 full page and 14 smaller colour illustrations, decorated colour borders on every page.
|Thorn Rose||Errol Le Cain, retold from a story by the Brothers Grimm||1975: Faber and Faber||A stunningly illustrated picture book of the story of Sleeping Beauty.
Pictorial dust cover, pictorial boards. Decorated title page, 15 full page colour illustrations, colour decorative borders on the remaining pages.
|Judge Pao and the Magic of the Dream||Elaine Andrews||1975: Macmillan Publishing, NY||Colour wraps, illustrated front and back, 15 full page colour illustrations, 16 smaller colour illustrations.|
|The Green Glass Bottle||Zena Carus||1975: Blackie||A collection of folk tales from the Isle of Man.
Pictorial dust cover, 5 black and white full page line illustrations.
|The Snow Queen||BBC||1976: BBC||Animated film. The 1979 picture book was created using the backdrops Errol created for this film.|
|The Puffin Annual #2*||Treld Bicknell and Kaye Webb||1976: Puffin||A collection of articles and stories by various authors and artists. Le Cain illustrated a short tale by Joan Aiken.
*One full page colour illustration only.
|The Rat, the Ox and the Zodiac||Pauline van Woerkom||1976: Crown, NY||Although his demigod, Shun Yü, has chosen twelve animals for the Chinese zodiac, the Emperor of China can not decide which animal shall rule over the others as Beast of the First Year.
Pictorial dust cover, cloth boards. Decorated title page, fully illustrated in a monochrome palette of blue and red.
|The Little Dog of Fo||Rosemary Harris||1976: Faber and Faber||A long time ago, Fo (whom we know as Buddha) commanded the animals not to kill, but the time came when the lion disobeyed him.
Pictorial dust cover, pictorial boards. 10 full page and 6 smaller illustrations in brown and orange.
|Kammerer’s Cave*||Malcolm Neville||1976: Blackie||Edwin Kammerer runs an eerie emporium, but you might get more than you bargained for.
*Pictorial dust wrapper and 3 chapter heading illustrations in black and white only.
|King Orville and the Bullfrogs||Kathleen Abell||1976: Faber and Faber||King Orville is great at everything, so people are surprised when he enters a competition playing the bagpipes and turns out to be a sore loser.
Pictorial dust cover, all pages illustrated in line and colour.
|Puffin’s Pleasure*||Kaye Webb and Treld Bicknell||1976: Puffin||A collection of articles and stories by various authors and artists. Le Cain illustrated an article called 'A Childhood in India'.
*One double page spread and 1 black & white illustration only.
|Cupid and Psyche||Walter Pater||1977: Faber and Faber||The princess Psyche was so beautiful that Venus, the goddess of love, became jealous and ordered her son Cupid to punish the girl; but when Cupid saw her he fell in love with her himself.
Pictorial boards, decorated title page, 1 double page and 21 full page black and white halftone illustrations.
|The Sly Cormorant and the Fishes||Brian Patten||1977: Kestrel Books||Aesop's fables adapted into poem form, some with new twists and endings.
Pictorial dust cover, pictorial boards. Decorated double-spread half tone title page, 10 full page and 6 smaller full colour illustrations, and 4 full page and 14 smaller black and white half-tone illustrations.
|Fantasy Tales*||Barbara Ireson||1977: Faber and Faber||A collection of fantasy stories.
*Cover art only
|The Light Princess||BBC||1978: BBC||Animated film, credited as illustrator|
|The Twelve Dancing Princesses||Errol Le Cain, retold from a story by the Brothers Grimm||1978: Faber and Faber||The tale of the twelve princesses whose shoes were inexplicably worn out every morning and the poor soldier who solves the mystery.
Glazed colour pictorial boards. Decorated title page, 15 full page colour illustrations, colour decorative borders on the remaining pages.
|The Snow Queen||Naomi Lewis, adapted from Hans Christian Andersen||1979: Kestrel, London||Gerda searches the forest for little Kay, who has been kidnapped by the icy-cold Snow Queen.
Pictorial dust cover, pictorial boards. Decorated title page, 9 full page and 12 smaller full colour illustrations.
|Beauty and the Beast||Rosemary Harris||1979: Faber and Faber||A stunning picture book version of the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast.
Pictorial boards, 15 full page and one smaller colour illustrations.
|The Mystery of the Disappearing Schoolgirls||BBC||1980: BBC||Animated film, credited as illustrator|
|Mrs Fox’s Wedding||Sara and Stephen Corrin||1980: Faber and Faber||Pretty Mrs Fox has to find a new Mr Fox, but only a gentleman with nine bushy tails will do.
Glazed colour pictorial boards. 16 full page colour illustrations, 14 smaller black and white half-tone illustrations.
|The Three Magic Gifts||James Riordan||1980: Kaye and Ward||Far away in a Russian village lived two brothers, one rich and one poor.
Pictorial boards, decorated title and half-title pages, 13 full page and 1 smaller full colour illustrations.
|Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp||Andrew Lang||1981: Faber and Faber||The classic tale of Aladdin.
Pictorial boards, decorated title page, 15 full page colour illustrations and a tailpiece.
|The Ghost Downstairs||BBC||1982: BBC||Animated Film|
|Molly Whuppie||Walter de la Mare||1983: Faber and Faber||Molly Whuppie was the youngest daugther of a woodcutter, and one day she and her two sisters find the house of a giant in the forest.
Glazed colour pictorial boards. 16 full page colour illustrations, 14 small silhouettes.
|Hiawatha’s Childhood||Henry Wadsworth Longfellow||1984: Faber and Faber||Hiawatha grows up by the shining Big-Sea-Water, hearing his grandmother tell the legends of his people and making friends with birds and animals. (The text of this magnificent picture book is a short passage from Longfellow's poem 'The Song of Hiawatha').
Pictorial boards, decorated title page, 14 double page spread illustrations with text inset. This book won the Kate Greenaway Medal.
|A School Bewitched||Naomi Lewis and Edith Nesbit||1985: Blackie and Son||Lewis adapts the Nesbit story, 'Fortunatus Rex and Co', from Nine Unlikely Tales for Children.
Pictorial boards. Decorated half-title page, full page illustrated title page, 1 double page spread, 13 full page and 17 smaller colour illustrations.
|Growltiger’s Last Stand and Other Poems||T.S. Eliot||1986: Faber and Faber||An interpretation of three poems from 'Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. Growltiger, the pirate cat, serenades Lady Griddlebone, and fights single-handed against the elegantly sinister Siamese hordes; the Pekes and the Pollicles battle it out in the Park; and the Jelliclecats waltz rapturously under the Jellicle moon.
Pictorial dust cover, pictorial boards. Decorated title page, 15 full page colour illustrations, 13 smaller colour illustrations and two sillhouettes.
|Crisis at Crabtree||Sally Miles||1986: Lutterworth Press||The village of Crabtree is due to be demolished and the houses tell their stories as they fight for survival.
Pictorial boards, pictorial title page, one double page spread, one full page and 16 smaller colour illustrations.
|The Enchanter’s Daughter||Antonia Barber||1987: Jonathan Cape||An old enchanter loves his daughter so much that he wants to keep her to himself and protect her from the world outside. She had everything one could possibly desire but freedom.
Pictorial boards, decorated title page, 14 full page colour and 2 smaller colour illustrations.
|The Christmas Stockings||Mathew Price||1987: Angus and Robertson||A comic-style story that follows Santa Claus as he searches through his house on Christmas Eve for two stockings that need to be filled with toys.
Glazed Pictorial boards, illustrated end papers, decorated title page, 8 full page colour spreads, with 6 flap-up doors.
|Christmas 1993 or Santa’s Last Ride||Leslie Bricusse||1987: Faber and Faber||A poem that tells how wars, bureaucracy and politics make life more and more difficult for Santa Claus, until the dreadful Christmas of 1993 drives him to issue an ultimatum.
Pictorial dust cover, 11 full page and 11 smaller black and white and half-tone illustrations, 2 silhouettes.
|The Pied Piper of Hamelin||Sara and Stephen Corrin||1988: Faber and Faber||The tale of the piper who rids a town of rats, only to take his revenge on the children when the townspeople refuse to pay him.
Pictorial dust cover, pictorial boards, decorated title page, 12 full page and 9 smaller colour illustrations, decorative borders on text pages.
|Alfi and the Dark||Sally Miles||1988: Hodder and Stoughton||Young Alfi wonders where Dark goes when you switch on the light, and Dark answers his question.
Pictorial dust cover, pictorial boards. Decorated title page, 15 full page colour illustrations.
|Tail Feathers from Mother Goose: The Opie Rhyme Book*||Iona Opie||1988: Walker Books||A collection of rhymes with work by a variety of illustrators.
*One double spread for a short poem.
|The Thief and the Cobber||Richard Williams Studio||1964-1989: Richard Williams' animation studio||(Unfinished) animated film|
|Mr Mistoffelees with Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer||TS Eliot||1990: Faber and Faber||A sequel to the picture book of Growltiger, celebrating two further poems from T. S. Eliot's classic Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats.
Pictorial dust cover, pictorial boards. Decorated double title page, 10 full and 7 smaller full colour illustrations.
|Have You Seen My Sister?||Mathew Price||1990: Kingfisher Books||It's tea time and Ben can't find his little sister, Emmy. But by peering through the die-cut windows, readers can help him find her.
Pictorial boards, illustrated endpapers, decorated title page, 12 full page colour spreads, with peep-hole windows.