Introuction

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 Snow Queen illus
Errol Le Cain King Arthurs Sword illus Morgana
Errol Le Cain Cupid and Psyche illus

Biography

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.

I first encountered his work when reading the beautiful jewel-like King Arthur’s Sword, but I started my collection with his stunning fairy tales books, and I still pore over the glorious artwork in these today.

Errol Le Cain’s Illustrated Bibliography

Jump to: 1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 1990s

1960s

The Sailor and the Devil directed by Michael Williams and Errol Le Cain [animated short film]

Richard Williams’ Animation Studio (1967)

Animating this film was Errol Le Cain’s “apprentice work”. At the same studio, Errol also worked on film titles that included (among others) A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the ForumCasino Royale, and The Charge of the Light Brigade.

Watch a restored version of the film on YouTube

King Arthur’s Sword by Errol Le Cain

Faber and Faber (1968)

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.

Includes a pictorial dust cover, pictorial boards, illustrated endpapers, decorated title page, 5 full page and 14 other coloured illustrations.

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The Pleasantries of the Incredible Mulla Nasrudin by Idries Shah, illustrated by Errol Le Cain

Jonathan Cape (1968); Picador paperback (1975)

The humorous Sufi wisdom of the Mullah Nasrudin short stories.

Black and white text illustrations throughout the book, illustrated endpapers in the hardback.

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The Cabbage Princess by Errol Le Cain

Faber and Faber (1969 HB, 1975 PB)

A 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, illustrated endpapers, decorated title page, 2 double spreads, 5 full page and 7 other full colour illustrations.

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1970s

Sir Orfeo by Anthea Davis, illustrated by Errol Le Cain

Faber and Faber (1970)

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).

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The Faber Book of Children’s Songs by Donald Mutchell and Roderick Biss, illustrated by Errol Le Cain

Faber and Faber (1070)

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.

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Collected Poems and Verses by Walter de la Mare, illustrated by Errol Le Cain

Faber and Faber (1970)

A huge collection containing all of Walter de la Mare’s poems for children.

Pictorial dust cover, decorated title page and 10 further chapter title pages in black and white.

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My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier, illustrated by Errol Le Cain

Edito-service, Geneva (1971)

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.

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The Child in the Bamboo Grove by Rosemary Harris, illustrated by Errol Le Cain

Faber and Faber (1971)

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.

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The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier, illustrated by Errol Le Cain

Heron Books (1971)

A young man trials a new drug that allows him to travel through time to medieval Cornwall.

7 full page black and white illustrations.

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Moonshadow directed by Charlie Jenkins, design and layout by Errol Le Cain [animated short film]

Trickfilm Studios, 1972

The animated story of Teaser and the Firecat, inspired by and set to the famous Cat Stevens song.

→ Watch this animated short on YouTube

Cinderella or The Little Glass Slipper by Charles Perrault, illustrated by Errol Le Cain

Faber and Faber (1972)

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.

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The Beachcombers by Helen Cresswell, illustrated by Errol Le Cain

Faber and Faber (1972); Puffin paperback (1978)

On a seaside holiday, Ned meets the charismatic Dallaker family on the beach and helps them search for long-lost treasure.

Dust jacket illustration along with four full page and seven smaller black and white illustrations.

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The Rime of the Ancient Mariner [limited edition] by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Arcadia Press (1972)

A lyrical ballad relating the experiences of a sailor who has returned from a long sea voyage.

Produced in a limited edition of 110 copies, signed by the illustrator, calligrapher and paper-maker. Contains 10 colour plates.

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Early Britain: The Celts, Romans and Anglo-Saxon by W. Norman Pittenger, illustrated by Errol Le Cain

Franklin Watts, (1972)

A short textbook teaching about early Britain.

Boards, front cover illustration. 18 full page black and white illustrations. 76p.

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The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk, illustrated by Errol Le Cain

Edito-service, Geneva (1972)

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.

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Let’s Find Out About Halloween by Paulette Cooper, illustrated by Errol Le Cain

Franklin Watts, (1972); Reader’s Digest paperback (1974)

A children’s book teaching about the origins and customs of Halloween.

Pictorial boards, illustrated dust wrapper. Illustrations on every page in line and one colour – alternating black blue/black orange.

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The King’s White Elephant by Rosemary Harris, illustrated by Errol Le Cain

Faber and Faber (1973)

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.

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The Devil’s Piper* by Susan Price

Faber and Faber (1973); Puffin paperback (1977)

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.

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The White Cat by Errol Le Cain

Faber and Faber (1973); Macmillan Picturemacs paperback (1986)
 

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.

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The Lotus and the Grail by Rosemary Harris, illustrated by Errol Le Cain

Faber and Faber (1974)

A collection of 18 stories based on legends from around the world.

Pictorial dust cover, 8 full page colour illustrations.

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The Dragon Kite by Thomas P Lewis, illustrated by Errol Le Cain

Holt Rinehart and Winston (1974)

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 in red and brown half-tone.

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Wigger by William Golding, illustrated by Errol Le Cain

Harcourt, Brace Jovanovich (1974)

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.

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The Flying Ship by Rosemary Harris, illustrated by Errol Le Cain

Faber and Faber (1975)

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.

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Thorn Rose by Errol Le Cain, retold from the Brothers Grimm

Faber and Faber (1975)

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.

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Judge Pao and the Magic of the Dream by Elaine Andrews, illustrated by Errol Le Cain

Macmillan Publishing (1975)

Colour wraps, illustrated front and back, 15 full page colour illustrations, 16 smaller colour illustrations.

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The Green Glass Bottle by Zena Carus, illustrated by Errol Le Cain

Blackie (1975)

A collection of folk tales from the Isle of Man.

Pictorial dust cover, 5 black and white full page line illustrations.

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The Snow Queen directed by Andrew Gosling, illustrations by Errol Le Cain [animated film]

BBC (1976)

An animated film about what happens to young Kay when a piece of the Devil’s mirror finds its way through his eye and into his heart. Errol’s 1979 picture book was created using the backdrops he created for this film.

Watch movie on YouTube

The Puffin Annual #2* edited by Treld Bicknell and Kaye Webb, various illustrators

Puffin (1976)

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.

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The Rat, the Ox and the Zodiac by Pauline van Woerkom, illustrated by Errol Le Cain

Crown (1976)

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.

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The Little Dog of Fo by Rosemary Harris, illustrated by Errol Le Cain

Faber and Faber (1976)

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.

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Kammerer’s Cave* by Malcolm Neville

Blackie (1976)

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.

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King Orville and the Bullfrogs by Kathleen Abell, illustrated by Errol Le Cain

Faber and Faber (1976)

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.

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Puffin’s Pleasure* edited by Kaye Webb and Treld Bicknell, various illustrators

Puffin (1976)

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.

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Cupid and Psyche by Walter Pater, illustrated by Errol Le Cain

Faber and Faber (1977)
 
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.

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The Sly Cormorant and the Fishes by Brian Patten, illustrated by Errol Le Cain

Kestrel Books (1977)

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.

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Fantasy Tales* by Barbara Ireson

Faber and Faber (1977)

A collection of fantasy stories.

*Cover art only

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The Light Princess directed by Andrew Gosling, illustrations by Errol Le Cain (animated movie)

BBC (1978)

An animated fantasy movie based on George Macdonald’s fairytale of the Princess who finds it impossible to keep both feet on the ground.

The Twelve Dancing Princesses by Errol Le Cain, retold from The Brothers Grimm

Faber and Faber (1978)

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.

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The Snow Queen by Naomi Lewis, retold from Hans Christian Andersen, illustrated by Errol Le Cain

Kestrel (1979)

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.

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Beauty and the Beast by Rosemary Harris, illustrated by Errol Le Cain

Faber and Faber (1979)

A stunning picture book version of the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast.

Pictorial boards, 15 full page and one smaller colour illustrations.

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1980s

The Mystery of the Disappearing Schoolgirls directed by Andrew Gosling, illustrations by Errol Le Cain

BBC (1980)

Based on an E. Nesbit tale, the reputation of the Academy for the Daughters of Respectable Monarchs is at risk when a professor magic turns up.

Illustrations by Errol Le Cain.

Mrs Fox’s Wedding by Sara and Stephen Corrin, illustrated by Errol Le Cain

Faber and Faber (1980)

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.

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The Three Magic Gifts by James Riordan, illustrated by Errol Le Cain

Kaye and Ward (1980)

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.

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Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp by Andrew Lang, illustrated by Errol Le Cain

Faber and Faber (1981)

The classic tale of Aladdin and his lamp.

Pictorial boards, decorated title page, 15 full page colour illustrations and a tailpiece.

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The Ghost Downstairs directed by Andrew Gosling, illustrations by Errol Le Cain

BBC (1982)

Based on a story by Leon Garfield in which Mr Fast exchanges a contract with a peculiar old man in his basement. Illustrations by Errol Le Cain.

→ Watch the trailer on YouTube

Molly Whuppie by Walter de la Mare, illustrated by Errol Le Cain

Faber and Faber (1983)

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.

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Hiawatha’s Childhood by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, illustrated by Errol Le Cain

Faber and Faber (1984)

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.

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A School Bewitched by Naomi Lewis and Edith Nesbit, illustrated by Errol Le Cain

Blackie and Son (1985)

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.

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Growltiger’s Last Stand and Other Poems by T.S. Eliot, illustrated by Errol Le Cain

Faber and Faber (1986)

An interpretation of three poems from ‘Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. Growltiger, the pirate cat, serenades Lady Griddlebone, and fights the elegantly sinister Siamese hordes; the Pekes and the Pollicles battle it out in the Park; and the Jelliclecats waltz under the Jellicle moon.

Pictorial dust cover, pictorial boards. Decorated title page, 15 full page colour illustrations, 13 smaller colour illustrations and two silhouettes.

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Crisis at Crabtree by Sally Miles, illustrated by Errol Le Cain

Lutterworth Press (1986)

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.

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The Enchanter’s Daughter by Antonia Barber, illustrated by Errol Le Cain

Jonathan Cape (1987)

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.

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The Christmas Stockings by Matthew Price, illustrated by Errol Le Cain

Angus and Robertson (1987)

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.

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Christmas 1993 or Santa’s Last Ride by Leslie Bricusse, illustrated by Errol Le Cain

Faber and Faber (1987)

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.

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The Pied Piper of Hamelin by Sara and Stephen Corrin, illustrated by Errol Le Cain

Faber and Faber (1988)

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.

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Alfi and the Dark by Sally Miles, illustrated by Errol Le Cain

Hodder and Stoughton (1988)

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.

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Tail Feathers from Mother Goose: The Opie Rhyme Book* by Iona Opie, various illustrators

Walker Books (1988)

A collection of rhymes with work by a variety of illustrators.

*One double spread be Errol for a short poem.

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The Thief and the Cobber by Author

Richard Williams Animation Studio (1964-1989)

An unfinished animated film.

1990s

Mr Mistoffelees with Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer by Author

Faber and Faber (1990)

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.

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Have You Seen My Sister by Matthew Price, illustrated by Errol Le Cain

Kingfisher Books (1990)

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.

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