LE CAIN, Errol

(1941 - 1989)
"one should not be too dogmatic when talking of picture books"

Errol John Le Cain was born and brought up in the Far East, spending his childhood in Singapore and India. Images from this time in his life permeate his illustrations, which are frequently highly decorative, and vibrant with luminous colour.

Le Cain's early career was in TV and film animation, projects incuded work on the 1967 Bond film Casino Royale and a BBC animation of The Snow Queen.

Le Cain's career as a book illustrator began in 1968, with his first picture book – King Arthur’s Sword, one of only a few of his works to be written and illustrated by him. It appears that he was most content illustrating books written by others, or giving his own interpretation of classic fairy tales, such as Cinderella (1971), Thorn Rose (1975), and Beauty and the Beast (1979). He once wrote “The first task of an illustrator is to be in full sympathy with the writer. No matter how splendid and exciting the drawings may be, if they work against the story the picture book is a failure” (Illustrators of Children’s Books, by Bertha Mahoney). He ably demostrated this sentiment in his presentation of many myths, legends and verse.  Phyllis Hunt, his editor at Faber, wrote "there was a certain strangeness in his art that made him the perfect illustrator for fairy tales.”

After twice being runner up for the Kate Greenaway Medal , he finally won the award in 1985 for his illustrations to Longfellow's Hiawatha’s Childhood.

Please scroll down to see our current stock of first editions and original artwork by Le Cain.


Blogpost: Remiscinces of Errol Le Cain

Add to favourites
 Errol LE CAIN

Books by this author

Mr. Mistoffelees

LE CAIN, Errol


Growltiger's Last Stand

LE CAIN, Errol


Hiawatha's Childhood

LE CAIN, Errol


The Flying Ship

LE CAIN, Errol


Long Ago There Lived a King Called Arthur

LE CAIN, Errol


The Cabbage Princess

LE CAIN, Errol


The Faber Book of Children's Songs

LE CAIN, Errol


Peter Walked Among the Gold-Tipped Trees

LE CAIN, Errol