Joan E Cass The Cat Thief 1961 a

Joan E. Cass, The Cat Thief, 1961

William Stobbs was born in South Shields, Tyneside, on 27 June 1914. He studied at the Durham School of Art, graduating in 1938. The following year he joined Rolls Royce as a draughtsman. After the Second World War he worked for Alvis, before joining the London School of Printing and Graphic Art as head of its design department. From 1958 to 1979 he was Principal of Maidstone College of Art.

He had a parallel career illustrating books, beginning with Ronald Syme's Hakluyt's Sea Stories in 1948. He became well-known for the historical accuracy of his illustrations for children's historical novels by authors including Henry Treece and Ronald Welch. Welch's Knight Crusader, which he illustrated in 1954, won the Library Association's Carnegie Medal for outstanding book of the year in 1955. He won the Kate Greenaway Medal in 1959 for for Kashtanka, an illustrated edition of a story by Chekhov, and Ruth Manning-Sanders' A Bundle of Ballads. In the 1980s he published a series of colour picture books, including Gregory's Dog and Gregory's Garden (both 1984) and A Frog He Would a-Wooing Go (1987).

He drew "Real Life Mysteries", a half-page factual comic strip, initially in black and white, later in colour, and the full-page colour biographical serial "Cortez, Conqueror of Mexico", both in the Eagle in 1950.

He married fellow illustrator Brenda Dunn in 1938, and they had two children, and later divorced. He married Joanna Stubbs in 1971, and they had six children. He died in Hawkhurst, Kent, on 6 April 2000.

Books illustratedEdit

  • Ronald S. Barker, The Land, The Bodley Head, 1960
  • Phyllis Bentley, The New Venturers, Victor Gollancz, 1973
    • -- Gold Pieces, Weidenfield & Nicolson, 1983
  • William Cole, Poems from Ireland, Ty Crowell Co, 1972
  • Marcus Crouch, Six Against the World and Other Stories, Pelham Books, 1978
    • -- The Ivory City, Carnival, 1981
    • -- The Whole World Storybook, Oxford University Press, 1983
    • -- Rich Man, Poor Man, Beggarman, Thief, Oxford University Press, 1985
  • John A. Cunliffe, Mr Gosling and the Runaway Chair, Andre Deutsch, 1978
  • David Scott Daniell, Battles and Battlefields, B. T. Batsford, 1961
    • -- Hunt Royal, Puffin, 1962
  • Peter Dawlish, The Boy Jacko, Oxford University Press, 1962
    • -- Martin Frobisher
  • Frederick Grice, Aidan and the Strollers, Puffin, 1964
  • Hilda K. Gull, Five Painters, Burns & Oates, 1966
  • Don Hillson, Canadian Wildwood, Peter Lunn, 1946
  • A Hogeboom, The Boys' Book of the West, Pilot Press, 1948
  • Audrey Erskine Lindop, The Adventure of the Wuffle, McGraw-Hill, 1968
  • Compton Mackenzie, Golden Stories of Greece, BCA, 1976
  • Ruth Manning-Sanders, A Bundle of Ballads, Oxford University Press, 1968
    • -- Gianni and the Ogre, Methuen, 1973
    • -- Sir Green Hat and the Wizard, Methuen, 1974
    • -- Smugglers, Puffin, 1978
  • Naomi Mitchison, African Heroes, The Bodley Head, 1968
  • Barbara Leonie Picard, The Tower and the Traitors, B. T. Batsford, 1961
  • Madeleine Polland, The White Twilight, Constable, 1962
  • Elizabeth Poston (ed.), Where are you Going to my Pretty Maid, 1971
    • -- I Had a Little Nut Tree, The Bodley Head, 1971
    • -- Girls and Boys Come Out to Play, The Bodley Head, 1971
    • -- Bye Baby Bunting, The Bodley Head, 1971
  • B. W. Rose and R. S. Jones (eds.), Lines of Action: An Anthology of Narrative and Lyrical Verse, Macmillan, 1962
  • Ian Seraillier, The Clashing Rocks: The Story of Jason and the Argonauts, Carousel, 1972
  • Ian Severn, The Future Took Us, Puffin, 1962
  • Armstrong Sperry, The Boy Who Was Afraid, The Bodley Head, 1963
  • William Stobbs, The Story of the Three Little Pigs, Puffin, 1968
    • -- Guleesh: A Picture Story from Ireland, The Bodley Head, 1971
    • -- Henny Penny, Picture Puffin, 1972
    • -- Johnny-Cake, Dutton, 1975
    • -- The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse, Pelham Books, 1976
    • -- The Grape That Ran Away, The Bodley Head, 1980
    • -- Gregory's Garden, Oxford University Press, 1981
    • -- The Little Red Hen, Oxford University Press, 1985
    • -- The House That Jack Built, Oxford University Press, 1987
    • -- A Frog He Would a-Wooing Go, Oxford University Press, 1987
    • -- Good King Wenceslas, Oxford University Press, 1989
    • -- Who Killed Cock Robin, Oxford University Press, 1990
    • -- In the Garden, Oxford University Press, 1991
    • -- Sophie
    • -- There's a Hole in My Bucket, Oxford University Press
    • -- Gregory's Dog
  • Ronald D. K. Storer, King Arthur and his Knights, Oxford University Press, 1960
  • Thora Stowell, The Scarlett Flute, Dennis Yates, 1950
  • Ronald Syme, The Buccaneer Explorer, Hodder & Stoughton
    • -- John Smith of Virginia, University of London Press, 1965
  • -- Bolivar the Liberator, Wm. Morrow, 1968
  • Henry Treece, Vinland the Good, Puffin, 1971
  • R. J. Unstead, Some Kings and Queens, Carousel, 1971
  • Rex Warner, Athens at War, The Bodley Head, 1970
  • Christopher Webb, The Ann and Hope Mutiny, MacDonald, 1967
  • Tyler Whittle, The Runners of Oxford, Children's Book Club, 1950s
  • Amabel Williams-Ellis, Old World and New World Fairy Tales, Blackie, 1966
    • -- Tudor England, Blackie, 1968
    • -- Georgian England, Blackie, 1969
    • -- Victorian England, Blackie, 1969
    • -- Fairy Tales from Here and There, Blackie, 1977
    • -- Fairy Tales from Near and Far, Blackie, 1977
    • -- Fairy Tales from Everywhere, Blackie, 1977
    • -- Fairy Tales from East and West, Blackie, 1977


  • Winifred Cawley, Silver Everything and Many Mansions, Oxford University Press, 1976
  • Lettice Cooper, The Twig of Cypress, Andre Deutsch, 1965 (illus. W. F. Phillips)
  • Ben Johnson, Five Plays, Oxford University Press, 1966
  • M. and C. Lee, Rosamond Fane or the Prisoners of St. James, Oxford UNiversity Press, 1963 (illus. Heather Standring)
  • Reginald Maddock, The Big Ditch, Macdonald, 1971
  • William Mayne, The World Upside Down, Oxford University Press, 1958 (illus. Shirley Hughes)
    • -- Follow the Footprints, Oxford UNiversity Press, 1964 (illus. Shirley Hughes)
  • George Pengelly, The Grand Escapade, Peter Lunn, 1947
  • Donald Suddaby, Crowned with Wild Olive, Collins, 1961
  • W. W. Tarn, The Treasure of the Isle of Mist: A Tale of the Isle of Skye, Oxford University Press, 1959 (illus. Margery Gill)
  • Charlotte Yonge, The Little Duke Richard the Fearless, Oxford University Press, 1959


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