Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Book illustration

Book illustration

  • Place of origin:

    Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1981 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Ross, Tony, born 1938 (illustrator)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pen and ink and watercolour on board

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case EDUC, shelf 1

This illustration for Puss in Boots, the Story of a Sneaky Cat, published in 1981, is typical of Tony Ross's style. A well-known illustrator of children's books, he has produced over 50 books since 1976. He combines humour with a lively use of line and colour. Although there is a strong sense of colour in his work, line is the most important element and he judges the quality of his work from its ability to hold its own as a black and white line drawing: 'if it doesn't work in line it's no good. To me colour always comes second'. He used the same pen for 20 years because its bluntness produced the scratchy finish he sought. His work has an international appeal and has been adapted for television animations, his best known characters being Dr Xargle and Towser.

Physical description

Illustration depicting an ogre at home. He has opened his front door to a cat in a hat with yellow feathers. Four dead cats hang from the Ogre's belt and two cat heads are displayed on the wall. A knife and a plate of cat bones lies on the floor.

Place of Origin

Britain (made)


1981 (made)


Ross, Tony, born 1938 (illustrator)

Materials and Techniques

Pen and ink and watercolour on board

Marks and inscriptions

U (circled)
Inscription; decoration; top left above image; pencil

top right above image; pencil


Height: 23.1 cm image, Width: 21.6 cm image, Height: 30.8 cm board, Width: 25.7 cm board

Descriptive line

Book illustration to Puss in Boots, the Story of a Sneaky Cat, drawing of an ogre and cats, by Tony Ross, in pen and ink and watercolour on paper, 1981.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Ross, Tony. Puss in Boots, the Story of a Sneaky Cat. London, Andersen Press, 1981.


Board; Pen and ink and watercolour


Painted; Hand drawn

Subjects depicted

Ogre; Cats


Illustration; Children & Childhood; Paintings


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.