Web page ©Cameron Cunningham
All graphics ©: Val Biro and used with his permission



"If you followed my telling of Val's biography you will know that, in 1953, with the collapse of the company John Lehmann Ltd., he had a difficult decision to make. Either to take a regular job or to 'take the plunge' and become a freelance artist. Fortunately, for the reading public he chose the latter and, from then on, he illustrated over 400 books for other authors, designed over 3.000 book covers and still found time to write and illustrate books of his own.

In this section, then, I would like to share with you a small fraction of that prodigious ( There is that word again ) output and hopefully leave you with an admiration of Val's versatility as an artist."


1. Book covers designed for other authors.

Nevil Shute'Round the Bend' , 'The Far Country' and 'Beyond the Black Stump'
Frances Parkinson Keyes 'The Letter From Spain'
Nigel Tranter Illustrations of 30 Biro Book Covers
Mary Stewart 'Rough Magic'
John Jackson, 'A Bucket of Nuts and a Herring Net'
Dornford Yates, 'Lower Than Vermin', The Publican
C. Northcote Parkinson, 'So Near So Far'
John Rowan Wilson, 'A Bed of Thorns'
John Prebble, 'The Brute Streets'
C.S.Forrester, 'Mr. Midshipman Hornblower'
Richard Mason, 'The Shadow and the Peak'
Monica Dickens, 'The Heart of London'


'A List of 68 Other Books with Biro Jackets',


2. Illustration and Decoration.

Jean Plaidy, 'Edward Longshanks'
Anthony Hope, 'The Prisoner of Zenda'
Illustrated Map of the Tower of London, By Val
Helen Steiner Rice, 'Lovingly'
Dorian Williams, 'A Kingdom for a Horse'
Radio Times, Some examples of Val's illustrations for this magazine
The Field Bedside Book One of Vals 'country books'


3. Val's re-telling of Children's classics

(Oxford University Press, Publishers).

Val's retelling of these traditional tales has been adapted for classroom teaching. The guided reading editions have text simplified to an appropriate level for the average child. They also include teaching notes for guided reading and writing, and work at text, sentence and word level.

The Hobyahs
The Three Little Pigs
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
The Pied Piper of Hamelin
The Three Billy-Goats Gruff
Little Red Riding Hood
Jack and the Beanstalk
The Donkey that Sneezed
The Show off Mouse
Jean Kenward, 'The Odd Job Man and the Thousand Mile Boots'
Jill Bennet, 'Jack and the Robbers'
What's Up the Coconut Tree
Lazy Jack
The Magic Doctor


4. Children's books illustrated for other authors.

E.W. Hildick, 'A Cat Called Amnesia' and 'The McGurk Mystery Series'

Michael Hardcastle, 'Carole's Camel'

With Christina Butler

'The Dinosaur Dinner', 'Archie the Ugly Dinosaur', 'Big Bad Rex'

With H.E.Todd

'Clever, Clever Cats', 'Jungle Silver'


5. VAL'S work with schools.

( Please note this section is being rewritten at present. It will be available soon.

"Over the years Val has visited many schools with Gumdrop to tell the children what it is like to be an author and artist and to encourage them to read, write and draw. This link will take you to a page that tells you about such a visit."


6. The Gumdrop Series by Val Biro.

(Published by Hodder Children's Books,).( Please note this section is also being rewritten at present. It will be available soon.

" There are 37 books in the 'Gumdrop' series. Through them run exciting and amusing stories and I would like to tell you about some of them"

Gumdrop has gone away for a holiday --- he will come back very soon,