Leigh Hobbs is the 2016-2017 Australian Children’s Laureate. The theme for Hobbs’s term as Children’s Laureate is ‘to champion creative opportunities for children, and to highlight the essential role libraries play in nurturing our creative lives’.

Leigh has been shortlisted for the CBCA Picture Book of the Year Award (for Mr Chicken Goes to Paris, Horrible Harriet and Old Tom’s Holiday), and his books have won every major children’s choice award in Australia.

Leigh’s books have been adapted beyond the page, with the Old Tom books becoming an animated ABC cartoon TV series (1998-2002) and Mr Chicken Goes To Paris becoming a play adapted by the National Institute Of Dramatic Art (2012).

Leigh is best known for the humorous children’s books he writes and illustrates. However, he is also an accomplished artist and part of the Australian artistic and cultural fabric. He also taught art at secondary school for more than two decades and was a freelance contributing cartoonist for The Age newspaper for 15 years.


  • Read the show notes and transcript here.
  • Access full resource on The Big Book of Old Tom aligned to the curriculum here.