Leigh Hobbs

Leigh Hobbs is an artist and author best known for his children’s book characters Old Tom, Horrible Harriet, Mr Chicken and Mr Badger. In 2002, Horrible Harriet was shortlisted for the Children’s Book Council of Australia Picture Book of the Year Awards, as was his book Old Tom’s Holiday in 2003. He was shortlisted again in 2010 for his picture book Mr Chicken Goes to Paris. A highly successful animated TV series, based on Leigh’s Old Tom series of books has been screened in Australia and Europe.

As well as being an author and illustrator Leigh works as an artist in a wide range of mediums. He has designed the colour scheme for the entrance to Melbourne’s Luna Park and the creature that sits atop a ride inside the park called the ‘spider.’ A Flinders Street Station tea-pot he made is in the National Gallery of Victoria, and two caricature sculptures he created for Sydney’s Luna Park in the early 1970s are at The Powerhouse Museum in Sydney.

Who, or what, was the biggest inspiration for you to become a writer and illustrator?
‘The English cartoonist Ronald Searle.’

What was your favourite book as a child?
‘Captain Pugwash.’

Did you enjoy school and what was your favourite subject?
‘Yes, I did enjoy school. Art and history were my favourite subjects.’

What is your favourite colour?
‘Green. It reminds me of England.’

What is your proudest moment?
‘When Horrible Harriet was shortlisted in 2002 for the CBC Picture Book Category.’

Do you have a particular ritual or routine when you draw or write?
‘I get up very early every day. I walk the dogs, have breakfast and am in my studio by 8am.’

If you weren’t a writer/illustrator, what would you be?
‘I can’t imagine not being an artist.’

Books by Leigh Hobbs

Freaks on the Loose

Published: January 2018

The hilarious, anarchic antics of One-eyed Eileen, her 4F classmates and their long-suffering teacher in one collectable volume.

Horrible Harriet plush toy

Published: June 2017

The wicked, wild and wonderful Harriet from Leigh Hobbs' best-loved Horrible Harriet series is available for the first time in a limited edition plush toy format.

Mr Chicken Goes to Paris Book and Toy Gift Set

Published: November 2016

An irresistible book and toy package featuring the world's most lovable chicken.

Mr Chicken Arriva a Roma

Published: September 2016

Mr Chicken has been to Paris and London, but his taste for travel is insatiable - now it's time to visit Rome, a city of ancient wonders and delicious things to eat. From the hilarious mind of the 2016-2017 Australian Children's Laureate.

Mr Chicken Lands on London

Published: July 2016

Explore London with Mr Chicken in this paperback edition of a much-loved favourite.

The Big Book of Mr Badger

Published: December 2015

All four stories about loveable Mr Badger in one collectable volume, from the creator of Old Tom and Mr Chicken.

Mr Chicken Lands on London

Published: December 2015

See London with Mr Chicken! A delightful mini gift edition of the much-loved bestseller.

Mr Chicken Lands on London

Published: July 2014

See London with Mr Chicken! From the creator of the much-loved bestseller Mr Chicken Goes to Paris.

The Big Book of Old Tom

Published: June 2014

Five adventures of Leigh Hobbs' much-loved characters, Old Tom and Angela Throgmorton, in one delightful collection.

Old Tom's Big Book of Beauty

Published: January 2013

Angela Throgmorton adores Old Tom, but that doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement. When she gives him The Big Book of Beauty the results are astonishing. But will it go to Old Tom's head? Old Tom, star of six previous books and with his own TV series, is one of Leigh Hobbs' most loved characters.

Horrible Harriet's Inheritance

Published: July 2012

You may remember Horrible Harriet - she's wicked, wild and larger than life, and she invented Mr Chicken. Well Harriet is back, to claim her inheritance and fill in the gaps in her impressive family tree along the way. These include queens, warriors and yes, a vampire, too.

Mr Chicken Goes to Paris

Published: December 2011

From the creator of Old Tom, Horrible Harriet and Fiona the Pig comes the unforgettable and riotous Mr Chicken! What's in store for Mr Chicken in the City of Love, and how will the Parisians react?

Mr Badger and the Magic Mirror

Published: September 2011

Book four in this charming illustrated series from the creator of Old Tom, Horrible Harriet and Mr Chicken. Mr Badger is about to uncover something magical at the Boubles Grand Hotel!

Mr Badger and the Difficult Duchess

Published: March 2011

In book three in this charming illustrated series, we discover Mr Badger is not only the Special Events Manager of London's grand Boubles Grand Hotel - he is also the Manager of Special Guests.

Mr Badger and the Big Surprise

Published: September 2010

Introducing another lovable character from the creator of Mr Chicken and Old Tom. Mr Badger is the Special Events Manager of London's Boubles Grand Hotel and is in charge of parties, weddings, balls - anything, really, that is a special occasion.

Mr Badger and the Missing Ape

Published: September 2010

The second book featuring Mr Badger, the Special Events Manager of London's Boubles Grand Hotel - another lovable character from the creator of Mr Chicken and Old Tom.

Mr Chicken Goes to Paris

Published: August 2009

From the creator of Old Tom, Horrible Harriet and Fiona the Pig comes the unforgettable and riotous Mr Chicken! What's in store for Mr Chicken in the City of Love, and how will the Parisians react?

Hooray for Horrible Harriet

Published: April 2008

The hilarious sequel to the bestselling, CBCA-shortlisted Horrible Harriet. Gloriously illustrated by the fabulous Leigh Hobbs, creator of Old Tom and Fiona the Pig, this book will have both children and adults laughing out loud.

Old Tom's Big Book of Beauty

Published: October 2007

Angela Throgmorton adores Old Tom, but that doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement. When she gives him 'The Big Book of Beauty' the results are astonishing. But will it go to Old Tom's head? Old Tom, star of six previous books and with his own TV series, is one of Leigh Hobbs' most loved characters.

Freaks Ahoy

Published: March 2007

In 4F for Freaks Miss Corker came up with a great idea for tricking 4F into obedience, but in this hilarious sequel, she finds her disguise has stuck and it looks like she'll be Miss Schnorkel forever. With One-Eyed Eileen on the case to unmask her, and a rendezvous with a boatload of teachers on long-service leave, Freaks Ahoy! is hilarious entertainment for young and old.

4F for Freaks

Published: February 2006

Class 4F is a mighty challenge for any teacher, with One-Eyed Eileen's gang of freaks and their naughty antics. But Miss Corker (alias Miss Schnorkel) works out a clever way to handle them. From the creator of Old Tom and Horrible Harriet, and inspired by 25 years of teaching, comes another unforgettable cast of hilarious characters.

Hooray for Horrible Harriet

Published: March 2005

In this hilarious sequel to the bestselling, CBC-shortlisted Horrible Harriet, Horrible Harriet finally makes a friend. A picture book which will have children and adults laughing out loud. Gloriously illustrated by the fabulous Leigh Hobbs, creator of Old Tom and Fiona the Pig.

It's True! Your Hair Grows 15 kilometres a year (3)

Published: May 2004

Everything you wanted to know about hair, this is one of the first six titles launching the fantastic new non-fiction series It's True!

Horrible Harriet

Published: September 2003

Look out! Here comes Horrible Harriet - she's wicked, wild and wonderful! Shortlisted for the CBC Picture Book of the Year Award, 2002.

Horrible Harriet

Published: October 2001

Look out! Here comes Horrible Harriet - she's wicked, wild and wonderful!

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