Born in Melbourne in 1953, Leigh Hobbs grew up in a country town called Bairnsdale.

From early childhood he had two burning ambitions, one was to be an artist, the other was to ‘go to England’ – as soon as possible.

At school drawing was always what he ‘was best at’ and English history was his favourite subject, in films, on TV and, when it came to reading matter. In fact even as a child Leigh preferred books about castles, knights, battles and pirates to most children’s books.

Now, many years later Leigh spends much of his working day drawing, and visits London twice a year.

His first job in 1974 after art school was at Sydney’s Luna Park where he created two giant caricature figures called Larry and Lizzy Luna, now in Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum.

Though he works across a wide range of mediums Leigh is best known for the children’s books he has written and illustrated featuring his characters Old Tom, Horrible Harriet, Fiona The Pig, Mr Badger, The Freaks in 4F and Mr Chicken.

Old Tom was adapted into a popular French / Australian 52 episode animated TV series, and Mr Chicken was adapted for the stage by the National Institute for the dramatic Arts. Horrible Harriet was adapted for the stage and appeared in a production at The Sydney Opera House in 2017. Though that orange moth eaten feral monster Old Tom is Leigh’s most famous creation, he is in fact allergic to cats and much prefers dogs, especially Blue Heelers.

Leigh Hobbs was the Australian Children’s Laureate 2016 / 2017.