Get to know Children’s Laureate Leigh Hobbs

Since recently being announced as Children’s Laureate, Leigh Hobbs and Mr Chicken have been kept very busy, so to help you get to know Leigh a little better, we’ve collected some recent videos and other interviews to give you insight into his life and work.

LeighMrChickenErica
Leigh Hobbs celebrating being named Children’s Laureate with his publisher Erica (and multiple Mr Chickens!)

 

Story Box Library have produced a wonderful video giving you the chance to meet Leigh Hobbs and explore his studio, with Leigh explaining how he came to develop his characters.

Meet Leigh Hobbs from Story Box Library on Vimeo.

As well as mini documentaries like this one, Story Box Library features engaging Australian stories read by some of Australia’s finest storytellers, so if you visit their site you’ll also find readings of three of Leigh’s books including 4F for Freaks read by Chris Taylor and Horrible Harriet read by John Higginson. They’ve also shared 10 reasons to love Leigh Hobbs over on their blog!

Covering a wide range of topics, with great questions from children, Leigh did a fantastic Q&A session with ABC Splash which you can revisit below, along with a couple of extra videos shared on social media:

 

 

For teachers, ABC Splash have also broken down the Q&A video into smaller bite sized chunks with links to the curriculum.

For a quick insight you can learn more about Leigh in this profile in The Australian, including this great comment on being taken over by his characters!

I never set out to be involved in children’s books. But bit by bit my characters have taken over. Mr Chicken, Old Tom, Horrible Harriet. It’s like a nightmare.

Leigh also explains what his role as Children’s Laureate means to him, and what he’ll be up to in the next couple of years:

Being an ambassador for children’s books, each laureate has particular things that they feel passionate about and they go in to bat for them.

What will that be for you? Libraries and librarians in schools and the range of people who create children’s books in all their forms. I’d like to make it so kids can create, write or draw without the pressure of feeling that they have to be artists or writers to do it. That they just make marks that are meaningful to them and find a way to express themselves.

There’s also a great in-depth interview with Leigh covering his lifetime of work at Mirrors Windows Doors. Covering all his characters and their inspiration, as well as his working processes and more, it’s a really fascinating read. 

As you can see below, Mr Chicken has been on his holidays, but after visits to Paris and London, his taste for travel is insatiable – now it’s time to visit Rome, a city of ancient wonders and delicious things to eat! 

As Leigh said in his interview at Mirrors Windows Doors, Rome was the perfect place for Mr Chicken to visit:

I sketched Mr Chicken on a Vespa, eating gelato and pasta – visiting the Colosseum – admiring the Pantheon – driving a chariot – relaxing in The Trevi Fountain etc. etc. I think Rome is a marvellous place so it wasn’t hard to have Mr Chicken enjoying himself there. Hopefully readers will pick up on my, and Mr Chicken’s, affection for and wonder at this fantastic city.

Mr Chicken Arriva A Roma in September, while you’ll also be able to get your very own Mr Chicken in November – we can’t wait to see where his travels take him then!

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