Leigh Hobbs, best-selling author of the iconic Old Tom, Mr Chicken Goes to Paris and Horrible Harriet has today been announced as the Australian Children’s Laureate for 2016 – 2017.
The Australian Children’s Laureate is an initiative developed by the Australian Children’s Literature Alliance (ACLA), a not-for-profit organisation founded in 2008. The Laureate’s role is to promote the importance of reading, creativity and story in the lives of young Australians.
The theme for Hobbs’s two-year term as Australian Children’s Laureate will be ‘to champion creative opportunities for children, and to highlight the essential role libraries play in nurturing our creative lives’.
‘Libraries have played an enormous role in my life’, Hobbs says. ‘Reading and exploring history and art is something I have been able to do because of libraries. I’m passionately interested in histories and cultures and I hope that through my work I can encourage children to explore and experience these things too.’
Leigh’s first public appearance as Laureate will be this Saturday 13th February at State Library Victoria’s Kids’ Big Book Spectacular, which includes workshops, a pop-up exhibition and storytelling in celebration of his contribution to children’s literature.
About the Contributor
Andrew Cattanach is a regular contributor to The Booktopia Blog. He has been shortlisted for The Age Short Story Prize and was named a finalist for the 2015 Young Bookseller of the Year Award. He enjoys reading, writing and sleeping, though finds it difficult to do them all at once.
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