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Illustration of Old Tom

Old Tom: Man of Mystery by Leigh Hobbs

Leigh Hobbs, 2016 Children's Laureate, has created a bevy of well-loved children's characters, including Old Tom, Mr Chicken, Horrible Harriet, and the Freaks of 4F.

Despite Hobbs having what he describes as an "allergy to cute", there is a warmth to every Hobbs book that speaks to parents and children alike.

Hobbs' warmth and humour are present as ever in Old Tom: Man of Mystery. Angela Throgmorton has asked Old Tom to start helping with the household chores. Despite Tom's incredible (and relatable) feats of avoidance and a cat-and-mouse caper through the night, Angela's love for Tom shines through, even when he's at his naughtiest.

The exhibition showcases Hobbs' original pen and gouache illustrations for Old Tom: Man of Mystery, with appearances from some of his other characters. Giving insight into Hobbs' artistic process, never-before-seen sketches and cartoons feature among Hobbs' illustrative works. 

End the exhibition with a self-guided scavenger hunt through the Library, hot on the trail of the Man of Mystery.
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    Event Showings

    3 Sep 2022 - 15 Jan 2023
    The Story Place Gallery
    Mezzanine Level

  • Dollar Icon


    Free event

  • Location Marker Icon


    State Library of WA

    Perth Cultural Centre, 25 Francis Street

    Perth WA 6000

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    Wheelchair access