Beloved children’s author launches new book at local primary school

Mel Maria Catholic Primary School students Zachary Hills (9), Caleb Trolio (10), Jemima Hills (11), Zac Rooney (8), Will Rooney (4) and Ella Rooney (6) with author Leigh Hobbs.
Mel Maria Catholic Primary School students Zachary Hills (9), Caleb Trolio (10), Jemima Hills (11), Zac Rooney (8), Will Rooney (4) and Ella Rooney (6) with author Leigh Hobbs.

WELL-KNOWN author and artist Leigh Hobbs has a special connection with Mel Maria Catholic Primary School.

The former Australian Children’s Laureate visited the Attadale school on October 22 to launch his latest book Mr Chicken All Over Australia – which was partly by students at the school.

“I talked to the kids about how the book came to be developed, it came about as the Australian Children’s Laureate, I travelled all around Australia,” he said.

“I had 34 interstate trips from Melbourne and I got lots of letters asking me ‘when is Mr Chicken coming to Australia?’ and I thought ‘in fact, he will come to Australia.’

“The real kids letters, a lot of them from this school, were so charming and funny they prompted the book.”

Mr Hobbs said he was touched by how much effort the school went to with his visit.

“It was terrific, I had no idea that the school was going to make such big deal of it, which was lovely,” he said.

“Terrific schools such as this, I get a great experience because the kids are enthusiastic and the teachers are engaged as well.

“The kids were terrific, kids are innately good natured and up for fun and for me that is why I like writing for kids because if you can engage them then they’ll follow you anywhere in a story and I find that quite affecting.”

His visit was organised by WA library supplier Westbooks and follows a similar visit in 2016.