Review Blog

Aug 11 2014

The Big Book of Old Tom by Leigh Hobbs

cover image

Allen & Unwin, 2014. ISBN 9781743318447.
'Angela Throgmorton lived alone and liked it that way. One day, while doing some light dusting, she heard a knock at the door. There, on her front step, was a baby monster. Angela was curious so she carried him in . . . and brought him up'. And so begins one of the most enduring series that has captivated younger readers since 1992. In a few lines of pen-and-ink, Leigh Hobbs created a most captivating cat, Old Tom, and in this bumper book, five of his most iconic adventures are drawn together. There is the original Old Tom (whom the author himself describes as 'more like an Australian cattle dog, or blue heeler, perhaps with a touch of Tasmanian devil, than he is a cat') as well as Old Tom at the Beach, Old Tom Goes to Mars, Old Tom's Guide to Being Good and A Friend for Old Tom.
With a few lines of text on each page and the real story being told through the dramatic movement and emotion of the pictures, this series captivated my reluctant readers right from the start and all these years on, still does. A graphic novel, before the term had been widely adopted, Leigh Hobbs has captured what it is that readers of this age like without going down the toilet-humour path. Here is boldness, determination, courage, resilience and humour all packaged in a cat who changes Angela Throgmorton's safe, predictable life for ever. Even though Old Tom drives her crazy at times, she loves him.
If your younger readers haven't met Old Tom yet, then they must. He is one of those literary characters that will be remembered most fondly by parents who will be delighted to see their own children bringing him home in their library bags.
Barbara Braxton

Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
2017 Children's Peace Literature Award Short List
Inkys Awards 2017
2017 Miles Franklin Literary Award
2017 NSW Premier's History Awards
The Queensland Literary Awards 2017
CBCA Awards 2017 winners
Environment Award for Children's Literature 2017
Speech Pathology shortlist 2017
2017 CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals
2017 Branford Boase Award
2017 UKLA Book Awards

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Staff holiday reading list 2016
South Australian Christian Schools Conference 2016 - Library Displays
Display calendars
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Bookmark and poster templates