Australian Writer and illustratorLeigh Hobbs
The Big Book of Old Tom
Allen & Unwin 2014 $24.99pb 458pp
ISBN 978 1 7433 1844 7
Themes: Cats/ Funny stories/ Manners/ Mother-son relationships
Old Tom, that disreputable, ugly but definitely lovable cat is here in five stories all in the one volume making over 450 pages in a satisfyingly chunky book. As most of the pages are illustration with very easily read text, it is a great book for not so confident readers. Old Tom lives with Miss Angela Throgmorton who lived alone and thought she liked it that way until one day, a knock at the door heralded the arrival of Old Tom in the traditional wicker basket - Miss Throgmorton thought he was a baby monster but took him inside anyway. What followed was a series of totally over-the-top adventures and ones that children have enjoyed since the first Old Tom book came out in 1994. This edition contains the ‘classic’ stories - Old Tom/ Old Tom at the beach/ Old Tom goes to Mars/ Old Tom’s guide to being good (my favourite) and A friend for Old Tom.
A good read aloud but for a small group, as everyone needs to see the illustrations.
Preschool up/ Age 4 up
|Leigh Hobbs and Old Tom Image: ABC Southwest Victoria|
A note for enthusiastic and hard working but often rejected writers - Leigh Hobbs’s first attempts at Old Tom were constantly rejected and he had given up hope of ever seeing the stories in print. Then, the editor from his present publisher wrote within days of receiving the manuscript saying she loved the stories and felt she and the writer should meet. The moral of the story is – never, ever give up. If you believe in what you are doing, eventually, you will succeed. (I didn't dream this quote up! It was Sir Peter Blake).
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