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Graham Oakley - Author

About the Author

Graham Oakley was born on the 27th of August 1929 in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, son of Thomas and Flora (Madelay) Oakley.  Between 1947-49, Graham Oakley served in the British Army.  He attended the Warrington Art school in 1950, and then worked with London repertory companies as a scenic artist 1950-55.  From 1955-57 he was a design assistant at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, worked at Crawford's Advertising Agency from 1960-62, and then as a set designer for films and series at BBC-TV 1962-67 (including How Green Was My Valley, Nicholas Nickleby, Treasure Island, and Softly, Softly).

    "In my day we didn't have so much location work in costume drama, so it was my job to recreate the era of the dramatisation entirely within the studio. That can be quite a difficult task. We did a lot of Charles Dickens and Walter Scott dramatisations and often came across areas which we were unable to research. Of course audiences are always quick to pick out inaccuracies - I think they just liked to catch us out."

He had started illustrating books in the late 50s, and became a free-lance author and illustrator after his stint at the BBC.  The Church Mouse was published in 1972.

Apparently, Graham Oakley originally planned Wortlethorpe to be the setting for a very different series of children's books:

    "I was going to open with a high view on top of the town and a series of stories about each building, starting with the church and moving on to the library and the town hall, but the first book, The Church Mouse was so successful that I never got to the library."

These days Graham Oakley lives in Lyme Regis and is mostly retired. His current project is a version of Beauty and the Beast done with Pre-Rafaelite style illustrations.

Featured books by Graham Oakley

Other books by Graham Oakley

Church Mice in Action

Church Mice in Action

Author: Graham Oakley Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/11/2013

In a bid to save the leaky vestry roof, the church mice decide to raise some money by entering Sampson into a cat show. He soon wins when the mice invoke havoc by winding up all of the other cat contestants. Sampson continues to win show after show, until he is catnapped and held to ransom. It is up to Arthur and Humphrey to save him and outwit the thieves -

Church Mice at Christmas

Church Mice at Christmas

Author: Graham Oakley Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/11/2013

Curl up with this cosy story and rediscover Graham Oakley's classic series. After hopeless attempts to raise money for the Christmas party, Arthur, Humphrey and Sampson decide to raise the mice's spirits by dressing up as Father Christmas and his reindeer. Little do they know that their actions will lead to the capture of a burglar and a reward hamper filled with all a mouse could ever dream of!

The Church Mice in Action

The Church Mice in Action

Author: Graham Oakley Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/09/2011

Another favourite Church Mouse story available for a whole new audience to enjoy. In a bid to save the leaky vestry roof, the church mice decide to raise some money by entering Sampson into a cat show. He soon wins when the mice invoke havoc by winding up all of the other cat contestants. Sampson continues to win show after show, until he is catnapped and held to ransom. It is up to Arthur and Humphrey to save him and outwit the thieves

The Church Mice Adrift

The Church Mice Adrift

Author: Graham Oakley Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/07/2011

A wonderful story of good versus evil set in amongst the church mice and their friend the church cat, Sampson. Good wins through; the rats come to a very sticky end (finding a new home in a glue factory) and the church mice and Sampson get their home back. Other titles in the series won the New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book award and were nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal.

The Church Mice Adrift

The Church Mice Adrift

Author: Graham Oakley Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/03/2010

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