Author and Illustrator: 1929 -
Graham Oakley harks from the city of Shrewsbury, located in Shropshire in the UK. He is most famous for his Church Mice books popularised by Jackanory, but has written and illustrated many books for children.
He served in the British Army for two years once he turned eighteen, and then two years later went on to attend Warrington Art School which led to several jobs doing design work. During the 1950's he worked as a set designer for the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, and then in the 1960's continued his set designing, working for the BBC on shows such as How Green Was my Valley.
In 1967 Graham left the BBC, following his own passion, illustrating and writing. He had started to do freelance llustrating in 1957, but now had the time to follow it as a career. He mainly illustrated books of folk tales and myths, before publshing his own children's story The Church Mouse in 1972. This led to a very popular series of books about the church mice of Wortlethorpe, and the subsequent Foxbury series, with a couple of one-offs inbetween. Several of his books have won prizes, including the Kate Greenaway Medal, and the New York Times Best llustrated Children's Book.
Today Graham Oakley is retired and living in Lyme Regis, although he is apparently working on a version of Beauty and the Beast. Sadly, depite their popularity, most of Graham's books are now out of print, but can still be picked up occasionally on ebay. It is also worth looking out in your local library or charity shop, as they are beautifully illustrated and delightful for children to have read to them, or to read to themselves. If you are really really lucky, you may find the VHS of The Church Mice on Jackenory, read by Griff Rhys Jones and released in 1989.
- The Church Mice
- The Church Mouse 1972
- The Church Cat Abroad 1973
- The Church Mice and the Moon 1974
- The Church Mice Spread Their Wings 1975
- The Church Mice Adrift 1976
- The Church Mice at Bay 1978
- The Church Mice at Christmas 1980
- The Church Mice in Action 1982
- The Diary of a Church Mouse 1987
- The Church Mice and the Ring 1992
- Humphrey Hits the Jackpot 1998
- The Church Mice Take a Break 2000
- The Foxbury Force 1994
- The Foxbury Force and the Pirates 1995
- The Foxbury Force and the Ghost 1998
See these sites for Church Mice fandom: