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Graham Oakley
Born 27 August 1929 (1929-08-27) (age 91)
Shrewsbury, England
Occupation Author, illustrator

Graham Oakley (born 27 August 1929) is an English writer and illustrator best known for children's books. According to the 2008 Modern Classics edition of The Church Mice, he lives in Lyme Regis, Dorset and is "mostly retired". In his spare time, Graham currently coaches and occasionally plays for Redingensians Rugby football club in Reading.

Early life

Oakley was born to Thomas and Flora (Madelay) Oakley in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England. He currently resides in Bracknell with his wife and children.

He served 1947–49 in the British Army.

Art career

Oakley attended the Warrington Art School in 1950. He worked for London repertory theatre companies as a scenic artist from 1950 to 1955; as a design assistant at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, 1955 to 1957; at Crawford's Advertising Agency, 1960 to 1962; at BBC-TV as a set designer for films and series, 1962 to 1967. At BBC he worked on How Green Was My Valley, Nicholas Nickleby, Treasure Island, and Softly, Softly.

Children's books

Oakley is best known for the Church Mice series of picture books (1970 to 2000), next for the Foxbury Force series (1994 to 1998). He also won a Boston Globe–Horn Book Award Special Citation in 1980 for the picture book Graham Oakley's Magical Changes. It features detailed scenes drawn on pages that are cut in half, permitting the user to "turn" the top and bottom halves separately. The combinations are surreal; the original whole-page drawings are already strange. In 2001 it was republished in France, entitled 512 for the number of different combinations possible.

The Church Mice
  • The Church Mouse - Atheneum, 1972
  • The Church Cat Abroad - Atheneum, 1973
  • The Church Mice and the Moon - Atheneum, 1974
  • The Church Mice Spread Their Wings - Macmillan (London), 1975
  • The Church Mice Adrift - Macmillan (London), 1976
  • The Church Mice at Bay - Macmillan (London), 1978
  • The Church Mice at Christmas - Atheneum, 1980
  • The Church Mice in Action - Macmillan (London), 1982
  • The Diary of a Church Mouse - Macmillan (London), 1986
  • The Church Mice and the Ring, 1992
  • Humphrey Hits the Jackpot - Hodder Children's Books, 1998
  • The Church Mice Take a Break - Hodder Children's Books, 2000

The Church Mice Adrift and The Church Mice in Action were Highly Commended runners-up for the 1976 and 1982 Kate Greenaway Medals from the Library Association, recognising the year's best children's book illustration by a British subject.

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