Bringing Children's Books To Life

"Humphrey and Arthur get up to all sorts in my spare room."

Writer and illustrator, Graham Oakley is used to sharing his home with unusual four-legged friends. As author of the award-winning Church Mice books, he’s spent over 50 years writing about the adventures of Humphrey and Arthur.

Graham now lives at Bowes Lyon Court, a McCarthy Stone retirement development on the outskirts of Dorchester, Dorset. And, he’s turned his spare bedroom into his studio, where he mounts his original illustrations to be sold at auction. With several hundred to go through, it keeps him busy.

Graham has been writing and illustrating children’s books since the early ‘60s. While juggling a career building sets for television series like Treasure Island and Z Cars, Graham spent his spare time writing short stories filled with wit and detailed illustrations.

These captivated families, becoming bedtime story favourites. His best-selling series ‘The Church Mice’ was first published in 1972 and is now a collection of 12 books. These are charming tales of a group of mice living in an old gothic church in the fictional town of Wortlethorpe with their guardian Sampson the ginger cat.

Graham has published 20 books, which together have sold over a million copies and will no doubt continue to entertain children for many years to come. As for retirement? Graham says, "I may be in my 90s, but I can’t stop completely."

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