Bringing Children's Books To Life

Graham Oakley has been writing and illustrating children's books since the early '60s. 

Semi-retired Bowes Lyon Court customer, Graham Oakley, has been writing and illustrating children’s books since the early ‘60s. While juggling a career behind the scenes of famous television shows, building sets for series such as the remake of Treasure Island and Z Cars, Graham spent his spare time writing short stories filled with witty humour and artistic illustrations.

His intricate, detailed drawings of fictional characters over the years have captivated families, becoming bedtime story favourites. His best-selling series ‘The Church Mice’ was first published in 1972 and has since grown to a collection of 12 books. They follow the tales of a group of mice living in an old gothic church in the fictional town of Wortlethorpe, with their star-guardian Sampson the ginger cat. From an English village to tropical islands, their adventures entertain while sharing life lessons to children across the country.

Living between his studio overlooking the coastal town of Lyme Regis and his 2-bed McCarthy & Stone apartment at Bowes Lyon Court in Poundbury, at age 90, Graham still spends much of his time illustrating and writing today. Selling over one million copies, he has a proud collection of 20 books which will no doubt continue to fascinate generations for years to come.