Graham Oakley, one of the UK's best -loved children’s illustrators and authors grew up near the Shropshire town of Shrewsbury. He worked for many years as a set designer in rep before moving to the Royal Opera House. Eventually he moved to the BBC to work  on costume dramas, leaving in 1977 to pursue his passion for illustration .

At about the same time he began converting an old mill in deepest Wiltshire. His close neighbours and indeed the mill’s longest residents, the mice, quickly gave him the idea for a series of books.

Graham Oakley’s Church Mice series have become classics of children’s literature, winning many awards. Quite a few are still in print today. Graham Oakley still writes and illustrates  books though he has now left the old mill and its residents. He now draws and paints in his home by the sea in the little town of Lyme Regis in Dorset.