Graham Oakley was born in Shrewsbury in 1929. After attending art college, he was a scenic artist and designer at the Royal Opera House, before becoming a BBC set designer. The Church Mice series was first published in 1972 and has sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide. The books have been published in the United States, Canada, Australia, NZ, South Africa, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Sweden & Taiwan. He was the Highly-Commended runner-up for the Kate Greenaway Medal in 1976 & 1982.