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The Church Mice in Action by Graham Oakley
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The Church Mice in Action (1982)

by Graham Oakley

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We had an ex-library copy, but got rid of it when my wife discovered it was missing a page.
  jkepler | Apr 11, 2015 |
Humphrey and Arthur are at it again in The Church Mice in Action, the eighth installment of Graham Oakley's series of humorous picture-books detailing the adventures and misadventures of a group of church mice and their cat companion. Determined to solve the problem of the leaking vestry roof once and for all, Humphrey proposes that the mice enter Sampson in a cat competition, and make sure that he wins. Needless to say, hilarious hi-jinks ensue, and all does not go precisely as planned...

This may be the funniest book in Oakley's series, with Sampson's horrified reaction to the parson's sister, with her baby-talk ("Whoooose a boooooooooooooooooooootiful puddy tat den. Come to mummmmmy") and magnolia-scented baths, and Humphrey's "unsporting" plan to throw the competition. With the notable exception of The Church Mice at Bay, I have found the Church Mice books quite entertaining, and am sorry to see this diversion come to an end. There are a few more in the series, but I have been unable to locate them in my library system. Ah well, it was lovely while it lasted! ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Jul 17, 2013 |
More schemes and uproar perpetrated by Oakley's cat Sampson and the church mice, first seen lounging "in a mellow mood" until Sampson is taken into the vicarage by the parson's visiting sister. (In typical Oakley manner, she is pictured from Sampson's viewpoint as a looming, gussied-up fussbudget.) Although Sampson may not he happy with the dolling-up she gives him, the mice decide to make the best of it: they send a note suggesting that she enter Sampson in a cat show and use the "best-groomed" prize money he's now sure to win to fix the vestry roof. At mouse Humphrey's suggestion, the mice then conspire to ensure that Sampson will win: Oakley tells us only, "The plan was very simple, though it called for the most steely nerved of mice to carry it out" - but the pictures show us why that's so, with mice peeking out from the judge's sleeves, enticing the other cats to break decorum and become "devilish fiends" and "ravaging" beasts." The plan goes awry when two scuzzy characters, disguised as a revolting Texan tourist couple, kidnap Sampson and the prize money. The mice rush to the rescue. . . and so begins the obligatory chase that takes them all into the countryside and up against a charging bull, a line of laundry, a hive of bees, and a fire that finishes off the prize money. It all ends on a typical dry note: "So there were no more cat shows. A few days later the parson's sister went home and soon after that the last whiffs of Magnolia Blossom faded out of Sampson's fur and the mice stopped holding their noses when they came near him." And that earlier cat show is worth attending.
  antimuzak | May 7, 2007 |
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One day, quite late in the summer, the church mice and Sampson were taking it easy in the churchyard.
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The Church Mice are involved in one of the their classic schemes to earn money - entering Sampson in cat shows. How could Sampson possibly win? By cheating of course! Unfortunately, Sampson gets kidnapped by a couple of criminals on a tandem bike (due to the local paper miss-reporting of the size of his winnings) and the mice have to go to his rescue for a change.
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The church mice enter Samson in a cat show to win money to fix the church roof, but in doing so, they unknowingly put him in danger.

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