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Julia Eccleshare M.B.E - Editorial Expert

Julia Eccleshare has a lifetime of working within children’s books as a critic, an editor, an author and a commentator. Apart from her current role with LoveReading4Kids as Editor-at-Large and as one of our editorial expert reviewers, she is Director of the Children's Programme at the Hay Festival and Chair and founder of the Branford Boase Award.

She is also Head of Policy and Engagement for Public Lending Right at the British Library. She is also the author or editor of a number of books including the Rough Guide to Teenage Literature, the fascinating and insightful Beatrix Potter to Harry Potter: Portraits of Children’s Writers, which is a celebration of a century of children’s literature, as well as Treasure Islands: the Woman’s Hour Guide to Children’s Books. She also spent some considerable time as a children’s fiction editor in UK publishing.

Latest Features By Julia Eccleshare M.B.E

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Latest Reviews By Julia Eccleshare M.B.E

On Poetry Street
Brian Moses has a long history of entertaining children with his poems while also inspiring them to write their own. This collection is perfect for doing both. The 52 poems in the collection are designed as one for every week of the year but that doesn’t mean that they need to be read in any order. Dipping into them is the perfect way of showcasing their exciting mixture of rhythms and rhymes, word play and poetry prompts. Mark Elvins witty illustrations brings out the best of the humour while also offering interesting interpretations of some of the ideas.. View Full Review
Old Oak and the Wild Flowers
An animated celebration of the countryside with a powerful message about the importance of preserving nature at its heart, Old Oak and the Wild Flowers will both delight and inform young readers. After a particularly long, hot summer the wildlife in Barley Field is dying and many of the butterflies, bees and all the other insects who have always lived in it are persuaded by Stag Beetle that they should leave the field and find food else were. Luckily, Mr Shield and Old Oak quickly come up with a plan! The birds are on standby to help. Together they bring ... View Full Review
The Frost Goblin
A sparkling, effervescent and heart-warming story full of magic and enchantment that makes winter and especially FROST seem like the greatest fun. Quiet Bertie slips away from his noisy and un-noticing family one cold winter’s night and finds himself immediately drawn into a thrilling goblin adventure. It’s the night of the deepest frost and the goblins are the ones who must make sure that it is properly distributed throughout the whole town. Soon Bertie is in the thick of the magical enterprise scattering frost alongside Ada, his new goblin friend. Goblin magic is transformative. It shows ... View Full Review
Tidemagic: The Many Faces of Ista Flit
A thrilling story of a very special magic and the effects it has. When the tides are low, the magic in Shelwich is subdued. The waves just murmur gently. But, when the tides are high, people disappear unexpectedly, magic runs wild and anything is possible – especially for Ista Flit. Ista is a face-changer. She can transform her looks which helps her to stay hidden and stay safe. It also makes her a perfect detective, a vital characteristic when she sets out on a desperate search for her missing father. Clare Harlow’s Shelwich is a richly imagined and ... View Full Review
Nush and the Stolen Emerald
When Nush swaps clothes with her brother and takes his place on the very special trip that her father, the Maharaja, is taking to visit Queen Victoria at Buckingham Palace she finds herself on an adventure of a lifetime. While the Maharaja's mission is to persuade the Queen of England to curb the activities of the British East India Company, Nush’s mission is more direct: she plans to steal back the precious emerald which the British East India Company stole in the past. Feisty Nush keeps her eyes open at all times but will she ever find what ... View Full Review
Time Travel Twins: The Stone Age Clash
At school they are learning about the Stone Age but, when Grandad lets them use his time machine, they are whizzed right back into the past for real. And the Stone Age is full of scary adventures! Searching for Stonehenge and a sabre-toothed tiger, Scarlett and Thomas encounter woolly mammoths and Neanderthals, their long-ago ancestors. Josh Lacey takes readers right into the past and gives them a great perspective on both sides of history. View Full Review
Red Sky at Night; Poet's Delight
Welsh Children’s Laureate Alex Wharton’s third collection of poems is a delightful celebration and introduction to the natural world. Alex Wharton has always used his poems to capture the special details of the plants and animals which are all around us but which are often overlooked. Here he revels in the rather disgusting characteristics of Mr Slime who he introduces for the first time as well as bringing back Hector the Horrible Hedgehog, whose horrible ways continue to haunt the poet as a ghost! View Full Review
Beautifully created, including the use of clever cut-aways which add storytelling subtlety, the poetic words and evocative pictures of Grey give a powerful insight into how different feelings, including ones of sadness can be defined by colour and how they affect the way the world looks. A child is feeling grey. ‘I am grey today. I just am. I am grey. And grey is when I don’t feel like me’. All around there are colours – sunshine yellow, balloon orange bright and treetop green – but at this moment, the child can see them but not ... View Full Review
First Little Rhymes: Out and About
Children’s Laureate Joseph Coelho’s charming collection of ‘First Little Rhymes’ is a beautifully produced in this board book edition that is just perfect for the very youngest readers. Joseph Coelho’s choice of subjects such as ‘Shopping Adventure’, ‘Weather’, ‘Pigeons’ and ‘The Whoosing Wind’ offer a poetic and uplifting take on some of the everyday experiences of toddlers. Nicola Killen’s colourful illustrations bring them to life perfectly. View Full Review
Jack-Jack, A Dog in Africa
Have you ever wondered what it feels like to be a dog? Now is your chance as Jack-Jack tells his own story – complete with all the yucky bits – giving us humans a fresh look at the doggy world. Jack-Jack lives in Africa where he works in a sanctuary for orphaned chimpanzees. He loves all the wildlife that he lives among especially his best-friend Azuzu, an Egyptian vulture and Hop and Jump the two fleas that live on him! Jack-Jack’s fresh storytelling voice brings Africa alive while also giving insight into how dogs see us humans! This ... View Full Review
Agent Harrier: This Book Will Self-Destruct
Agent Harrier has just been sent a new mission on his bone phone! Can he follow the instructions quickly enough to defuse the bomb, catch the culprit and save everyone from being blown to smithereens? All he has to do is follow the string…Agent Harrier is just the dog for the job! Following his daring deeds and narrow escapes is thrilling! View Full Review
Song of the Dolphin Boy
Award-winning Elizabeth Laird’s touching story about Finn, a misfit boy who is bullied at school, finding peace when he suddenly slips into the sea and finds that he can swim with the dolphins brilliantly captures the problem of how an outsider can find a place where they truly belong. But it is also a powerful story about the terrible threat to the sea and all the creatures that live in it from the casual discarding of plastic waste. When Finn realises that his friends are at risk from all the waste he does everything he can to save ... View Full Review