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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

Pride and Prejudice
Best loved of all Jane Austen’s novels, the classic love story of Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Darcy has thrilled readers ever since its publication. Strong willed Elizabeth Bennett is determined not to be impressed by her family’s wealthy new neighbour, Mr Darcy. Her first impressions of him are that he is proud and arrogant. Despite being renowned for her wit and beauty, Mr Darcy is apparently equally unimpressed by Elizabeth on first acquaintance. But things change between the two of them in one of the most romantic of all courtships. Each book in the Wordsworth Lux ... View Full Review
Anne of Green Gables
How feisty Anne, an orphan who is sent by mistake to Green Gables, enchants Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert and so begins a new life for herself, makes a winning story. Anne has two overwhelming characteristics: she has a tremendous imagination and an ability to chatter on ceaselessly – although she can be completely silent when requested. Through Anne’s chattering readers get to enjoy her insights into life in Avonlea both as it really is and how Anne imagines it to be. Each book in the Wordsworth Collector’s Editions series will make an attractive addition to any ... View Full Review
The Little Prince
A world wide best-seller, The Little Prince was originally published over eighty years ago but it remains as original, imaginative and entertaining as ever. The Little Prince’s plane crashes as he travels from an asteroid far, far away. On his own planet is his true love; before him is the whole world waiting to be explored. As he travels to six other planets questioning all he sees, the Little Prince leads readers on a magical journey of discovery. A remarkable celebration of the value of questions and the power of wonder, The Little Prince, ... View Full Review
Leila and the Blue Fox
Leila follows the Blue Fox on an extraordinary journey across the Arctic circle. For the Blue Fox the journey is all about her survival. For Leila, the journey is a painful but ultimately triumphant way of finding her mother. Millwood Hargrave’s spare story telling allows the complications of both human and fox life to be revealed gently but with great truth. The emotional mood of her story is perfectly matched by Tom de Freston’s beautiful and atmospheric illustrations. View Full Review
What You Need to Be Warm
Award winning author and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Neil Gaiman saw winter coming and wanted to draw attention to the struggle of many displaced families to keep warm. Asking for memories of being warm, Gaiman received thousands of replies: A baked potato; a blanket; iron radiators: thick gloves; a smile; a kind word and many many more. He turned them into a beautiful poem and invited some of the best illustrators in the world to create images to match the words. The result is a powerful and beautiful book that readers of all ages will return to again and again. View Full Review
The Girl Who Became a Fish
Ita is adjusting to living in the new town she has just moved into with her family. There are many things she is uncertain or even afraid of, including that her family seems to be slipping away from her life. One of her biggest fear is of water but, while exploring on her way home from school, she finds a secret river and discovers something very magical about herself. Ita is stronger and more resourceful than she thinks! View Full Review
Giraffe and a Half
Giraffe is different to look at. She has six legs and 3 ears. Both are useful and she is happy having extra legs for crunching through leaves and extra ears for listening to birdsong. But she is not happy that when she is out playing with other animals they make her feel an outsider. Everything changes when the seeker in a game of hide-and-seek played by an exuberant flock of beautifully multi-coloured birds discovers her hiding behind a tree. Just as Giraffe is a giraffe and a half so the bird is a bird and a half. She has three wings ... View Full Review
Once Upon A Silent Night
Appealing to all, this timeless retelling of the nativity story focuses on the role the animals, the trees, the stones and chalk and clay, and the stars and the moon all played in the story of the baby born in a stable because there was no room in the inn. The simple text and atmospheric illustrations perfectly the mood of a wintery night during which something very special happened. View Full Review
There’s magic a-plently when the four ‘Belle’ children, descendants of the Glassborn family, arrive at their new home, Fairykeep Cottage. When a friendly robin guides Acton, the youngest of the four, to a key in the snowy graveyard next door to the house he swiftly uses it to unlock the door into Fairyland. Fairyland is certainly magical but it is also full of danger! Acton is immediately kidnapped and it takes all the courage and ingenuity of his siblings to overcome the Fairy Queen and get him back. Peter Bunzl’s sure storytelling touch makes ... View Full Review
Size Wise
Explore the very varied sizes of some of the biggest and the smallest things in the natural world through the many life-size illustrations in this book. These include the tiny box jellyfish and pygmy squid among those on the small side and a massive Siberian tiger claw which gives a sense of the scale of the whole animal. Where a full size illustration is not possible there is useful guidance on how to magnify it up or down. Matching the illustrations are brief explanatory texts making the whole a good source of easy to understand, bite-size information. View Full Review
Stubby: A True Story of Friendship
Based on the true American story from World War One the atmospheric illustrations and simple text of Stubby gives a moving insight into the horrors of the war as seen through  the story of the exceptional contribution of a stray dog. When Stubby, a little dog with no home of his own, wanders into an army training camp he quickly becomes a much loved mascot for the young soldiers. Taken overseas to the battlefields, he shows incredible bravery and loyalty, including barking a warning to the soldiers when he can smell the deadly poisonous gas and alerting his soldiers ... View Full Review
Home for Grace
Grace and Luna her cat live in a shop doorway. They have only a few possessions but each one tells a story about their past and is very precious. Stopping to talk on their way to and from school, Jess and her mother make friends with Grace and Luna. They swap gifts and stories and Jess learns of the home that Grace had to leave and the long struggle to find a safe country in which to build a new home. When the snow comes and the days get cold Jess worries about what will happen to Grace and Luna. ... View Full Review