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Julia Eccleshare M.B.E - Editorial Expert

About Julia Eccleshare M.B.E

Julia Eccleshare has spent her working life to date 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 Head of Policy at the Public Lending Right , involved with a number of major literary awards and Director of the Children's Programme at the Hay Festival.

She has co-edited and is the author 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.

She has been a selector to the Children’s Books of the Year, a guide to the best books published annually, a member of the advisory board of a children’s book club and for some while was children’s books editor of The Bookseller. In addition, she regularly appears as a judge or Chair of judges on some of the major children’s book prizes.

Latest Reviews By Julia Eccleshare M.B.E

There’s huge fun to be had in this gloriously interactive book which is a spur to imaginative play as well as a great introduction to familiar colours and shapes. A singing button, a tickle button and many more. All young readers will be delighted by the invitation to press each one. Once they have done so many possibilities open up as they head off into whatever invention they choose to imagine. Sally Nicholls uses her word carefully and with pleasing simplicity and Beth Woollvin’s illustrations add special details of their own. View Full Review
Deservedly a modern classic, this action packed and hilarious picture book brings all kinds of traditional – and not so traditional! – Christmas excitement vividly to life. Like everyone else, the mice are eager to have a big Christmas party but, without money, it is hard to see what they can do. As ever, Arthur and Humphrey come up with some inventive ideas but nothing, especially raffling off Sampson the Cat, goes exactly according to plan! An exciting encounter with various Father Christmases, irate shoppers in the toy shop and more have unexpected results which leave the mice with a ... View Full Review
Toddlers will love this delightfully entertaining but yucky pop-up (or plop up!) book but perhaps parents will enjoy it a little less although the humour is brilliantly portrayed in it. It’s packed full of poos that plop, drop, splish, splosh and pop off the page. Poor mole is dumped on by someone but he doesn’t know who, so he sets of on a journey to find out. A timeless classic that is also available in paperback but this pop-up hardback edition definitely takes top spot for its novelty.   View Full Review
Nature is full of record-breaking adventures which are brought to life in the detailed and dramatic illustrations that fill every inch of the large scale book. Global in its reach, it is a gold mine of information as it takes readers on a world tour of astonishing achievements. There’s the fastest land animal – the cheetah from Botswana, the hottest place on Earth – Ethiopia, The Longest-erupting Volcano – Italy and many more. Across thirty gloriously bold spreads readers will discover wonderful and surprising facts about all kinds of aspects of the planet. View Full Review
Snowman, snow woman, snowperson? Best-selling illustrator David McKee gives the magic of building a someone out of snow a new twist in this witty, wintry picture book. Waking up to snow, Rupert tells his dad and then his mum that he is going to build a snowman. Why snowman, they ask? Why not a snowperson? But when Kate says she’s building a snow woman both mum and dad think that’s great. But what can Rupert and Kate do when the snow man and snow woman run off together? Luckily they come up with a great solution ... View Full Review
Everything that is wonderful about Christmas (and some things that aren’t!) is thrillingly spun about in this deliciously magical and madcap adventure. Homeless Blanche has never had any real Christmas but when the mysterious Rinki gives her a magical bauble and some mince pies on Christmas Day everything changes. Rinki and Blanche are firm friends forever and together they are about to rewrite the Santa story. Santa Claus, elf magic, delicious Christmas food and drink, and a wonderful sleigh ride are all thrown into the mix as a very merry Christmas for all – except the sinister Mr ... View Full Review
Award-winning storyteller Philip Pullman’s gripping historical adventure stories for younger readers about the New Cut Gang are attractively published in this handsome hardback. Set in the streets of London in 1894 the two stories, 'Thunderbolt’s Waxwork' and 'The Glass-Fitter’s Ball', tell how the gang - Benny, Thunderbolt, Bridie and the Peretti twins – helped just a little by the famous detective Sexton Blake - get to the bottom of who is producing the counterfeit sixpences and tackle the silver that goes missing from the Worshipful Company of Gas Fitters.   View Full Review
In the best traditions of mythology, The Three Wishes is a tough but ultimately lyrical version of the story that explains how Father Christmas can visit so many children in one night and why he has a red coat. Set long ago in a country that is far off in the frozen north where there is a strong community of families who live by hunting and foraging while their children look after the reindeer, it tells how a young boy, lost in deep snow in the forest, is saved from death by finding a mysterious cave full of magic and ... View Full Review
Time travelling with Alex and Ruby is always the greatest fun. This time this time they fall through Aunt Joanna’s magic mirror and find themselves about to celebrate Christmas in 1873. There’s lots to learn about just what a Victorian Christmas might be like including cutting down your own Christmas tree from the wood and playing a completely different kind of charades. And there is also an exciting family adventure as Ruby uses her modern knowledge, gleaned on a school trip, to prevent Cousin Edith being sent to a terrible school where is might die! Sally Nicholls ... View Full Review
It's a welcome return of a classic story of loyalty and bravery at the time of the Romans. Brought up the stories of his father’s heroism and speculation about how he and his 5,000 soldiers disappeared without trace, Marcus sets out to try to unravel the mystery. His journey is full of danger and emotion which makes this both a thrilling adventure and a thoughtful story about one boy's search for his missing father. You can find more books on The Romans and Roman Britain on our LoveReading4Schools Reading List. View Full Review
Swirling magic, cascading invention and a welter of invented folklore traditions propel this headlong fairy tale story from its opening moments. Brought up in huge castle that was once home to her Royal relatives, and much influenced by her grandmother who is a great believer in old magic, Olia has always known that she also has the gift of believing in magic and so making it work. When the old palace is under threat from a violent force, it is Olia who must find the magical doorway that will take her into another land. Olia needs courage, imagination and the ... View Full Review
Perfect for all readers who love the world of ballet, A Dancer’s Dream is an inspiring story of a Stana, a young student at the Imperial Ballet School in St Petersburg, who is chosen to dance the role of Clara on the very first night that the new ballet, The Nutcracker Suite, is performed. Stana’s luck in being picked for the part and how much it matters to her is cleverly interwoven to a touching family story about her very ill sister. Drawing on the true story of the origins of the now much-loved Nutcracker Suite ... View Full Review