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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

Poppy Anne Field loves ants and spiders and ladybirds and butterflies and dragonflies. Watching them for hours while deep in the countryside she feels entirely at home in their company. But when she is with people, she is overcome with shyness and does everything she can to blend into the scenery – rather as her beloved insects do to keep themselves safe. How Poppy’s love of nature helps her to overcome her shyness is conveyed gently and in a way that will reassure all those who are equally shy. View Full Review
Catherine Doyle brilliantly weaves together magic and mythology and friendship and weather in a story that blows the reader along with the Storm Keepers themselves. Can Fionn Boyle keep Arranmore safe from the Morrigan and her brothers? Will the magic in the last candle be enough? Catherine Doyle is a gifted story teller. While she conjures up enough terrifying dark moments as the battle against the forces of darkness rage to give a real sense of fear she is also warm hearted and has the lightest of touches. The result is the creation of a magical world that will captivate ... View Full Review
Filled with curious and intriguing illustrations and with an original text filled with unusual and fascinating facts, this handsome, large format picture book takes a completely new look at vegetables. Accompanying each vegetable, or sometimes a pair of vegetables as with a carrot and a parsnip which are similar although they are described as ‘an odd couple’, there is an elegant text telling something of the history of how each one comes to be on our tables, something of how each one grows and something about the traditions about how we eat them. The delights in this book ... View Full Review
Thinking that her daughter Rabunzel’s very, very long ears would make her the object of too much attention from the hungry-eyed creatures that lurk in the deep, dark forest, Mrs Rabbit locks her up high in a tall, tall tree. Rabunzel is bored stiff in her prison and, despite all her mother’s best intentions, it is not long before her amazing ears attract attention. While it is Flash Harry the Hare who releases Rabunzel it is soon clear that she needs no champion: her ears prove to the ultimate weapons against all comers!  View Full Review
Imogen’s life at home is not all perfect so it’s no surprise that she follows the strange silver moth that arrives from nowhere – even when it leads her through a door in a tree! And there’s no stopping her little sister Marie from following…Like any magic opening, the door leads the two girls into an extraordinary world where almost anything can – and will – happen! As in the best traditions of children’s stories, Imogen and Marie meet a wealth of larger-than-life characters including a spoiled prince and a ... View Full Review
Mummy Owl does everything she can to make sure Little Owl is all ready for bed. She’s read a bedtime story – and then one more on the promise that Little Owl will settle afterwards.  And she’s tucked Little Owl in with all his favourite things. But Little Owl can’t sleep because it is too dark, too noisy and because he is too excited about seeing his Grandma and Grandpa Owl. Mummy Owl uses all her best powers of invention and story telling to make sure Little Owl can go to sleep! View Full Review
A postcard-sized version of Debi Gliori's bestselling book. Once upon a time…best-selling illustrator Debi Gliori tells a witty story about cats poking fun at fame and asking if it really has any merit. All the towns on Mull have cats with special attributes, such as being able to sing or fish or being specially soft. As a result, the tourists flock to see them. But one place had no special cats. In Tobermory the cats are just plain ordinary cats and soon no one wants to visit at all. But one ginger cat decided to change all of ... View Full Review
What happens when Mum and Dad can no longer rely on technology to keep them informed? Following a nationwide collapse in everything technical, Stella’s family sets off to visit Grandma on the other side of the country because they can’t reach her on Skype. It’s a road trip with a difference – no phones, no sat nav, no paying for a meal with a credit card. Stella makes a great narrator as she watches her father, shorn of his usual helping tools, navigate this new situation. In doing so she lightly reveals the pitfalls ... View Full Review
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 ... View Full Review
This is one of the best-loved family stories of all the classics. When Roberta, Peter and Phyillis’s father is arrested their life is turned upside down. The children move to the country and the railway that runs nearby becomes their greatest source of adventure. One day, they come up with a brilliant plan to make use of the friends they’ve made through the train to prove their father’s innocence and bring him back safely. Will it work? A book to treasure and return to again and again and features the complete and unabridged text. ... View Full Review
Mowgli, the little boy brought up in the jungle with the wolves, is one of the best-loved characters of fiction. His friends - and enemies – among the jungle animals include Baloo the sloth bear, Bagheera the panther, and Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, the mongoose are all wonderful characters too and Rudyard Kipling’s imagining of the jungle provides a thoughtful insight into that very special habitat. Each book in the Wordsworth Collector’s Editions series will make an attractive addition to any home or school library. Featuring stylish cover illustrations that are at once classic and contemporary, gleaming gold foil, ... View Full Review
The four sisters, each with a striking and strong character, between them represent any girls growing up at any time. Meg, the eldest, is sixteen and very pretty; fifteen year old Jo is a tomboy who loves reading; delicate, thirteen year old Beth plays the piano beautifully while twelve year old Amy, is pretty but a little bit selfish and indulged. How their sisters fill their time with creative activities and good work and how they all fall in love in their different ways with the boy next door is full of period charm as well as being totally topical ... View Full Review
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