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Andrea Reece - Editorial Expert

About Andrea Reece

Andrea Reece has spent all her working life in children’s books. Her first job was at Transworld Publishers back in the 1980s where, amongst other things, she ran the fan club for readers of the smash hit teen series Sweet Dreams.

She went on to work for other children’s publishers, large and small, and with authors including David Almond, Nick Butterworth, Mick Inkpen and Michael Morpurgo. In 2005 she set up children’s independent Catnip Publishing Ltd., publishing Richard and Judy favourite Scaredy Squirrel in the process, and went on to run Books for Keeps, the children’s books journal.

She is very used to odd looks from people on trains and buses who see her reading children’s books, and is still as excited as ever to discover a new children’s author. Apart from being one of the Lovereading4kids editorial experts alongside Julia Eccleshare she is also director of the children’s and young people’s programme of the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival.

Latest Reviews By Andrea Reece

Prepare to meet some of the world’s most amazing animals, each of them adapted to survive in ways that are marvellous but, according to the cheeky narrator of this unusual information book, a bit ridiculous. Take the Mexican Mole Lizard for example, which looks like a long pink worm except that it has a pair of mole-like forelegs; weird, but great for digging beneath the sands of Central America. There are lots more wonderful creatures too from the macaroni penguin to the very cute but venomous pygmy slow loris. Each animal is illustrated in colour, the illustrations accompanied ... View Full Review
Eva Ibbotson’s Journey to the River Sea is the book that for many will be the most memorable of all the books they read as a child. Like Journey to the River Sea, A Company of Swans is set in the Amazon jungle, and is another book to touch the heart. Oppressed by her mean-spirited father and aunt, teenager Harriet is finally driven to rebel and runs away with a troupe of Russian ballerinas, all the way to the city of Manaus. There she falls in love with another runaway, the handsome Rom. ... View Full Review
What’s going on at Castle Sideways? First a band of gnomes launch an attack – thwarted by our hero young Knight Sir Louis – then a handsome squire arrives with news of more trouble: apparently the Wild Forest Ogres of Tumblin Klatterbang are also on their way and planning an attack. Time for Knight Sir Louis to step up again, but oh dear, King Burt the Not Bad has banished his knight and appointed the not-quite-as-charming-as-he-seems Squire now Knight Sir Lyme in his place. With the slimy Sir Lyme ensconced in the palace and feeding everyone his seemingly ... View Full Review
Half human, half vampire, Isadora Moon is 100% brilliant, especially for those growing in reading confidence. In this story, she’s puzzling about what to do for her class space project so joins her vampire dad for some stargazing. They notice two bright lights falling from the sky and go out to find them, only to discover that the lights they saw weren’t shooting stars but Nova, a Glow Sprite, and her cheeky moon kitten, Pluto, who’s now lost. Can Isadora find Pluto before Nova’s parents notice they’re missing? Readers will wish ... View Full Review
Holly Webb is one of our best-loved writers and no wonder. Her books mix adventure, family, friends and animals, are perfectly pitched for their audience and always rewarding reading. This story is set on the river Thames where Lissa is spending the summer holidays with her dad on his new houseboat. All starts well and she’s enjoying life onboard until her dad gets caught up in a new project at work. Feeling lonely and neglected she spots a young seal, apparently lost and in danger. Lissa is determined to help but in fact Pup, as she names the ... View Full Review
Grannies are special, everyone knows that, whether you call yours granny, nana, oma, bibi or abuela, and in this book their grandchildren celebrate them in all their crowning glories. We meet grannies with pets and with jewels, and grannies who make speeches; there are grans who give awards and yes, ones who wear crowns. The accompanying illustrations are full of life and humour, providing delightfully different descriptions to the words. The grannies look gorgeous, each and every one, and it's a book that puts family and love absolutely on a throne. View Full Review
Little Dinah the diplodocus is a whizz at everything – you name it, she nails it, from singing to spelling, baking to ballet. She’s a great friend too, always cheering everyone on and providing help with it’s needed. But then Dinah enters a surfing competition and finally discovers something she can’t dino-do. Time for her friends to give her a big dino-cuddle and before you know it, she’s back on the board again showing us all how it’s dino-done, ie. by picking yourself up and having fun. It’s ... View Full Review
Luke, the hero of this action-packed, atmospheric fantasy, is one of hundreds of children forced to work shovelling coal in a bombed-out Battersea Power Station, only the hope of winning an Amber Ticket to freedom keeping him going. Then he meets a ghost, Alma, trapped in one of the power station’s pipes who reveals that Luke himself is actually half-ghost, with some very special powers. As he learns more about himself, Luke discovers too what Tabatha Margate, the evil owner of the power station, has planned for her young workers, and why. He’s got to stop ... View Full Review
Little children just need to use their imagination to find themselves driving the train in this fun and educational picture book. First it’s time to put on the uniform, all labelled, then to count the carriages of your train, and name all the parts. The track is clear ahead as we drive off, pulling into the first station where passengers are waiting. Each page is full of the views and images that wannabe train drivers will love and so much is named and labelled providing lots of opportunities for learning. Throughout readers are encouraged to count things, identify ... View Full Review
This is the latest in a series of books by Steve Cole which let readers see the world through the eyes of young people the same age as them but living very different lives. Hanh’s family were conned into allowing her to travel to Hanoi, ostensibly for a job as a shop assistant. Instead, she’s forced to work in a sweatshop making clothes for Western fashion outlets. Little more than slaves, she and other young girls work long hours in horrible, dangerous conditions, locked in at night and beaten by guards if they complain. It’... View Full Review
When Martha invites us into her wonderful world, she’s too small for readers to see. That’s because the first spread in the book is an illustration of the universe. We zoom in tighter and tighter, as Martha maps out the solar system for us, then Earth, her city, her street until finally we see inside her bedroom and her head. All the way through, Martha is the cheeriest of guides, her maps and cut outs labelled to show us all the most important and interesting things. It’s lovely to look at and Martha’... View Full Review
Fresh from his success interviewing a tiger and other clawed beasts, in the book of that name, Andy Seed adapts his tranimalator into a time machine and heads into history to put searching questions to the likes of Cleopatra, Boudica, Harald Bluetooth and Akbar the Great. These famous rulers might be nonplussed to find a nosy interviewer from the future turning up with a microphone, but they answer his questions honestly and even put up with his terrible jokes. It’s lots of fun, but packed full of facts and historical information too. There are lively black and white ... View Full Review