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Andrea Reece - Editorial Expert

Andrea Reece has spent almost her entire working life in children’s books, first as publisher, latterly as consultant, project manager and critic.

She has reviewed for LoveReading4Kids since 2015, is editor of the leading children’s books review journal Books for Keeps and administrator of the Klaus Flugge Prize and Branford Boase Award.

She is currently children’s programme director of the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival. She spent three years as manager of National Poetry Day and works with CLPE on the CLiPPA (CLPE Children’s Poetry Prize) and with The Full English on the Poetry By Heart national competition. She has judged children’s prizes including the Costa Children’s Book Award and Alligator’s Mouth Award.

Latest Reviews By Andrea Reece

The Dark Portal Book One of The Deptford Mice
Bravo to Pushkin Children’s Books for reissuing Robin Jarvis’s thrilling Deptford Mice series. Though first published some years ago, there’s still little to challenge these books for action, adventure, characters to love or sheer excitement. The Deptford Mice – young Arthur and Audrey, Oswald and their other friends – live happily and peacefully in the skirting boards of an abandoned old house in south London, careful to avoid the Grille that leads into the sewers. The sewers are home to the rats – always hungry for a tender mouse – and it’s ... View Full Review
The Impossible Secret of Lillian Velvet
Anyone who hasn’t yet discovered Jaclyn Moriarty’s Bronte Mettlestone series is advised to do so as quickly as possible. A series of inter-linked though stand-alone fantasy stories set in the neighbouring world of the Kingdoms and Empires – lands like our own world though more old-fashioned and with a lot more magic – they’re ingeniously plotted, full of excitement and humour, and star a brilliantly colourful cast of characters. The surprise gift of a pickle jar full of gold coins somehow opens up this magical world to 10-year-old Lillian Velvet and sets her on ... View Full Review
Help! We Need a Story
With a lively rhyming text that will stand repeated readings and gorgeous illustrations from prize-winning illustrator Mariajo Ilustrajo, here’s a book to put paid to boredom! It’s another day in the jungle and most of the animals are bored, in fact they’re ‘bored, bored, bored’. Artie the macaque isn’t though, he’s drawing, and what’s more, he’s making up a story starring all his friends. In the adventure he creates for them, they’re fighting dragons, robot sharks and even zombie hens! They’... View Full Review
Hide and Seek : a Bletchley Park mystery
The government’s efforts to protect the nation’s art collection from destruction during the second World War is the backdrop to Rhian Tracey’s latest spy story. Ned has accompanied his mother to the village of Manod in Wales, both engaged in the care of hundreds of priceless masterpieces transported there from the nation’s galleries. To keep the artworks safe, they’ll need to win the hearts and minds of locals, while simultaneously keeping word from spreading out beyond the village, especially when it seems there’s a spy in their midst. ... View Full Review
Paper Dragons: The Fight for the Hidden Realm Book 1
Young fans of high-stakes adventure stories set in vividly-described other worlds and starring intrepid young protagonists are being particularly well served right now. Hot on the heels of adventures such as Mia and the Lightcasters, Nevermoor and Skandar and the Unicorn Thief comes Paper Dragons. Paper Dragons stars twelve-year-old Zhi Ging, an orphan, something of an outcast, now training in Hok Woh, home of the immortals, to become immortal herself. It emerges that she has special powers, but they only serve to put her into more danger. With her own life and that of her friends at stake, Zhi Ging ... View Full Review
Bridget Vanderpuff and the Great Airship Robbery
Orphan no longer, Bridget Vanderpuff is ready for more adventures and this time the setting is Paris, reached via an action-packed voyage on the luxurious airship Le Bonbon du Ciel. Up to their usual tricks are the League of Meanies, who somehow manage to steal Mr Vanderpuff’s precious gold whisk. With the help of her friend Stacy and fuelled by the most delicious cakes and pastries it’s possible to imagine. Bridget determines to get it back. Her sleuthing skills get better and better and her adventures are always hugely enjoyable, full of the unexpected and very ... View Full Review
The Day My Dog Got Famous
Meet Ferris Foster, star of what should become a long running and very popular series of books. Ferris lives with his mums, both very into recycling and re-using, his little foster sister Keely, waiting for her forever home, and his dog Aldo. Ferris loves cartooning and has made Aldo, in the guise of Astoundog, a superhero in the comic he sells in the school playground. The fly in the ointment is his next-door neighbour show-offy Destiny, owner of super-talented poodle Princess Foo-Foo. When Ferris somehow ends up betting that his videos of Aldo, who in real-life is distinctly un-superhero-ish, will ... View Full Review
Trains, Boats and Planes
There’s a world full of adventure in this jolly picture book which will prove irresistible to youngsters with a wanderlust! Watch the people board the Flying Scottie Dog steam train and click clack out of the station, through the tunnel and over the bridge. See the passengers on the quay waiting for the SS Seadog, which runs into stormy weather, while overhead soars the aeroplane taking the excited holidaymakers to the sun. The scenes are bright and busy and full of details to delight little children, while a variety of viewpoints – including some great cross-sections – keep ... View Full Review
The Get Well Spell
Morris the unicorn is feeling down and he’s not sure why. He decides that the one thing that will make him better is a spell from a special magic book far away. His journey is packed with wonders, as well as a chance to fully rest and switch off, and before he knows it, Morris is feeling back to his old self. It’s not the magic spell that helped, but meeting new friends, being kind to himself and doing things he enjoys. This message is nicely reinforced by a map of Morris’ journey, pinpointing all ... View Full Review
Can You Get Rainbows in Space? A Colourful Compendium of Space and Science
This fascinating, brightly illustrated book opens readers’ eyes to science through colour. Dr Sheila Kanani begins by explaining what colour is, how we see it and how we see light. An experienced educator, her explanations are clear and inspiring, setting readers up for what is to come. The chapters that follow are divided according to the colours of the rainbow, starting with red of course. Each one is filled with fascinating facts and information. Every wondered why frogs are green, or why hi-vis jackets are yellow? This book will tell you. It continues beyond the rainbow too with infrared ... View Full Review
The Cat Who Couldn't Be Bothered
The cat at the centre of this story can’t be bothered to do anything, anything at all. His cat friends suggest all sorts of activities, from going to a party or exploring, to a trip to Mars and playing the trombone. No matter how exciting or unusual these suggestions, they get the same response every time, ‘I can’t be bothered’. It’s only when one of them asks, ‘What’s up, Greg?’ that things change. Greg is feeling sad: ‘All I want to do is nothing.’ Showing high ... View Full Review
Bronte Tempestra and the Lightning Steeds
All Bronte Tempestra has ever wanted is to be a knight. She dreams of dramatic rescues, of honour and chivalry. So when Sir Sebastian’s School for Squires suddenly announces its opening its doors to girls as well as boys, she’s first to enrol. It’s a bit disappointing that there’s not quite the emphasis on heroic deeds she’d expected, but worse, something is clearly wrong in the Weather Kingdoms – the lightning steeds have gone missing, the thunder trolls are roaming wild and someone is mutating the animals in the forest, ... View Full Review