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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

Readers will be left in no doubt that they matter after reading this beautiful, cleverly constructed story. The first image is of a little girl gazing down a microscope at ‘the small stuff too small to see.’ From there, the story moves through time, switching scale too from early ocean life – comically serious looking – to dinosaurs. The appearance of a blazing meteorite sends the story away from Earth up into space where an astronaut is thinking about her little boy, who is seen at the window of an apartment block. All are told that ... View Full Review
Take one box – a cereal box for example – and this craft ideas book, and get creating! Thanks to a set of recycled plastic corners just right for joining up card (and neatly contained in a storage compartment) with clear, easy to follow instructions, kids will be able to transform the box into any one of 20 different toys. Once they have got to grips with the easier creations including a dinosaur, a rocket and a fabulous looking car they can challenge themselves with the trickier space helmet or unicorn mask. Like all the best ideas it’s really ... View Full Review
Jeanne Willis is one of our funniest writers for children, but she can do poignancy and tenderness with equal skill. Hom is the story of a shipwreck. A young boy is washed up on a desert island and there discovers Hom, a peace-loving hairy little creature, the last of his kind. The two become best of friends, playing and laughing together; after all, as the boy says, ‘We’re much more alike than different.’ When the chance of escape from the island comes, the boy decides not to take it, in case the arrival of bigger people ... View Full Review
Forget Midsomer, Muddlemoor Village is a proper crime hotspot, especially with the annual Great Village Bake Off approaching.  Joe is there for the holidays staying at his Granny’s and cousins Tom and Pip are too. The three children are alert for any kind of suspicious activity and have always suspected granny’s neighbour, former MI6 spy (so she says) Anthea and when Granny’s secret recipe for chocolate fudge layer cake goes missing, they’re immediately on the case. Ruth Doyle has a keen understanding of how children see the world, and an excellent ... View Full Review
First published over 150 years ago, Darwin’s On the Origin of Species still shapes how we see the world, and his words and theories are fascinating for young people. This handsomely illustrated book clearly explains Darwin’s discoveries and what they revealed in a way that even young children will follow and understand. It’s divided into short, manageable sections, each examining and elucidating Darwin’s ideas on selection and evolution, the final pages bringing us right up to date and outlining what we can do now thanks to modern discoveries and technology. Beautiful to look ... View Full Review
Mikey the T.rex has a plate of donuts and he really doesn’t want to share them. But with each turn of the page, there’s one donut missing. Who is taking Mikey’s donuts? Uh oh, he thinks it’s YOU! Mikey’s fury is very entertaining and little children will love the thrill of turning the page to discover his reaction when yet another donut has gone missing. Fortunately, all ends in smiles, with donuts all round, and a lesson in good manners as well. This will be great fun to share &... View Full Review
Cookie is one of those characters who have the best intentions, but just can’t help getting into scrapes and mix ups, and readers will love her all the more for it.  In this new adventure, her plans for a plastic-free birthday party are overtaken by circumstances and before we know it, she’s accidentally become best friends with Suzie Ashby, got a detention, upset her friend Jake, and handed over £25 to take part in Woodburn Primary’s very own F Factor, which turns out to be not what she expected at all.  Cookie ... View Full Review
This comic action adventure stars nine-year-old Max, who has the unusual ability to turn into an enormous, hairy monster whenever he burps. You can imagine how much fun that is, though it’s unfortunate that if he sneezes he turns back into a boy, frequently a boy dressed only in his underpants at that (superhero problems, heh). With the encouragement of his parents – changing into a  monster, bat or wolf isn’t considered unusual at all where Max’s mum is from – Max is determined to make doing good and helping people his modus ... View Full Review
10-year-old Opie Jones is smart, but otherwise pretty ordinary.  She doesn’t much enjoy her school, St Francis of Assisi, until seriously cool Jackson takes her under his wing anyway. But there is one really remarkable thing about Opie and that is she can read animals’ minds and communicate with them. Before you can say, ‘Call Chris Packham’, she’s working with a team of secret superheroes to thwart a dastardly villain whose plans for domination include closing down St Francis by forcing its pupils to misbehave, via telepathy. The story that follows is ... View Full Review
Martha Mumford’s charming little bunnies are becoming familiar figures in children’s books and this is the third book in which they star. Here they skip out together on the hunt for Easter eggs – yum, yum! Young readers can help the bunnies find the eggs which are hidden under flaps, but the book is full of treats. The nursery-rhyme-style text will have everyone joining in and counting along as the eggs are discovered, but every page is a lively delight. The bunnies cross streams and fields, visit the fun fair and make Easter garlands. There is ... View Full Review
Best mates Connor and Ethan think their dreams have come true when they get to spend their summer holidays on Starville, a gigantic space station. They’re selling ice cream for Ethan’s uncle Nick but what the two really want to be is detectives. Well, before you can say purple tufted grotsnobbler, the boys are chasing villains and even more exciting, working to save Starville when someone sets it on a course to smash into the moon. The story zips along as fast as their borrowed hover-scooter and you won’t believe who’s the ... View Full Review
A little mole sets out to dig the biggest hole ever in an attempt to follow her dreams and prove how special she is. Things don’t go well. First, she crashes through a fox’s ceiling, then she spoils a hedgehog’s lawn, before causing a young rabbit to lose his kite. But with encouragement from a friendly otter, Little Mole carries on digging and suddenly, unexpectedly, and against all the odds, she makes everything right. It turns out her very special talent is helping her friends. It’s a lovely message, and one that ... View Full Review