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

What a very special picture book this is, strikingly illustrated by the super-talented Maisie Paradise Shearring and with a story that is utterly child-centred while still giving parents lots to think about. It opens in a playground, a familiar scene, where a mother tells her child to go and play with the little boy in the sandpit. Children neither want nor need to be told how to play, or who to play with, as her son makes clear in no uncertain terms. After all, the boy in the sandpit may be a monster in disguise. A fabulous imaginary adventure follows, ... View Full Review
Young readers will very much enjoy Holly Webb’s typically touching new story, in which a mischievous cat works magic across the generations. Bel is staying with her grandma in her new home, an old house converted into flats for the elderly. Sneaking out early to enjoy an unexpected snowfall, she befriends a cheeky white cat but is surprised when she meets his owner, a young girl the same age as herself, but very different. In fact Bel has travelled back in time and because of her magical meeting with Snow and Charlotte, a young girl’s life ... View Full Review
There are all sorts of different animals in this collection of new stories by favourite children's authors and lots of different settings for their adventures; young readers will love them all. Linda Chapman's opening story features snow leopards in Mongolia, while Candy Gourlay's is all about pandas in China. Michael Broad describes a special Christmas truce between moose and wolves, while closer to home, Leila Rasheed sprinkles a bit of Christmas magic over the story of a kitten finding a new home.  Whether funny, surprising, exciting or thought-provoking, each story is perfectly told. Just the thing to go under ... View Full Review
Take the very young on a trip into the high mountains in this excellent first information book. Each page features a stunning pop-up depicting one of the animals native to the mountains, from wolf to bear, from Bald Eagle to a Rainbow Trout, particularly beautiful and dramatic in rich reds and greens.  The animals are introduced via lines of verse while elsewhere on the page short lines of text convey interesting and intriguing facts. The pop-ups are not only beautiful but sturdy enough to stand repeated readings, and this is a book to inspire the very young. View Full Review
This is an excellent first information book: full of facts that will intrigue the very young and spark their imagination. Each page features a different wild animal, native to the savannah, as a sturdy pop-up that will surprise and delight with each reading. We meet and learn about lions, giraffes, hippos, meerkats and elephants as well as about their shared habitat. The animals are captured in lines of rhyming text, with extra lines providing additional factual information. The illustrations are bold and eye-catching, and it all adds up to an excellent package. View Full Review
Susin Nielsen’s new novel features unforgettable central characters, and is beautifully written; her ear for dialogue – young teen to teen, young teen to parent, young teen to emergency services – pitch perfect.  Despite being a story of homelessness and poverty, it will leave readers cheered and thoroughly reassured about the strength and resilience of the human spirit. Twelve-year old Felix lives with his mother Astrid, only rarely seeing his dad. Astrid has a flexible attitude to truth and Felix has developed a chart to measure the lies she tells as they navigate their lives. These range ... View Full Review
Kate Pankhurst inspires thousands of young readers with her books about the fantastically great women who made history. This book reunites us with those women, including astronaut Valentina Tereshkova, dancer Josephine Baker, and code breaker Noor Inayat Khan – and encourages readers to think more about them while they complete some fun and creative write in activities.  There are writing and drawing tasks, a set of postcards to send to the great people in your life, and the book concludes by asking how you will make history, inviting readers to make a list of their own hopes and dreams ... View Full Review
Readers first met Louisiana Elefante in Kate DiCamillo’s unforgettable Raymie Nightingale, now she has her own story, and what a tale it is.  Louisiana has always believed that her parents were high wire stars, killed in an accident when she was very young, but driven by terrible toothache and an urge to come to terms with her own past, her granny suddenly reveals that everything Louisiana knows about her life is a lie. Abandoned in a motel miles from her old home in Florida, Louisiana is left to decide who she wants to be. She is befriended ... View Full Review
A bad mood gives rise to a really joyous picture book.  Duck is cross and out of sorts. She can’t paddle in the pond because it’s dry and she’s got no-one to play with.  The other animals invite her to play with them but by then she’s really sulking, so deep in her bad mood – represented by an ever-growing black cloud over her head – that she grumps at them all, spreading her tetchiness. Then finally the black cloud bursts and all the animals, led by Duck, come together ... View Full Review
Amy Wilson continues to make her mark as an author of sparklingly original fantasy adventures for the young, and Snowglobe makes magical reading. Clementine’s mother disappeared when she was just two, and now ten years later, Clem is a shy, lonely girl, bullied at school for some unpindownable otherness. Wandering alone through the small town where she and her father live, she discovers a strange old house, and in it an even stranger woman. In rooms filled with enchanted snowglobes Clem makes a friend, and is offered the chance to bring back her mother too, if she is ... View Full Review
As much a game as a book, this is lots of fun to read, and lots of fun to look at too. Two little children, a boy and a girl, are all dressed up and ready to go trick or treating.  The meet all sorts of creatures – a creepy, sleepy spider, a naughty, warty toad, a wizard’s noisy owl and a sliding, gliding ghost.  Young readers can join in as the growing list is repeated on each page, and there’s a super surprise ending too.  With its engaging text and gorgeous illustrations ... View Full Review
Fizzing with style, energy and charm here’s a new adventure for little witches Tiga and Fluffanora and it proves to be their most testing yet! Idabelle Bat has invited them to join The Points, here super-cool and exclusive gang – but why? The one thing they know about Idabelle is that she is NOT to be trusted … As ever the story zips along as though on fairy wings, sprinkled with fashion and fun, and these gorgeous little books are hard to beat for style and substance. Readers who like Tiga and Fluffanora will also enjoy the Amelia ... View Full Review

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