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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

Lucky readers – here’s a return to Big Sky Mountain to spend time with Rosa and Grandma Nan. Rosa is now very much at home there and not only is her grandma building her a log cabin of her very own, but she has lots of friends among the animals who live in the surrounding fields and forests. All the animals though are frightened of the wolves, even new arrivals, a group of huge bison. When Rosa finds a lost wolf cub, can she persuade them to help her reunite the little creature with its lost family? Mixing ... View Full Review
Every year, our narrator, a young child, spends the summer at Grandad’s cottage. They have lots of fun, but the very best thing is when Grandad opens up his photo albums and shares stories of all the places he visited with Gramps, travelling in their brightly painted campervan. We can see that Grandad is sad with Gramps gone, and the child comes up with a wonderful idea. Together, the two of them fix up the van and head off for a trip to the sea. It’s just what Gramps would have wanted! This is a warm ... View Full Review
Welcome to the city of Rivven, where young Tomás works alongside his father, a blacksmith. The people of the region used to be friends with dragons, but that was many years ago and all the dragons vanished after the ‘Dragon Storm’. It’s while working in the forge that Tomás suddenly sees a fierce face in the fire. What could it be, and why is it calling on him to be ready? Tomás you see, is a dragonseer, and his life is about to change in the most wonderful way possible. ... View Full Review
‘Dream big, little one’ is the message in this beautiful picture book, and it offers so many dreams to follow. They are wild, liberating and oh, so inspiring, invitations to be a star-gazer, trail-blazer; a fierce freedom-leader, a bold self-believer; a keeper of kindness and champion of change. The illustrations – vibrant and lively in a rich, warm palette – show young girls exploring the world and vividly express the hopes and joy contained in the text. Striking to look at and exhilarating to read aloud, this is very special and a lovely book to give to ... View Full Review
Dido, the daring charioteer, won readers’ hearts in Race to the Death, in which she defied the rules to compete in the Circus Maximus, though disguised as a boy, escaping the wrath of Caligula to race another day with her horse Porcellus. Their second outing is just as thrilling. Still hiding from the emperor and now with a price on her head, Dido is living with her uncle in Utica, on the coast of North Africa. She and Porcellus are lying as low as they can to avoid the bounty hunters on their trail, but racing is in their ... View Full Review
We all have feelings and, as parents, it’s very important to discuss or explain them to young children. Katie Abey’s book is an excellent means to doing just that. Over bright, lively and inviting double page spreads, a host of friendly animals demonstrate different feelings, the ones that make us feel good and those that do the opposite. Short accompanying text explains what’s happening and asks questions, ‘when do you feel calm?’ or ‘do you sometimes feel shy?’ It’s a simple but clever way to open relaxed and ... View Full Review
What a charming, and wonderfully practical how-to book this is. A junior ballerina provides all sorts of advice and information to her peers, from how to style your hair in a bun (NB it’s quite hard if you’ve recently cut it yourself), to the first steps you’ll learn, to what your teacher means by straight legs. It’s no-nonsense stuff, second position is dismissed as ‘boring’, though fourth position gets the thumbs up, and she warns us not to treat the barre as monkey bars, unless you want to spend time ... View Full Review
Cordelia Hatmaker’s family have been making magical hats by Royal Appointment for generations, weaving emotions and states of mind in with the carefully chosen feathers and furbelows. With the country teetering on the brink of war with France, they and the other Maker guilds are called on to create a wardrobe to promote peace. Cordelia knows how crucial the work is – her father is missing at sea, presumed dead, and she doesn’t want any other young people to feel the same grief. But someone seems to be using Maker enchantments to stir up hatred and ... View Full Review
Inventors don’t come much more inventive than young Leonora Bolt. In her home on remote Crabby Island, shared with her otter Twitchy, eccentric housekeeper Mildred and (occasionally) with her nasty Uncle Lester, Leonora comes up with all sorts of amazing gadgets and most astonishing of all is the Switcheroo, which can make objects swap places, via a nifty bit of quantum computing. Despite her brilliance, Leonora has never yet left the island and Uncle Luther seems determined to keep it that way. When a boy called Jack is washed up though, Leonora has to help and in the ... View Full Review
This is the third book about Stanley Bradshaw and his classmates in 4B, also known as ‘LITERALLY the worst class in the world’ by their headmistress Mrs Bottomley-Blunt. Once again, Stanley and co indulge in the sort of behaviour that tests their teacher Mr Nidgett to the limit, whether dealing with an outbreak of nits (a great way of being sent home as Stanley and his friend Manjit see it, thereby escaping Maths Test Tuesday) or facing the terrible dares set by new girl Bridget Pickersgill. By the end of the book, Mrs Bottomley-Blunt’s laminated list ... View Full Review
Richly rewarding for 7-year-olds to enjoy by themselves, and a joy to read aloud to 5+ year-olds, Iona Rangeley’s Einstein the Penguin debut is packed with comic capers, compassion and relatable family dynamics as it tells a wonderfully whimsical tale of an attempt to reunite a pair of flightless feathered friends. The adventure begins when the Stewart family decide to stave off December chills with a visit to London Zoo and find themselves drawn to a little penguin. Later that evening, said penguin (who turns out to be called Einstein) turns up at their front door with a rucksack. ... View Full Review
Tanya Landman’s new story is a dream-come-true adventure that will thrill young horse lovers. Meg lives for her weekly riding lessons and dreams of owning a pony, though she knows that her parents could never afford the cost. I was in exactly that situation as a child and there’ll be many thousands of young girls (and maybe some boys) who’ll identify with Meg too, all of them longing for a pony of their own, all aware it will never happen. Imagine the vicarious pleasure to be had in Meg’s story then for, ... View Full Review