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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

Think opera and young children don’t go together? Think again! This liveliest of histories introduces children to Mozart, Rossini and Beethoven and their work, in an engaging and informative tour of the Classical period. It’s all facilitated through magical time travel: best friends Megan and Jack are on a school trip in London when they suddenly find themselves whisked back in time to eighteenth century Europe. Before you can say semibreve, they are face to face with composers and some famous royals too in a hectic adventure that is packed full of musical facts and information. ... View Full Review
Sonny is playing in the sandpit when he finds a little pink bunny, so soft, so cute, so cuddly. Meemo the dog notices but Sonny won’t share Bub-Bun with anyone, so when we discover on the next page that Bun-Bun is actually Boo’s much loved Suki, what will Sonny do? Fortunately for all concerned – and in a useful lesson for readers – it’s the right thing, though it does take a while …. Caryl Hart’s story is a wonderfully accurate and very funny depiction of toddler behaviour and Zachariah Ohora’... View Full Review
A group of children get together to turn a patch of waste ground into a playground. But their big plans are knocked off course when big feelings get in the way. What to do? ‘Talk it out, talk it through’ of course.  After some straight talking, and some ‘sorrys’ the smiles are back and the kids are working together again.  ‘Whatever we’re feeling, we’re never alone’ the story concludes and its message of empathy and problem-solving comes over loud and clear. The story works particularly well because the ... View Full Review
Shane Logan hits Peter’s school like a hurricane.  He’s big, loud and doesn’t like being told what to do.  He plays football like he does everything: with lots of energy and very little control.  Then Peter suggests that Shane goes in goal, and he turns out to be the best goalie they’ve ever had. Now the problem is Shane’s aggressive stepdad; can Shane control his temper and keep Mick onside too? As with all Alan Gibbon’s stories, this feels completely authentic, as it celebrates the ... View Full Review
Set in an unspecified time not too dissimilar to now, and in a country that strongly resembles our own, this tense, gripping graphic novel demonstrates just how quickly civilisation can fall apart. Bea lives with her dad, big sister and little brother; her mother has already had to flee their country, which is in the midst of a civil war, the forces of the state fighting the rebel Free Kingdom movement, with civilians bearing the brunt, enduring food shortages, power cuts and bomb attacks along with casual brutality from both sides. The family know they’ll have to leave ... View Full Review
The world needs a smart, resilient, lucky little hero right now, and Nibbles the mouse fits the bill perfectly. At the opening of the story, Nibbles is living quietly but happily with his family in Munich but redevelopment means they have to move somewhere a lot less comfortable and when Nibbles gets the chance to hop on a train to Switzerland (aka mouse heaven) he takes it. All sorts of adventures follow – he even finds himself performing in a circus – and his travels take him to France and England too before he makes his way home to his ... View Full Review
In these challenging times for our planet, children feel a particular pressure to take action. This book offers them the information they need to understand the issues as well as ideas and advice on the steps they themselves can take to improve things. It’s practical and pragmatic, reassuring and inspiring. Written in partnership with environmental charity ClientEarth it’s particularly good on how mass democratic campaigns like petitions can really make a difference, stressing to young readers that individual voices all count. It’s also packed with ideas for things they can easily do ... View Full Review
Andy Seed’s book puts us up close and personal with some of the amazing giants of the ocean. Using his special ‘tranimalator’ machine, which allows him to talk to animals and which works just as well underwater it seems, Andy dives into the sea and starts interviewing. Among those he questions are a bull shark, a blue whale, a giant squid and an anglerfish. He asks exactly the kind of questions kids would ask, and the answers are very revealing, full of information about where they live, what they eat, and what likes to eat them! ... View Full Review
Gizmo the dachshund has moved to the country. He didn’t really want to, but where Grannie goes, he goes. However, life in the village of Puddle, unprepossessing as it sounds, turns out to be rather exciting. He makes friends with next door neighbour Jilly the Irish wolfhound and before you know it is helping her find new owners near to home for her four puppies. It’s a real challenge, and the other village dogs can’t come up with a solution, but then Gizmo has a brilliant idea, one that uses his unique skills, learned ... View Full Review
Zoe Antoniades’ stories of twins Cally and Jimmy are fantastically lively and lots of fun. There are four separate self-contained stories in the book, each one narrated by Cally, as she watches, exasperated, while her minutes-younger brother gets into trouble again and again. She knows Jimmy can’t help it really – he has ADHD – and always sticks by him so that things have a habit of working out well in the end. Their Greek family, especially their Yiaiyia (Granny), are another of the joys of the book and one episode describes their trip to Cyprus, where ... View Full Review
If you want to give a really special birthday surprise to a small person in your life, then this is the book to do it. Produced by Tickled Moon, the story is personalised to make the child a central character in the story. And what a story it is too! Imagine what it would be like if an enormous monster turned up on your birthday to surprise you by shouting, ‘Boo!’ – hmmm, maybe not quite the present you were hoping for. Fortunately, our young hero is smart as well as kind and finds a way to make ... View Full Review
This is a special twin edition of the brilliant Birthday BOO! If you want to give a really special birthday surprise to twins in your life, then this is the book to do it. Produced by Tickled Moon, the story is personalised to allow both children to be a central character in the story. And what a story it is too! Imagine what it would be like if an enormous monster turned up on your birthday to surprise you by shouting, ‘Boo!’ – hmmm, maybe not quite the present you were hoping for. Fortunately, our young ... View Full Review