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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

Right from the introduction, which explains that insects are not only the most numerous animals on the planet, out-numbering humans by 1.4 billion to one, but the most important, this excellent information book opens readers’ eyes to the wonders of planet insect. Attractive colour illustrations and diagrams support illuminating text which passes on facts in a way guaranteed to inspire and intrigue young readers as well as to inform them. The section on cockroaches for example, lets us know that while they have a bad reputation for breaking into buildings and spoiling food, they’re also some of the ... View Full Review
Animal lover, Suffragette, favourite of Queen Victoria, lifelong campaigner – Princess Sophia Duleep Singh was a truly remarkable person and Bali Rai brings her wonderfully to life in this short, but action-packed biography. He writes it in Sophia’s voice as first-person narrative and readers will absolutely feel they are there in the different moments described and will fully understand Sophia’s sense of being caught halfway between two words – the British aristocracy and her Indian homeland. Everyone should know her story and I’d press this into the hands of all young people to inspire ... View Full Review
Number 11 in the Baby Aliens series, A Monster Ate My Packed Lunch sees Izzy and her class plus their long-suffering teachers heading off on a school activities trip. On the official agenda is raft-building, a nature walk and a ropes course, but, as we’ve come to expect, things turn out to be a lot more surprising, risky and dramatic. Together the gang has seen off Yetis, Demon Dinner Ladies and Vampire Rats, but can they cope with Camp Mentors’ monster? As always in this hugely popular series, the story is laugh-out-loud funny, the humour driven by Butchart&... View Full Review
Fin is forgetful. He forgets to brush his hair, leaves his school lunch box behind – no big deal. But, one night, Fin forgets to turn off the tap in his basin, and because he’s also forgotten to remove the plug, the basin fills with water, then the bathroom, then the bedroom, the house, village until eventually Fin has flooded the whole world. The fish are delighted - at last, they can go anywhere - and treat Fin as a hero. For the birds though, things aren’t so good. Fortunately, Fin can fix it all by ... View Full Review
Your dreams can be enormous, even though you might be small. You just need to believe you can be anything at all. These lines open and close this positive and inspiring picture book, and in between we play and explore with four lively little friends as they build models, explore ‘jungles’ and go swimming with whales. Not only do their games look great fun, but they also hint at all the things the children could do in the future. Playful but delightfully accurate in its depiction of small children, it’s a book to make readers of ... View Full Review
Meg McLaren’s latest creation, little puppy Dot, is sure to win lots of friends. With her cute bobble hat and much-loved comforter, cuddly elephant Peep, she’ll be irresistible to young children and very sympathetic too. Dot is a bit nervous, intimated by the noisy dogs in the park, and most comfortable at home with Peep. And yet, when she has to leave her garden and venture into the park next door, she discovers that playing with the other dogs is actually really good fun. There’s one more twist in this puppy take before the ... View Full Review
We all know what cows do on a farm, whether it’s Old Macdonald’s or someone else’s: they go ‘Moo!’, cows go, ‘Moo!’. Well, meet the cows on Farmer George’s farm: these cows go … wait, where did all the cows go? A perfectly placed turn of the page here reveals these cows going, ‘Boo!’, and very loudly! The joke is repeated three times for maximum comic effect before Farmer George works out a way to take back control. It will come as no surprise to readers ... View Full Review
‘How much damage can one tiny dragon do?’ asks Princess Grace near the beginning of this very funny and enjoyable adventure. The answer is quite a lot it turns out. The arrival of Dennis the cheeky little dragon coincides with a visit from snooty mermaid Queen Jeen and her court, so the fact that Dennis loves water, and has a tendency to turn it purple, is an added challenge for Grace and her sister Portia as they struggle to keep him hidden from the king. At least they have friends to help, including imp Bramwell and apprentice witch ... View Full Review
If you like football, you’ll love the Football School series of books by Alex Bellos and Ben Lytttleton and this latest, Terrific Teams is another winner! As England falls deeper in love with the national team, Terrific Teams introduces 50 other great sides, from across the world and different eras, and explains just what made them so good.  As a Red, I turned immediately to page 112, to read about the rebirth of Liverpool under the great Bill Shankley and how he developed their winning strategy not in the office, but in the tiny boot room under the main ... View Full Review
This is a story of true love, and one of the most heartwarming picture books you’re likely to read. It’s told by Moonimal, a very odd-looking (though still sweet) cuddly toy. Moonimal is found in a junk shop by Boy and from that moment the two are inseparable, it’s Moonimal and Boy forever. Until one terrible day when, on a walk in the woods, Boy falls, breaks his glasses and drops Moonimal. Poor little toy, alone in the woods and quite lost. Moonimal is adopted though first by a family of rabbits then by ... View Full Review
The World Cup, the Europa league, the League Cup, Serie A – you name it, Paul Pogba’s won it (Serie A four times in fact). But if you want to know about the man behind the stats then this is the book for you. It’s jam-packed with information on Pogba’s early life and his playing career from its beginnings at the academy at Le Havre to his glory days at Juventus and Manchester United. There’s lots about his goals of course – especially those amazing volleys, Pogboom! – but other details too, ... View Full Review
There are sure to be hundreds, maybe thousands of books written about the pandemic and its impact, but few will match Outside Inside for insight, power or truthfulness. In 48 pages and less than 500 words, LeUyen Pham manages to describe and explain the events of the last 18 months, how we all moved outside inside (except those who needed to carry on – the doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers, hospital porters). The words are beautifully simple; the pictures, a mix of full double page spreads, smaller montages and vignettes, seeming so but full of details, nuance and meaning. In a key moment, a ... View Full Review