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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

When a little skunk wanders into town on Christmas Eve, all sorts of trouble follows. He’s so pungent, he even causes the Christmas tree in the square to crash to the ground! Don’t worry though, because this stinky night ends happily all round with the little skunk a whiffy Christmas hero. Once again, the creators of Mince Spies and Santa Jaws find a completely different and very funny take on Christmas, while still working in Christmas trees, snow, Santa Claus, reindeer and lots and lots of good cheer. The rhyming text is perfect to read aloud &... View Full Review
When a little skunk wanders into town on Christmas Eve, all sorts of trouble follows. He’s so pungent, he even causes the Christmas tree in the square to crash to the ground! Don’t worry though, because this stinky night ends happily all round with the little skunk a whiffy Christmas hero. Once again, the creators of Mince Spies and Santa Jaws find a completely different and very funny take on Christmas, while still working in Christmas trees, snow, Santa Claus, reindeer and lots and lots of good cheer. The rhyming text is perfect to read aloud &... View Full Review
Lovely, lugubrious Mr Panda is back, loaded up with doughnuts and ready to dispense advice on the best ways to behave. He’s already addressed politeness and good manners, in this story he has one question for the animals queuing up for a delicious doughnut, ‘Have you washed your hands?’ Not one of them has, though Lemur’s tail is clean, and Hippo’s bottom. After Mr Panda has explained why it’s important to have clean hands too, everyone gets together for a marvellous rub-a-dub-dub, soap bubbles sparkling everywhere and there’s ... View Full Review
PJ has to move to Edinburgh from New York when his mum dies. It’s a culture shock alright – the huge old houses, the misty streets, the Tunnock’s Teacakes… Exploring the neighbourhood he befriends the old lady who lives in the downstairs flat of his aunt’s New Town block, helping find her cat, Azrael. Things take a turn for the supernatural though, when his aunt tells him the flat is empty and has been since the old lady died, six months ago. Azrael is still around though and through him, PJ meets other ... View Full Review
Albert the tortoise is woken up by the wind and finds himself very hungry. Unfortunately, before he can tuck in, his delicious breakfast has blown away, cucumber, tomatoes, lettuce, celery and carrots scattered across the garden. The insects kindly gather it up and bring it back, but each time they’re gone before slow Albert can say thank you. He eventually puts this right, and his method of expressing his thanks is highly imaginative, to say the least, and should have children in stitches! Albert is based on a real tortoise apparently (and his food has occasionally blown away ... View Full Review
Here’s a thing I bet you never knew about wombats, but which is a big part of this entertaining picture book: they are the only species on the planet to produce cube-shaped poos. The story that follows the imparting of this piece of fascinating information, is all about wombat poo, specifically that of little George, whose mummy won’t let him go and play until he’s used his potty. Potty stories are always popular, and George’s efforts to obey his mum, and the advice he gets from friends, are both funny and charming. ... View Full Review
Narrated by Kristin Atherton   Twelve is a Huntling, in training to become a Hunter and pledged to serve the seven clans as a warrior. Full of rage and guilt following the massacre of her family and neighbours, she is determined to remain friendless and dedicate herself to revenge. But when the Hunting Lodge is attacked by goblins, and other creatures even worse, and Seven, the only person she has any connection with, is kidnapped, Twelve sets out to rescue the little girl. She’s joined on the quest by Dog, the Lodge’s huge, living stone guardian, ... View Full Review
Full of a sense of tenderness but also possibilities, Songs for our Sons contains every wish you could have for a young boy growing up today, from ‘Never change, fib or follow, just to try to fit in./Be proud, free and happy in your own, unique skill’, to ‘Keep a still place inside, that you can call home/ and know how to find it, wherever your roam.’ The text is touching, heartfelt and always uplifting, while Ashling Lindsay’s illustrations depict children playing in a range of settings, ... View Full Review
Despite its setting – leafy English countryside in late summer – this is a deliciously dark story, with one of the creepiest scenes you’re likely to read. Aveline is enjoying a late summer break with her mum. Her friend Harold is coming to stay but until he arrives it’s a bit lonely, so it’s a thrill to meet Hazel. Hazel is about the same age as Aveline, local, but also looking for a friend. There’s no denying that Hazel is great company, but there’s something just a little strange about ... View Full Review
Big, bold and bright, this picture book tells the tale of the red Spots, who live on one side of the hill and avoid at all costs the scary blue Dots who live on the other side of the hill. Wait a minute though, turn it round and it’s actually the tale of the blue Dots, who live on one side of the hill and avoid at all costs the scary red Spots who live on the other side of the hill… Both stories meet in the middle when two babies – a Spot and a Dot &... View Full Review
How many children dream of flying? Of what it would be like to soar through the air like a bird? This beautiful book is the next best thing, giving readers insight into the lives of some very special birds. Each turn of the page introduces a new subject, and we learn about red-capped manakins dancing in the rainforests of South America, the long-legged godwit, which migrates from Alaska to New Zealand every year, and, closer to home, noisy long-tailed tits, woodpeckers and peregrine falcons. Full of information, it reads like an adventure story too as we discover more about the ... View Full Review
A lonely little witch casts a spell to magic up a friend. The final ingredient is furriness from a one-eyed teddy, and her crystal ball tells her there’s one at 14 Acorn Drive. Though she’s nervous about facing up to the teddy, off the Witchling sets. But to her surprise, there’s nothing scary about the teddy, or his little girl, just kindness. Could the spell have made her wish come true after all? Lu Fraser’s story is absolutely charming and Sarah Massini’s expressive illustrations are full of tenderness and subtlety. A ... View Full Review
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