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Tricia Adams - Editorial Expert

As a professional librarian with more years’ experience than she cares to mention – Tricia has worked in several sectors including government libraries and as a self-employed information specialist but has reverted to her favourite – of working with children, in various guises, for the last 20+ years.

This has included a spell as a primary school librarian, before moving back to public libraries in her home county of Northamptonshire, where she was Head of Children’s and Young People’s Public Library Services and the manager of the Schools’ Library Service – Learning Resources for Education. 

She was then Director of the School Library Association (an independent charity) between 2008-2018.  She had the honour to be Chair of the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway judging panel and Youth Libraries Group during 2008 and 2017. She now fills her time with volunteering for the Federation of Children’s Books, is Chair of the Federation of Children's Book Groups and the Northamptonshire CBG. She continues to lead training sessions, as well as reviewing for several organisations.

A lifelong love of reading and collecting children’s books, amongst other topics, has created a collection so rambling that the house has to be extended every few years!

Latest Reviews By Tricia Adams

Growing Up Autistic and Happy
Dr Pang was diagnosed as autistic at the age of eight and saw the world differently. This book explores all the stages of life as readers grow up and explains them in the terms of scientific concepts. This is based on Dr Pang’s life and the fact that quite early on she realised that science with its tangible and logical patterns helped her understand all the things that seemed so strange and messy in ordinary life. The book acknowledges that it is difficult growing up and becoming the person you want to be for everyone, but it uses ... View Full Review
What do you do if you are a large polar bear lost in a city? Very sensibly you try to find someone to help you get back to the North Pole. All the city inhabitants are much too busy to answer a question – rushing about all over. So, you join a queue and wait for your turn – unfortunately this is for coffee! Bear is not a fan of the takeaway soy latte he gets handed (the expression on his face is a delight!)  Next, he finds a less than helpful ‘help desk&... View Full Review
All the Wonderful Ways to Read
This is a delightful picture book, told in verse, on all the benefits of reading – whether it be adventure, comics, information or poetry, all are represented. Often picturing a library with lots of readers all browsing the shelves or sitting reading in wherever and whatever form they prefer. I’m definitely of the ‘curl up for hours in a bum-printed chair’ variety but every type of reading is illustrated with humour and empathy. Even down to the hippo reading the back of the soap dispenser whilst in the bathroom!! The idea of total immersion in the ... View Full Review
The Miraculous Sweetmakers: The Frost Fair
Set in 1683 when it was so cold that the Thames froze, and the inhabitants of London were able to hold a fair on the thick ice this novel weaves authentic historical fact with a glorious ‘baddy’ in the shape of Father Winter. When her brother dies from an asthma attack Thomasina’s life becomes grief laden and much harder, as she must work in the family bakery in his stead, whilst also looking after her ailing, bed-ridden mother. Overwhelmed with guilt at Arthur’s death Thomasina is tricked and drawn to ... View Full Review
What Do You See When You Look At a Tree?
Emma Carlisle is a famous award-winning landscape artist known for her practice around Devon and Cornwall.  As you would imagine from such a prestigious artist this is a glorious book with large illustrations – often deceptively simple in its approach, with very few words per spread.  Having said that, this is a book that uses the short, written sections to create a very thoughtful look at nature, particularly trees, and how it can help create empathy, deep nature reflection and self-reflection.  Simple questions encourage the reconnection with nature in the widest sense. The artwork is in the ... View Full Review
Frances Hardinge always produces books that are very readable and fascinating in equal measure.  Her newest The Unraveller is exactly that – set in a strange culture where a race of spider like creatures, the Little Brothers, have given the citizens of Raddith the ability to cast a curse on the people they hate. These curses can be quite mild or could be horrific – turning a child into a cloud for instance.  Kellen is the only person who can ‘unravel’ curses – in the way one would unravel a piece of cloth, gathering ... View Full Review
Evie and the Animals
This is a delightful pacy read, led by Evie with her super-talent of being able to hear and talk to animals.  When Evie has released the school rabbit and caused a deal of trouble, she promises her father she will ignore her talent – which she does for a whole year. But then animals start to disappear, all sorts of animals, can Evie help to find them and solve their mysterious disappearances?  This is a timely novel which has themes around helping save the environment and its animals and will surely appeal to all animal lovers.  This ... View Full Review
Don't Go There!
A funny story told in gentle rhyme from multi-award winner Jeanne Willis about a little girl who finds a baby Martian – and her hilarious struggles to get him to go to the loo in the right place!  Almost every receptacle you can imagine is explored – kitchen bin, cowboy hat, bird bath to name but a few – with varying degrees of success and failure, but a great deal of fun!  There’s even a Toilet Song to help get things in the right order.  With some laughter causing disasters before final success this is ... View Full Review
Chosen by our Guest Editor for May 2023, Jacqueline Wilson, as one of her must-reads - "He’s written about cats in his Varjak Paw stories. This is a novel in an alternative world about two children and a huge mythical Tyger – it’s brilliant."   This is a dark and magical story about two children who find a mythical creature – a Tyger – in a rubbish dump in London - set in the near future of the 21st Century.  An altered, dark London, where the Tyger is in danger and our protagonists Adam ... View Full Review
The Tree and the River
Prize winning author Becker is known as a master of the wordless picture book – and this latest volume is no exception. It is a series of time lapse images of the life in a valley on the banks of a long and winding river. It is not set in any particular country – and takes architectural styles from an amalgamation of different times and countries – thus it is relevant to everyone. Mankind’s advances are reflected in the amount of building, growing industries, and enmities between neighbouring towns. The development of urban sprawl in other words, but ... View Full Review
The Artist
A young dinosaur artist starts to look at the world around them and create the beauty all around them. Vere shows how everything the artist sees and feels is reflected in their art by combining all these elements. As the dinosaur develops her style she sets off to share her art with the world – to show everyone the joy and beauty she sees. To do this she must be exceptionally brave. Once she reaches the city she has so many places to paint, and so many surfaces to cover her art can become bigger and better – until she ... View Full Review
To The Other Side
The author explains in a note at the end of the book that there are 13 million child refugees in the world, and that every year tens of thousands of children have to leave their homes, sometimes going alone, sometimes in company to search for safety and a place to live. This is a perfect book to open up some of those conversations we all need to have about war and understanding. In this powerful tale two siblings set off with only backpacks. The older sister tries to make it into a game – you only need to avoid the monsters ... View Full Review