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Julia Eccleshare M.B.E - Editorial Expert

About Julia Eccleshare M.B.E

Julia Eccleshare has spent her working life to date within children’s books as a critic, an editor, an author and a commentator. Apart from her current role with Lovereading4kids as Editor-at-Large and as one of our editorial expert reviewers, she is the children’s editor of the Guardian and Head of Policy at the Public Lending Right.

She has co-edited and is the author of a number of books including the Rough Guide to Teenage Literature, the fascinating and insightful Beatrix Potter to Harry Potter: Portraits of Children’s Writers, which is a celebration of a century of children’s literature, as well as Treasure Islands: the Woman’s Hour Guide to Children’s Books. She also spent some considerable time as a children’s fiction editor in UK publishing.

She has been a selector to the Children’s Books of the Year, a guide to the best books published annually, a member of the advisory board of a children’s book club and for some while was children’s books editor of The Bookseller. In addition, she regularly appears as a judge or Chair of judges on some of the major children’s book prizes.

Latest Reviews By Julia Eccleshare M.B.E

Have you ever wondered how a forest gets started? With huge trees growing up close and dense undergrowth covering the ground, their scale is so mighty that it is hard to think that they could ever have been small. Are they man made? Did an enormous giant or a massive business enterprise put them there? In a gentle and elegant story matched by simple, evocative illustrations Who Makes a Forest? helps children explore the multi-faceted ecosystem that sustains the many forests that cover so much of the earth’s surface. From the soil, made from the decay ... View Full Review
A whirlwind adventure unfolds from the moment that lonely Penny Black helps a mysterious furry creature escape from a mouse trap in her uncle’s post office. But the creature isn’t a mouse…nor is it a rat – as it is quick to tell Penny when it introduces itself as Wishyouwas as a Sorter. Second Class. Soon Penny finds herself swept off on a wild underground adventure following the mystery of missing letters and helping the army of Sorters, Deliverers and the rest return them to their rightful owners. Rich in word play, including the ... View Full Review
When Boastful Brandon brags that he can count to 10 Million no-one believes him. It sounds absolutely impossible. But once Brandon has started, nothing is going to stop him! He counts all through school – and gets into trouble for doing so. Even when he is sent to the furious head teacher who has never seen such disobedience, he doesn’t stop counting. He counts at home, through meals and all through the night. Soon, his extraordinary feat becomes a money making sensation…Award-winning author Melvin Burgess creates a vivid adventure out of an absurd situation and pokes gentle ... View Full Review
A heart-warming and magical story of a very special relationship between a child and a polar bear which will inspire readers of all ages to realise that they, like April, can make a difference in the battle against climate change. When animal loving April arrives on Bear Island in the Arctic Circle where she will live for the next  six months while her father runs the scientific operations she is told that, despite the island’s name, there are no bears on it. The melting ice caps mean that the polar bears can no longer arrive from ... View Full Review
Floella Benjamin’s touching, well-observed and generously un-judgemental memoir is a classic which is a pertinent now as when it was first published 25 years ago. In a simple story Floella recounts her own experience of her family moving from Trinidad to London when she was a little girl. She brings to life her experience in the family’s original home in Trinidad; the brightness of the light, the joy of Carnival and, above all, the warmth of her family.  She records the pain of separation as, initially, her parents went on ahead to England leaving her and ... View Full Review
A welter of emotions engulf Mira in this touching pre-teen story about secrets and how to keep them and share them. Strongly set in a busy family, Mira’s life is full of the ups and downs of family, friends and school; most particularly there is sadness in knowing that her beloved grandmother is dying and happiness as her interest in a mysterious boy in her class blossoms. Mira tells her story with appealing directness. View Full Review
A beautiful observation of the many different moods and behaviours of an irresistibly attractive kitten. Told in a simple rhyming text matched by wonderful expressive illustrations Posy is shown in all her different poses as ‘Playful wrangler, knitting tangler’, ‘Mirror puzzler, ice-cream guzzler’ and many more. A must for cat lovers everywhere.  View Full Review
Christmas is coming! First there is the wonder of snow and then there is all the hustle and bustle of getting ready for Christmas. Finally, it is Christmas eve and Mouse and Mole have to wait patiently for Father Christmas to arrive…Three charming short stories all matched with beautiful and warm hearted illustrations make this a perfect book to share at any time and especially in the run up to Christmas! View Full Review
Unruly Kat Stephenson, the delightful heroine of A Most Improper Magick is back for a second feisty adventure. The family are now in Bath where Elissa, Kat’s far more proper sister, is all set to be married. But Kat has other things on her mind. Magic! Kat finds Bath full of wild magic and it takes her energy and daring – and the help of her brother – to defuse a plot to harness the magic in the Roman baths. Kat’s effervescent personality is as vibrant as before and her particular blend of magic ... View Full Review
Tilda’s life is just as she likes it until, suddenly, everything seems to be difficult. Nothing seems as it should be, everything is just upside down. How can Tilda get her life to turn the right side up again? Watching a ladybird struggle to get off its back gives Tilda a clue: if you want something, you just have to work at it! Slowly but surely she starts to put enjoyment back into her life and soon books are fun to read again and her friends welcome her back to play. View Full Review
Mysteries pile up on top of one another in Cookie’s latest hilarious adventure. There are numerous secrets to uncover, several codes to crack, a number of unusual occurrences and a very important Nani who arrives from Bangladesh for a visit. Underlying all the gripping mystery and the comedy there is a simple message about the importance of both arts and science in school. Konnie Huq’s fast-paced story is brilliantly brought to life in her witty line illustrations which have a raft of jokes all of their own. With lots of additional information about codes as well ... View Full Review
Ten foolish teachers set out to walk through the dark forest because they missed the bus home…Surely they know who lives in dark forests? All too soon the Monsters start picking off one teacher after another until only the nursery teacher is left. And, being a nursery teacher, she knows all about how to deal with badly-behaved little monsters! Soon she is taming the Monsters from the forest in a brand new monster school with simple lessons in ‘please’ and ‘thanks’ and ‘don’t bite your friends’. It’s a ... View Full Review