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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

Every page in this gloriously illustrated picture book exhorts readers to be wild and presents them with a series of unforgettable scenes to inspire them: a child carried on an elephant’s trunk, flying on the back of a swan, diving into the deepest blue. A text to stir the heart accompanies the illustrations and the final page leaves us standing with the child, arms flung wide under a sky full of stars. Truly beautiful, this is a book to summon up all that the world can offer and the possibilities in all of us for adventure, joy and ... View Full Review
This is adventure number six for the Bolds, a family of hyenas living happily in Teddington disguised as humans. Let’s hope there will be more too, because there are very few stories more joyful, cheering and entertaining than these and only Paddington to compare for characters as lovable and inspirational. If you’ve read previous Bolds books, you’ll know that they’re always ready to help other animals and to open their doors to those in need. Of course therefore they give homeless aardvark Annika a warm welcome and set out to track down ... View Full Review
Two lorries, two cheerful crews, set out from the depot in the morning for a busy day, ‘Empty lorry, load lorry, straight back on the road, lorry’. There’s so much to do and so many other vehicles and drivers they encounter. With its irresistible tongue-exercising rhyming text, most lines only two words long, and bright, busy illustrations, this is a celebration of traffic jam-packed with fun. It will be essential reading for any young transportophile, but just as entertaining for the rest of the family too. View Full Review
First published in the brilliant Phoenix Comic, Jamie Smart’s stories of Looshkin aka ‘the maddest cat in the world’ are now gathered together in a bumper collection of stories, all full colour comic strips, all outrageously funny. In fact, the book should come with a warning – readers are in danger of laughing themselves into an injury. Looshkin may look like a little blue cat but is in fact a ball of explosive energy and mischief who knows no bounds and is prepared to do absolutely anything! Flood the house? Tick. Drag a canvasser knocking on ... View Full Review
A prize-winning picture book author and illustrator, Nadia Shireen is just as skilful at writing junior fiction, as this inventive, hilarious story shows. Fox siblings Nancy (the tough one) and Ted (the sensitive one) are forced to flee the big city for the countryside after Ted accidentally bites off pussycat boss Princess Buttons’ tail. Grimwood, where they find themselves, is a kind of paradise it seems, full of friendly if eccentric animal residents who love nothing better than a good game of treebonk. Ted feels right at home, Nancy needs convincing, but when Princess Buttons arrives, bent on revenge ... View Full Review
The action in this entertaining and informative picture book takes place on a riverbank. Otters live on one side of the river, badgers live on the other, and they do not get along! In fact, things have got so quarrelsome that the leaders have decided no otter and no badger must EVER cross the river. But things are set to change when Francie (a kind of otter Mary Berry) gets involved; if anything can bring the two sets of riverbank dwellers together, it’s Francie’s baking! Both sides are delightfully childish and childlike – there’s ... View Full Review
The benefits – to physical and mental health – of going out for a walk are widely acknowledged, and they are all captured in this bright, joyful picture book. We join little Maya as she sets out for a walk, grown up in tow. There are so many fun things they can do together, from spying tiny secrets – busy ants scurrying, baby plants sprouting – to listening out for noises or copying animals. Each double page is lively, full of things to spot and name, and Maya herself is a busy bundle of energy at the centre of it ... View Full Review
Little George the Wombat is going to play with his friends Fred the Kangaroo, Annie the Goose and Lizzie the Mouse. His parents warn him to be careful and, before he leaves, Daddy Wombat shares some self-defence techniques. But on the way, George runs into Wilma the Fox who has plans to gobble the little wombat up. First George runs, then he stands his ground and uses his secret weapon, his wombat bottom! As she crashes into it, Wilma sees stars… George is ultra-lovable and it's another very funny story with a satisfying (and rock hard) ending. This series ... View Full Review
Pants: guaranteed to make children giggle, and they’ll do it on a massive scale in this story. Fred is going fishing and doesn’t notice that he’s caught his favourite pair (super stretchy, super strong) on the end of his hook. As he wanders happily through the town on his way to the seafront, more and more things - animals, people, cars, a train! - get scooped up. Fred, you see, is a giant so there’s room for all of them in his super-stretchy, super-strong pants. The ‘pantemonium’ he causes will ... View Full Review
Bedtime – anytime – is better with Elmer and here’s another gorgeous story starring this much-loved patchwork hero. Elmer is babysitting two little elephants and decides a good walk will tire them out. Everyone they meet suggests he tell them a bedtime story, and everyone has a different favourite to recommend. When he finally comes to settle the little elephants down for the night, which story will he choose? It doesn’t matter, because all three are asleep before they get to the happy ever after! This is of course a perfect bedtime story – gentle, funny ... View Full Review
Maddy’s parents are having new carpets fitted – time for Maddy, best friend and always stylishly dressed Dev and little brother Oli to be shipped to sunny Sudmouth for a short break, all under the not-so-watchful eye of Agung (Grandad). Maddy and Dev are determined to ride the town’s star attraction, the Mega Beast roller coaster, but so many things keep stopping them, from giant seagulls and school bully Ged Sponger to Agung’s new taste for pickled eggs. Will Dev and Maddy get their roller coaster ride? You’ll have to read to ... View Full Review
Princess Olivia lives a life of luxury in a palace high on a mountain in her father’s kingdom, until the day it becomes a republic that is. Forced to move down into the city, she soon realises it’s a whole new world, and nowhere near as clean or healthy as it should be. Discovering a talent for science Olivia sets out with her new friends Ravi and Helga to work out what’s killing the trees, causing all the downpours, and filling the air with smog. Written by Lucy Hawking, daughter of scientist Stephen Hawking, ... View Full Review
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