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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

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
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
‘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
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
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
Perfectly pitched, gorgeously illustrated and told simply but with sophistication, this is a must-have picture book. Ravi is cross with his little sister Ruby and breaks her toy car, ‘So no-one went to bed feeling happy.’ He wakes up in the morning to find he’s wearing a Grumpy Hat. Red and uncomfortable looking, it is ‘as itchy as a spider’s dance class’. Dad is wonderfully patient and has lots of practical suggestions, but nothing works and soon the Grumpy Hat is turning into a Sad Hat. When hope seems to be vanishing ... View Full Review
‘It must be fun to dress up and make people laugh’, muses Mr Benn at the beginning of this adventure, newly reissued by Andersen Press to mark 50 years of David McKee’s iconic, bowler-hatted hero. Inspired, by the thought, Mr Benn steps into that magical costume shop, picks out a red nose and emerges through a different door as a clown, with a his very own clown car to drive. A wonderful adventure follows, in which Mr Benn, with typical consideration and generosity, helps the circus folk when they find a bridge down. He meets an old ... 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
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
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
It’s Superhero Day at school and Milly is ready in her costume – she’s used all the tinfoil, a tea towel and her brother Joe’s pants and really looks the part. She knows that she doesn’t have any superpowers though, or has she? As the day goes on, we see Milly being a hero in all sorts of ways: she’s super kind for example when she helps William, super clever when she works out a way to help Archie, and a super friend when she works with Iqbal on his ... View Full Review
A hungry little mouse strolls through very prettily illustrated countryside scenes, reminiscent of favourite folk tales, and is lucky enough to discover four juicy apples. So far, so good, but then she runs into a bear, a bear who holds that might is right and who refuses to share. Undeterred, the clever mouse finds a way to eat her apples and to persuade her new friend of the joy of sharing.  Written in rhyme this is particularly pleasing to read aloud and children will love the story of a lesson learned and friendship formed. View Full Review
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