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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

Jacqueline Wilson’s historical novels tell vivid, enthralling stories about young girls in testing situations, and Rose Rivers is classic Wilson. Rose is the daughter of a wealthy family – her father is a respected artist, though their wealth comes from her mother, or rather her grandfather, a mill owner. Rose loves to sketch, a great way of getting her father’s attention, but is frustrated by the restrictions on her life, and her mother’s expectations for her. The family has a large staff, and it’s the arrival of two new servants ... View Full Review
A special edition for junior readers of the superb Planetarium in the Welcome to the Museum series, this book dazzles. It takes readers on a journey into space, explaining clearly and sometimes poetically, where our planet is in the Solar System, how we have found ways to look out across it, and what we have discovered about the universe. Information is conveyed though precise descriptions catching all of the awe-inspiring sense of time and distance, while Christopher Wormell’s illustrations are both beautiful and illuminating. Opening with a section on telescopes and observatories, and ending with the end of ... View Full Review
2018 saw the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birth and this is a wonderful book to introduce children to one of the most inspiring figures of modern times. The text takes the form of questions from Nelson Mandela’s great-grandchildren Zazi and Ziwelene to their Grandma Zindzi. As she answers them, readers learn about Mandela and his years in prison, why he was arrested, what he was fighting for and the joy there was on his release.  They’ll understand the hardships his children and family endured, and how they kept themselves strong. They’... View Full Review
Beautifully written, beautifully illustrated, Ocean Meets Sky is a celebration of love and the imagination, and a wonderful book to prompt discussion of loss, particularly of a grandparent.  Finn has vivid memories of his grandfather and the exciting stories he told.  On the day his grandfather would have been 90, Finn builds a boat out of junk and leftover bits of wood.  Falling asleep, he dreams an amazing adventure where, in the company of a golden fish, he visits the magical place his grandfather described, where ocean meets sky. Surrounded by whales, strange vessels and starbright ... View Full Review
It’s time for more fabulous underwater adventures with everyone’s favourite little mermaids, Beattie, Mimi and Zelda, ably assisted by Steve the talking seahorse of course.  As this latest escapade opens, we find them trying to break into the kingdom of Frostopia in the freezing waters of Antarctica on the trail of water witch Maritza Mist of Maritza Mist’s Water Witch Catalogue fame. In this they may just be helped by new character, Mermaid Bay’s most promising young spy Meri Pebble. Frothy, fast-moving, fashion-conscious fun this is certain to delight Bad Mermaid ... View Full Review
It’s more than 150 years since the publication of Alice in Wonderland and it is delighting today’s readers as much as it ever has. Both a tribute to and a celebration of Lewis Carroll’s story, this collection includes new adventures by eleven favourite contemporary children’s authors, each of whom has been inspired by Alice. With such an extraordinary set of characters and scenes to take as starting points, the stories are wonderfully varied. Pamela Butchart chooses to write about the Queen of Hearts in a follow up story, while Swapna Haddow picks the ... View Full Review
Kids who like their adventures wild, funny and full of the unexpected will love Adam Stower’s King Coo stories. Starring ordinary schoolboy Ben and his best friend, the totally extraordinary Coo, a bearded girl who lives a secret life with her wombat Herbert in some woods near Ben’s home, they are a brilliant mix of action, invention and jokes of all kinds – verbal, visual, slapstick. This escapade sees the two friends thwart a band of thieves who are intent on stealing priceless golden artefacts from the local museum. For all the zaniness, the plot makes ... View Full Review
This reassuring tale of friendship and kindness will charm young readers. Friends Bear and Spider are as different as you can be, and not just in size either. Spider loves the outdoors – the sunshine, the breeze, the colourful plants and the bugs of course.  Bear likes nothing more than a ‘tidy day’ at home, followed by a nice cup of tea in his cosy chair. But when Spider’s kite blows away into the forest Bear agrees to help him find it, even when it starts to rain. Bear and Spider make a comic couple ... View Full Review
After stories set in jungles and on the Russian steppes, Katherine Rundell has chosen the streets of Prohibition New York for her latest, but it’s just as full of the sense of peril and freedom from rules that characterises her earlier books, with central character Vita facing possibly the greatest danger yet. Newly arrived from England, Vita is determined to win back her family home, the fabulous Hudson Castle, acquired from her grandfather in a distinctly shady way by mob boss Victor Sorrotore. This will involve breaking and entering – and legend has it the castle is impregnable &... View Full Review
Here’s another laugh-out-loud adventure story starring everyone’s favourite caped potato superhero. It’s carnival time in the supermarket and all the veggies are lending a hand except – you guessed it – Evil Pea. He’s determined to suck all the fun and the colour from the carnival – literally, with his dastardly Colour-Suck-A-Thon-5000 machine. Can Supertato save the day? You betcha! Adventures don’t come dafter or more colourful and this is premium entertainment for all the family. View Full Review
As book-loving children know, all the best stories start in the library and that’s certainly the case here. Kit would rather be looking for wildlife in her local cemetery but her friends make her take a detour via the library where she discovers some amazing things: a librarian who’s also a wizard, a dragon sleeping in the basement, and her own magical powers. All these things are put to good use to stop a wicked landowner, whose plans to turn the library into a carpark are actually cover for something even more despicable. This will be ... View Full Review
As bright and colourful as the books about him, this Elmer activity book is full of fun drawing and colouring activities, all starring our favourite patchwork elephant and his friends. In day-glo primary colours there’s a lovely sunny feel to it and quite a few jokes have sneaked their way in too, guaranteeing smiles all round. Just the thing to pass the long summer days. View Full Review
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