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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

When a little skunk wanders into town on Christmas Eve, all sorts of trouble follows. He’s so pungent, he even causes the Christmas tree in the square to crash to the ground! Don’t worry though, because this stinky night ends happily all round with the little skunk a whiffy Christmas hero. Once again, the creators of Mince Spies and Santa Jaws find a completely different and very funny take on Christmas, while still working in Christmas trees, snow, Santa Claus, reindeer and lots and lots of good cheer. The rhyming text is perfect to read aloud &... View Full Review
Lovely, lugubrious Mr Panda is back, loaded up with doughnuts and ready to dispense advice on the best ways to behave. He’s already addressed politeness and good manners, in this story he has one question for the animals queuing up for a delicious doughnut, ‘Have you washed your hands?’ Not one of them has, though Lemur’s tail is clean, and Hippo’s bottom. After Mr Panda has explained why it’s important to have clean hands too, everyone gets together for a marvellous rub-a-dub-dub, soap bubbles sparkling everywhere and there’s ... View Full Review
Narrated by Kristin Atherton   Twelve is a Huntling, in training to become a Hunter and pledged to serve the seven clans as a warrior. Full of rage and guilt following the massacre of her family and neighbours, she is determined to remain friendless and dedicate herself to revenge. But when the Hunting Lodge is attacked by goblins, and other creatures even worse, and Seven, the only person she has any connection with, is kidnapped, Twelve sets out to rescue the little girl. She’s joined on the quest by Dog, the Lodge’s huge, living stone guardian, ... View Full Review
Big, bold and bright, this picture book tells the tale of the red Spots, who live on one side of the hill and avoid at all costs the scary blue Dots who live on the other side of the hill. Wait a minute though, turn it round and it’s actually the tale of the blue Dots, who live on one side of the hill and avoid at all costs the scary red Spots who live on the other side of the hill… Both stories meet in the middle when two babies – a Spot and a Dot &... View Full Review
A quest is a quest is a quest, even if the heroes are brightly coloured and quite ridiculously cute picturebook characters, in this case a unicorn called Blossom, a fairy called Twinkle, a gnome called Herbert, a faun called Hoofies (likes: making merry; dislikes: clothes), and a mushroom called Trevor! When the magical Crystals of Life are stolen from the Super Happy Magical Forest, it’s up to this band of friends to go after them, braving penguins, ghosts and even wasps on their journey. It’s all great fun with jokes on every page for children and ... View Full Review
A review for Mog the Forgetful Cat A classic story about a loveable cat who saves the day in an amazing way. Mog always seems to be in trouble. She is not especially clever and she is very forgetful with the result that she often ends up doing all kinds of things that she shouldn’t. In fact, she almost always seems to be in trouble. But when Mog disturbs a burglar stealing the silver she is suddenly the best cat in the world! A warm-hearted story, which captures the very special relationship of a family pet. View Full Review
Dotted with knock knock jokes and including an hilarious bit of involuntary roller skating, this little book will have young readers smiling. Anna Liza wants to be a psychiatrist like her mum, after all, she says, a job where you can make sad people happy again must be the best job in the world. Unknown to her mum, she’s set up a practice in the waiting room which is where she meets Edward. Edward’s sad because his daddy is sad, and Anna Liza is determined to help. Her unorthodox approach – it’s where the ... View Full Review
PJ has to move to Edinburgh from New York when his mum dies. It’s a culture shock alright – the huge old houses, the misty streets, the Tunnock’s Teacakes… Exploring the neighbourhood he befriends the old lady who lives in the downstairs flat of his aunt’s New Town block, helping find her cat, Azrael. Things take a turn for the supernatural though, when his aunt tells him the flat is empty and has been since the old lady died, six months ago. Azrael is still around though and through him, PJ meets other ... View Full Review
When a little skunk wanders into town on Christmas Eve, all sorts of trouble follows. He’s so pungent, he even causes the Christmas tree in the square to crash to the ground! Don’t worry though, because this stinky night ends happily all round with the little skunk a whiffy Christmas hero. Once again, the creators of Mince Spies and Santa Jaws find a completely different and very funny take on Christmas, while still working in Christmas trees, snow, Santa Claus, reindeer and lots and lots of good cheer. The rhyming text is perfect to read aloud &... View Full Review
It’s difficult to know who is the most beastly in this story. Is it Bethany, bullying her fellow orphans and vandalising precious works of art? Is it Ebeneezer Tweezer, willing to swap anything, even his much-loved cat Lord Tibbles, for everlasting youth? Or is it the Beast in the attic – huge, greedy, always hungry and totally without scruples? One thing’s for sure, when the three of them come together, the result is shockingly good! With the Beast demanding a child-sized meal and Ebeneezer suddenly feeling his age, things aren’t looking good for Bethany, ... View Full Review
Bethany and her new friend Ebeneezer Tweezer think they’ve seen the last of the Beast, the greedy and thoroughly nasty creature who has been Ebeneezer’s master for the last 500 years. After all, they watched their friend Claudette the singing parrot eat him up. But don’t count your parrots before they hatch is the lesson here. As Bethany tries to persuade Ebeneezer to ‘de-beast’ and take up do-gooding, things just get worse and worse. Whatever philanthropy Bethany tries goes wrong, Ebeneezer is being tormented by a possessed frilly shirt, and poor Claudette is ... View Full Review
Full of a sense of tenderness but also possibilities, Songs for our Sons contains every wish you could have for a young boy growing up today, from ‘Never change, fib or follow, just to try to fit in./Be proud, free and happy in your own, unique skill’, to ‘Keep a still place inside, that you can call home/ and know how to find it, wherever your roam.’ The text is touching, heartfelt and always uplifting, while Ashling Lindsay’s illustrations depict children playing in a range of settings, ... View Full Review
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