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Julia Eccleshare M.B.E - Editorial Expert

Julia Eccleshare has a lifetime of working 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 Director of the Children's Programme at the Hay Festival and Chair and founder of the Branford Boase Award.

She is also Head of Policy and Engagement for Public Lending Right at the British Library. She is also the author or editor 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.

Latest Features By Julia Eccleshare M.B.E

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Latest Reviews By Julia Eccleshare M.B.E

Toby and the Pixies: Worst King Ever!
How can shy Toby deal with the pixies at the bottom of his garden? Especially as they want him to be their King! All Toby wants is to fit in. Toby tries to ignore his intrusive friends and hopes that his boring school routine will be a deterrent. But there is no stopping the determined pixies who turn up in the most unexpected places. Maybe Toby should accept his new status – and the possible perks that might go with it? That may be a step too far but Toby soon enjoys some great new friendships in this madcap other ... View Full Review
Invisible Dogs
Within this warm-hearted story about finding your place in school, Invisible Dogs is a wonderful celebration of imaginary play which will delight all those who already enjoy it while also inspiring others to begin to do so. At home Ida is busy and happy. Her favourite thing is playing imaginary games with Grandpa. But at school she becomes shy and silent as she finds it all too noisy and busy. Clever Grandpa comes up with an idea to help her. Soon Ida begins to take her own friends to school: two imaginary dogs! Looking after the two dogs gives Ida ... View Full Review
The Last Dragon
Struggling with complications at home, including the fear caused by her very ill sister, Yara is increasingly drawn to the mysterious dragon who is watching her in the shopping centre. She knows that it is the last dragon and soon realises that the dragon wants something from her: it wants to give her the only egg. Can Yara take on the huge responsibility and can she keep the dragon egg safe? A dramatic story with a huge heart that weaves together magic and the everyday to make a story that is delightful and inspiring in equal measure. View Full Review
Finding Home - Amazing Places Animals Live
A beautiful introduction to the many different places that 20 different animals from around the world make their homes. There are many different reasons that a home is chosen but they all have one thing in common: they are safe from predators! Each place is captured in gorgeous illustrations which shows the animals in their special – and sometimes very curious – homes or habitats. The accompanying text is a beautiful descriptive account and also full of facts making the whole a wonderful way of learning and enjoying together. View Full Review
Clive Penguin
Penguins all love the cold, don’t they? But what if they don’t? And what if they are not even sure that they want to be a penguin?? Clive Penguin is one such. He is determined that there is more to life than standing on an ice floe with all the other penguins. Setting off to explore he finds that there is an interesting world beyond his own. And a solution to the cold. Everything is perfect. Except he is then too hot! A gently humorous story that will make readers think about making choices. View Full Review
Shadow
As the best-selling War Horse demonstrates, award winning Michael Morpurgo writes about both animals and war with exceptional flair. In this passionate and touching story, the interlinked fortunes of an Afghan boy and the dog who helped him to escape from his war torn country and find sanctuary in the UK is full of emotion and tension. Now in detention in the UK and facing deportation with his mother, despite having lived safely in the UK for six years, Aman tells his desperate story to his friend Matt’s grandpa. Sensing the injustice of it all, Grandpa ... View Full Review
On Poetry Street
Brian Moses has a long history of entertaining children with his poems while also inspiring them to write their own. This collection is perfect for doing both. The 52 poems in the collection are designed as one for every week of the year but that doesn’t mean that they need to be read in any order. Dipping into them is the perfect way of showcasing their exciting mixture of rhythms and rhymes, word play and poetry prompts. Mark Elvins witty illustrations brings out the best of the humour while also offering interesting interpretations of some of the ideas.. View Full Review
Old Oak and the Wild Flowers
An animated celebration of the countryside with a powerful message about the importance of preserving nature at its heart, Old Oak and the Wild Flowers will both delight and inform young readers. After a particularly long, hot summer the wildlife in Barley Field is dying and many of the butterflies, bees and all the other insects who have always lived in it are persuaded by Stag Beetle that they should leave the field and find food else were. Luckily, Mr Shield and Old Oak quickly come up with a plan! The birds are on standby to help. Together they bring ... View Full Review
The Frost Goblin
A sparkling, effervescent and heart-warming story full of magic and enchantment that makes winter and especially FROST seem like the greatest fun. Quiet Bertie slips away from his noisy and un-noticing family one cold winter’s night and finds himself immediately drawn into a thrilling goblin adventure. It’s the night of the deepest frost and the goblins are the ones who must make sure that it is properly distributed throughout the whole town. Soon Bertie is in the thick of the magical enterprise scattering frost alongside Ada, his new goblin friend. Goblin magic is transformative. It shows ... View Full Review
Tidemagic: The Many Faces of Ista Flit
A thrilling story of a very special magic and the effects it has. When the tides are low, the magic in Shelwich is subdued. The waves just murmur gently. But, when the tides are high, people disappear unexpectedly, magic runs wild and anything is possible – especially for Ista Flit. Ista is a face-changer. She can transform her looks which helps her to stay hidden and stay safe. It also makes her a perfect detective, a vital characteristic when she sets out on a desperate search for her missing father. Clare Harlow’s Shelwich is a richly imagined and ... View Full Review
Nush and the Stolen Emerald
When Nush swaps clothes with her brother and takes his place on the very special trip that her father, the Maharaja, is taking to visit Queen Victoria at Buckingham Palace she finds herself on an adventure of a lifetime. While the Maharaja's mission is to persuade the Queen of England to curb the activities of the British East India Company, Nush’s mission is more direct: she plans to steal back the precious emerald which the British East India Company stole in the past. Feisty Nush keeps her eyes open at all times but will she ever find what ... View Full Review
Time Travel Twins: The Stone Age Clash
At school they are learning about the Stone Age but, when Grandad lets them use his time machine, they are whizzed right back into the past for real. And the Stone Age is full of scary adventures! Searching for Stonehenge and a sabre-toothed tiger, Scarlett and Thomas encounter woolly mammoths and Neanderthals, their long-ago ancestors. Josh Lacey takes readers right into the past and gives them a great perspective on both sides of history. View Full Review