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Andrea Reece - Editorial Expert

Andrea Reece has spent almost her entire working life in children’s books, first as publisher, latterly as consultant, project manager and critic.

She has reviewed for LoveReading4Kids since 2015, is editor of the leading children’s books review journal Books for Keeps and administrator of the Klaus Flugge Prize and Branford Boase Award.

She was children’s programme director of the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival until 2023, spent three years as manager of National Poetry Day and works with CLPE on the CLiPPA (CLPE Children’s Poetry Prize) and with The Full English on the Poetry By Heart national competition. She has judged children’s prizes including the Costa Children’s Book Award and Alligator’s Mouth Award.

Latest Reviews By Andrea Reece

Earning Money & Paying Taxes
Money, wages and the taxes we pay are in the news now with a general election looming. This book is ideal for informing young people about the world of paid work and income tax. It opens with a section looking at the things we need money for, from treats to travel to bills, then examines the different kind of jobs people do, before taking a close look at a payslip, deductions for PAYE, NI and pension all clearly explained. Later the book explains where the money collected as taxes goes and what it’s used for. It’s ... View Full Review
Saving & Investing
The art – and importance – of building up savings is explained in this bright, accessible and useful book. By describing the best ways to save up to buy things you really want, it first makes the principle very appealing for young people and then goes on to explain, again clearly and through examples that they will appreciate, the different ways there are to make your pot of money grow, from using savings accounts, to investing in stocks and shares, or even using crowdfunders. The author takes a video game company as the model, demonstrating how shares can go down ... View Full Review
The Big Day
A very lucky small child gets an invitation to a special wedding in this positive, life-affirming celebration of love and marriage. The grooms are two big, friendly, very much in love giants; the other wedding guests just as unusual, and it turns out to be every bit as wondrous an occasion as you’d expect. Each page is a visual treat from the depiction of the ceremony (officiant standing on a stool but still tiny next to the grooms) to the menu which features pickled dragon’s breath with pink lotus fries amongst other options and with flaps ... View Full Review
A Fairy Called Fred
Two sets of dreams come true in this gorgeous reworking of the Cinderella story. Fred - the first every fairy Fred we’re told - loves his job in the Department of Dresses, where the fairies busily respond to wishes from princesses for ball gowns. He hopes that one day a wish-mail will land in his tray. Meanwhile, a little boy named Joshua very much wants to go to his friend Claire’s party, but its theme is Princess, and he doesn’t have a dress. Can Fred help? Of course he can! The dress Fred makes ... View Full Review
A Fairy Called Fred
Two sets of dreams come true in this gorgeous reworking of the Cinderella story. Fred - the first every fairy Fred we’re told - loves his job in the Department of Dresses, where the fairies busily respond to wishes from princesses for ball gowns. He hopes that one day a wish-mail will land in his tray. Meanwhile, a little boy named Joshua very much wants to go to his friend Claire’s party, but its theme is Princess, and he doesn’t have a dress. Can Fred help? Of course he can! The dress Fred makes ... View Full Review
Dungeon Runners: Hero Trial
With all the excitement of a computer game and irresistible characters too, Dungeon Runners marks a new direction for award-winning author Kieran Larwood and shows off the artwork of illustrator Joe Todd-Stanton to perfection too. It stars Kit, a young gnorf (half gnome, half dwarf) who seizes the chance to change the way people see him when he gets the opportunity to take part in the Dungeon Runners competition. Everyone watches Dungeon Runners and its contestants become heroes. Kit will be one of the youngest and smallest, but he’s smart and determined – he just needs to find ... View Full Review
Whisper to the Rescue
Whisper is the smallest, quietest dragon on the mountainside, but he’s one of the smartest when it comes to recognising the damage his family are causing to their home. His voice needs to be heard but his family are too big (and too busy setting fire to things) to pay attention. Fortunately, Whisper has good friends and by joining their voices together and via a carefully timed use of art, he successfully gets his message across to the grown-ups. Young readers will feel empowered to make their own voices heard by this engaging and effective story which delivers ... View Full Review
Paying the Bills
Young people might not have to pay for things like electricity, wi-fi and water right now, but they definitely will in the future and this book is a great way to get them ready for when that day comes. From identifying the main bills we have to pay, to outlining the basics of the household budget; from explaining mortgage payments and rent to sharing tips on keeping the weekly food bills down, it’s practical, relatable and engaging with clear text and colour illustrations throughout. It even lays out the cost of a car, road tax, MOTs and insurance ... View Full Review
Running a Business
Almost everything we do in our daily lives has a connection to a business and this book, the latest in a very valuable series, tells readers everything they need to know about how businesses work, leaving them in a good position to one day start their own. Using the example of buying and selling yoyos (at a profit) it first explains the concept of entrepreneur, then demonstrates the importance of research and understanding your market and outlines, simply but clearly, principles of profit and loss. There are pages on capital and how to get it, on drawing up a business ... View Full Review
A Bear’s Guide to Beekeeping
If you’re a bear who loves honey, this is absolutely the book for you. It’s a must for everyone else too, a wonderfully funny spoof guide starring a bear, our would-be beekeeper making up for in enthusiasm what he lacks in skills. An astute pigeon comments from the side-lines on the bear’s progress, making everything even funnier. From finding the bees to building a hive (NB as a note explains, bears with limited access to power tools may prefer to buy a ready-made hive) and harvesting the honey, the bear learns it all through ... View Full Review
The River Spirit
Perhaps not many young people today read Charles Kingsley’s The Water Babies, which inspired Lucy Strange to write this book, but whether they are familiar with it or not, they’ll be moved and beguiled by this haunting, tragic story. Forced to work as a chimney sweep for his greedy, callous master, young Tom Waterman is determined not to forget his real name or his early life as the ferryman’s son. Splashing with the other sweeps in the river for their weekly wash, Tom first sees what he decides is a river spirit. Who is ... View Full Review
Marv and the Humongous Hamster
In his latest adventure, Marv, schoolboy superhero, finds looking after animals, even small ones, is a big responsibility. He’s picked to take care of Nibbles the school hamster during half term and is determined to make sure she has a great time. His first mistake is taking Nibbles to the park, especially because they run into supervillain Dr Boom. Hit by Dr Boom’s blaster ray, Nibbles is made huge, while Marv’s grandad is shrunk to the size of a mouse. When Dr Boom heads for the local pet shop it’s up to ... View Full Review