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Andrea Reece - Editorial Expert

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

Red Admiral the Racehorse
There’s nothing Tilly likes more than spending time at Silver Shoe Farm riding stables, especially now she’s learning to ride herself. Tilly loves all the ponies and horses there, and has a special way of communicating with them that seems almost magic. Could her horse-whispering talent help Red Admiral, a beautiful young racehorse, recover from an injury? It seems it can, but the team will only know for sure when Red Admiral competes in his first race. The many young readers who love ponies and horses as much as Tilly will find so much to enjoy ... View Full Review
Magic Spirit the Dream Horse
Tilly’s best friend teases her that she lives on Planet Pony and it’s fair to say she’s obsessed with horses. When she comes across a horse, list and distressed, Tilly is the first to help, even though her only experience of horses is through her pony magazines. But she has a natural gift for horse whispering and she can calm the horse down when no one else can. So begins a special relationship between Tilly and Magic Spirit as she names the horse, and a chance to start helping at the local riding stables ... View Full Review
Samson the Stallion
Pippa Funnell’s stories of young ‘horse whisperer’ Tilly are always full of adventure and excitement and there’s drama galore in this story. First, Tilly’s beloved Magic Spirit falls ill and it’s touch and go whether he will pull through. When he seems to be recovering, Tilly and her friend Mia enjoy a special trip to the London International Horse Show – ‘pony paradise’ in Mia’s words – where Tilly gets to use her special horse whispering gift to calm down one of the stars of the ... View Full Review
Lucky Chance the New Foal
Tilly is a regular visitor now to Silver Shoe Farm riding stables and co-owner of pony, Rosie. Excitement levels are high in this story as rescue horse Sarafina gives birth to a gorgeous foal named Lucky Chance by Tilly and then because Tilly and her friends Cally and Mia are off to Pony Club Camp. Camp is everything Tilly wished for and more as she tries cross-country, dressage and gymkhana games. Rosie turns out to be a nifty gymkhana pony and Tilly even receives a special award on the final day. She goes home exhausted but happy and looking forward ... View Full Review
Autumn Glory The  New Horse
Tilly and Magic Spirit, the horse she rescued, have a very special relationship. Now Tilly wants her best friend Mia to find a horse she can love unconditionally too, and which will love her in the same way. Together with Angela, who runs Silver Shoe stables, the two friends visit horses for sale, but none of them is right, until they meet Autumn Glory, a gorgeous gelding with a glossy chestnut coat. He takes to Mia immediately and soon she’s bringing him home to Silver Shoe Farm. Readers will be gripped by Mia’s search for her ... View Full Review
Moonshadow The Derby Winner
Tilly Redbrow loves everything to do with horses and spending time at Silver Shoe Farm riding stables is her dream come true, especially as it means she can see lots of Magic Spirit, the horse she cares about most. Tilly and her friends are excited to be having a birthday sleepover in the stables but the arrival of a band of horse thieves out to steal visiting Derby winner Moonshadow, adds more drama than they were ever anticipating. Tilly and Mia have to act quickly to save the day, especially as Tilly’s beloved Magic Spirit is in danger ... View Full Review
Nimrod the Circus Pony
Tilly Redbrow loves anything and everything to do with horses so spending time at Silver Shoe Farm riding stables is her dream come true, especially as it means she can see lots of Magic Spirit, the horse she cares about most. A new arrival at the stables causes fun and games in this adventure. Cheeky little Nimrod has spent his life in the circus and knows all sorts of tricks – he’s clever enough to undo the bolt on the stable door for example and let himself out. Nimrod and Tilly’s friend Mia make a great ... View Full Review
Parkview Pickle the Show Pony
Tilly eats, drinks, sleeps pony, so being able to spend lots of time in the riding stables at Silver Shoe Farm is her dream come true. There’s excitement when a new pony arrives, the very pretty Parkview Pickle, a show pony. It’s Pickle by name, pickle by nature though, as the new arrival doesn’t seem to respond very well to Cynthia, her owner’s, commands. With her special pony understanding, Tilly works out a way to help pony and rider – she just needs to get Cynthia’s super-ambitious mother onside too. ... View Full Review
April's Garden
April is not happy. She and her mum are moving house (maybe to a refuge? They leave in a hurry, in the dark and the new house is big, with lots of closed doors, silent people behind them). Mum promises that every cloud has a silver lining, but April can’t find one. Gifted with some seeds, she plants them and then waits, but the flowers won’t appear and despite what her mum promises, it doesn’t feel that lovely things are just around the corner. But, as the weeks and months pass, we can see ... View Full Review
One You
Each page of this beautifully illustrated book features parents or parent to be, as they record in numbers the time spent preparing for the arrival of baby – two hearts beat, six ‘secret’ kicks are felt, nine magic months pass. The most important number of all though is ‘one’ – in our one wonderful world, there’s now one ‘you’, and ‘nothing else counts more than you’. All sorts of parents are depicted and families of all shapes and sizes, grandparents, friends and siblings appearing too; and they’re in ... View Full Review
The Girl Who Saved Christmas
Matt Haigh follows his best-selling A Boy Called Christmas with another festive treat, a brand new story of Father Christmas, his elf and reindeer friends, that is full of magic and has an evergreen message for one and all. Father Christmas is faced with all sorts of problems to overcome if the world’s children are going to get their presents, and a lot depends on little Amelia Wishart, the girl whose belief in him used to be so strong it could generate magic. Two adventures unfold, one set in Elfhelm, one in Victorian England, both allowing lots of ... View Full Review
A Boy Called Christmas
Matt Haigh invents a brand new Christmas story in his tale of how a weedy little boy called Nikolas became the jolly bearded figure we know as Father Christmas. It’s one of the many achievements of his book that readers will want to hold it the truth. Nikolas and his father are poor – Nikolas has only ever had two presents, and one of them was a turnip – but he still understands that happiness is more important than money. This is proved when his father heads off on a money-making expedition to find Elfhelm, the village of ... View Full Review