Writing Childrens Books: Choosing The Right Audience

Writing childrens books can seem complicated to the beginning writer. This article explains the different books and the requirements of each.

Some think that writing children's books is easier than writing books for adults. But, as they soon find out, that's not true. Children's book writing can actually be more complicated, since there are so many different types of books for different ages.

Books for the youngest children are called picture books. They are read to the child, since they can't yet read for themselves, and can have bigger words. But, you have to remember to keep the plot simple. Adults read these to the children, but they have to be simple enough for the younger children to understand. These books have pictures on every page. Concept books, like those that cover the alphabet and counting, shapes and colors, as well as those with a story, all come under the "picture book" category.

The next step up from the picture book is the picture storybook. They are for the child who is a little older and can understand a plot that is a little more advanced. Still, they are heavily illustrated. Children under ten usually choose these books.

When a child begins to read on their own, they graduate up to the "easy-to-reads." This is where you will notice both a change in the size of the words and the number of words in the book. Children this age may be able to understand the meaning of many words, but can't always read them on their own. These books are also available in several levels, for the beginning reader all the way up to readers who are almost ready for chapter books.

When they are too old for easy-to-reads, children look to the more grown-up feel of the chapter book. Chapter books are simple, usually short books, that are divided into chapters. They usually have an illustration on every few pages, but not as elaborate as the ones found in picture books. Kids read these books until they get to be about twelve.

The last step up the ladder is the young adult novel. These books are almost identical to adult novels, but are not as long and usually not as complex. They are for teens, and can start to have some "heavier" plots and subjects.

So, as you can see, when you say "children's books" you are talking about a very wide range of possibilities. But, once you know what the age levels are and the different choices, it clears away some of the confusion. And, you will find that there is a place for almost every idea you can come up with when you decide you want to write your own book.

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