Children’s Book Genre
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Publishing a book can feel like a monumental task, especially when you do it on your own. There’s a whole world of design choices, marketing strategies, and printing options that you need to navigate before your book finds its audience. Count on Palmetto Publishing to guide you along the way.
From Alice in Wonderland toHarry Potter, children’s books have amused and educated young readers for centuries. These imaginative stories often feature heroic child protagonists who overcome obstacles and save the day.
Children’s books may target kid audiences, but that doesn’t mean that they’re easy or quick to produce. To write a quality children’s book, you will need commitment, time, and insight into which stories will resonate with young audiences. You will also need to design, edit, and publish your book.
Self-publishing makes it easier than ever to get your children’s book into the hands of young readers. The experts at Palmetto Publishing offer a range of services to help streamline the publishing process.
Characteristics of Children’s Literature
Children’s literature is a broad term that encompasses all books written for young readers. You can write fiction or non-fiction books in a variety of genres.
A few key characteristics frequently appear in children’s literature, including:
- Accessible language tailored toward developing readers
- Attractive illustrations
- Portraying dark topics like death or the Holocaust in child-appropriate stories
- Depicting a range of human experiences and perspectives
- Empowered young protagonists
- Imaginative narratives
- Memorable characters
- Educational Value
- Being written for and about children
Historically, children’s literature has mostly centered on narratives about white characters. Increasingly, children’s authors, educators, and publishers have recognized the need for more diverse stories that include a range of experiences and people. For example, Jessica Love’s picture book Julián Is A Mermaid centers on a queer, brown-skinned boy who fantasizes about becoming a mermaid.
Age Categories in Children’s Literature
The publishing industry separates children’s literature into several categories based on their targeted reader demographic. The main categories include:
- Infant Board Books: These simple stories are aimed at infants and very young children who have not yet learned to read. They feature colorful illustrations, and adults read them to children to teach basic concepts like animal names, counting, and letters. Publishers often print these books on thick cardstock to make them more durable for uncoordinated young hands.
- Picture Books: These books address young readers aged 2 to 7. Typically 32 pages long, they blend accessible text and bright illustrations. Developing readers can use these texts with the help of an adult or on their own.
- Beginning Readers: Also known as “easy readers,” beginning reader books target children aged 5 to 8. They usually include more text than a picture book, but they still use simple language and sentence structures.
- Middle Grade: Books targeted at children aged 8 to 12 fall into this category. These books have longer chapters with more sophisticated language, and they contain few or no illustrations. They are often published in series.
- Young Adult: These stories are aimed at children aged 12 to 18. They explore heavier issues like mental illness, social injustices, and suicide, but they are often somewhat less explicit than adult narratives. Young adult fiction typically portrays the transition between childhood and adulthood, depicting teenage characters who experience their first romances and start high school.
Of course, these age categories are simply loose guidelines. Children frequently read books above or below their age level, and many adults also read children’s literature. Books like Harry Potter and Stephanie Meyer’sTwilight series have huge appeal for crossover audiences.
Popular Genres in Children’s Literature
Children’s literature includes many formats and genres. Some of the most popular genres and examples of well-known children’s books found within them include:
- Biography: Brown Girl Dreaming, March, Turning Pages: My Life Story
- Dystopian: Divergent, The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner
- Fairy Tales and Folktales: Aesop’s Fables, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid
- Fantasy: Graceling, Harry Potter, and the Sorcerer’s Stone, The Magic Treehouse series
- Graphic Novels: The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Tea Dragon Society, Captain Underpants
- Historical Fiction: I Survived series, Little House on the Prairie, We Were There
- Non-Fiction: Escape This Book! Tombs of Egypt, If You Take Away an Otter, Locomotive
- Poetry: The Cuckoo’s Haiku: and Other Birding Poems, Where the Sidewalk Ends
- Picture Books: The Cat in the Hat, Bread, and Jam for Frances, The Very Hungry Caterpillar
- Science Fiction: Animorphs, Ender’s Game, A Wrinkle in Time
If you’re looking for inspiration for your own children’s book, you may find it helpful to read a broad sample of stories from genres that interest you.
Publishing Children’s Books
Children’s literature is a competitive market. A professional book design can help your book stand out from the crowd and attract educators, librarians, parents, and young readers.
Palmetto Publishing offers comprehensive support for all of your self-publishing needs. Our expert team has ample experience publishing children’s books, and we can help with every stage of the self-publishing process. For instance, we can assist with:
- Book Cover Design: An attractive, genre-appropriate book cover will appeal to children. We offer a range of design packages to fit every budget. For instance, our in-house illustrators can draw a striking cover that will perfectly represent your characters and stories.
- Book Interior Formatting: Designing the layout of your children’s book can be tricky, especially if you include illustrations. Palmetto Publishing can format your books for digital and print publication. We will take care of every aspect of the layout, such as the book title page, font size, and page numbers.
- Book Editing: We offer a variety of editing services to polish your book for publication. Our editors can provide in-depth developmental editing to help you shape your narrative, or we can simply perform final copy and line edits. Whatever you need, we’re here to help.
- Book Printing: Palmetto Publishing can print physical children’s books or launch your eBook. We offer high-quality, on-demand printing, so you can take control of the number of books that you produce. And with our wide distribution networks, you can feel confident that all interested readers can access your book.
- Book Marketing: Book authors often feel intimidated about the prospect of advertising their stories. Eliminate this stress by having Palmetto Publishing handle your book marketing campaign. We’ll help you promote your finished children’s book so that you can reach young readers and sell copies.
If you have a story that you want to share with child readers, don’t wait. Start writing your book today. Palmetto Publishing offers a variety of resources that you can draw on, from informative blog posts about writing to our in-house developmental editing team. And once you’re ready to publish, we can help you get your book out into the world. Contact us today to learn more.