Children’s Books – 0-3
Children’s books are important to the development of children because they expose them to lessons and characters that can teach them important life skills. When writing for this audience, you must consider the length of your book and how detailed your plot is.
Board books for 0-3 year olds are typically educational and contain simple concepts, like colors, shapes, numbers, or animals. They rely heavily on illustrations.
Providing tactile and interactive experiences, board books give babies and toddlers their first taste of literature. They introduce basic concepts like shapes, colors and animals, and foster a love of reading early on.
Designed with little hands in mind, they often feature safe, rounded edges and bold, eye-catching illustrations. The images must also capture the child’s attention and be easy for them to distinguish, says educator Elizabeth @TheKidLitMama, since infants have limited visual capacities.
While some of these are simply illustrated, others offer interactive elements such as flaps to lift and tabs to pull, which engage the senses while helping build fine motor skills. Some even promote language development by teaching basic words through simple rhyming.
Children can enjoy picture books for their humour and fun, helping them learn to read by looking at words and pictures, noticing rhythms in language and developing their phonological awareness. They can also use these books to help them with story sequencing as they point to an image and ask when that event took place in the story – did it happen at the beginning, middle or end?
Many of these books are about animals, family, friends and everyday life. However, picture books can be used to introduce children to difficult subjects like loss or illness – these topics are handled in a sensitive and accessible way through beautiful illustrations that are often accompanied by short captions. The inclusion of diversity in these books also helps children to understand and respect people who may be different from themselves.
Middle Grade Books
Many children’s writers, known as “kidlit” authors, find tremendous satisfaction in writing for younger readers. They believe that young minds are constantly growing and developing, and that their books encourage and inspire their readers.
Middle grade stories can be action-packed, suspenseful mysteries, serious family dramas or tales of wonder. But what brings these stories together is a focus on the child protagonist and the scope of their adventures.
Children understand change, challenge and even death, and that’s why it serves them well to see these themes reflected in the books they read. It also helps to have a sense of adventure, which they can find in the magical worlds of fantasy books or the realistic fiction of authors like Steven Pastis or Esme Symes-Smith.
Young Adult Books
Although many adults dismiss literature geared for preteens and teens as unscholarly, it’s time we begin to respect that teen readers have a natural inclination to read about problems that they feel are uniquely their own. The YA genre is rife with novels that discuss issues such as first experiences, major life changes and self-discovery in an engaging and often magical way.
In addition to helping teen readers handle the many emotional, social, and developmental changes that they experience, quality YA books can help them build the skills to manage these problems, as well as increase “life literacy.” When they see themselves reflected in the pages of a book, they have the reassurance that they are not alone and have a place in this world.