Children's Media

Top 5 Most Important Things When Writing a Book for Kids

Jenny Many Editorial Team

So you want to write a book for kids, do you? Think it's an easier market to get published in? You couldn't be farther from the truth. Sure, you may have the potential to write a children's book, but for it to be a success, you need a special kind of insight and empathy into the lives of children. The children’s book publishing market is ripe with competition. If you want to get your children’s book published, you need to have a design in place for a book that adds value to this market instead of repeating the same old tropes.

Read on below, to learn about the five most essential things that will help you design a book that kids will love! 

Five Essentials of Writing Kids’ Books

1. Read Topical Children’s Literature Bestsellers

You cannot possibly add any value to your children’s book without learning about what kids these days are attracted to. Picking up a copy of the current bestseller in children’s literature will allow you an insight into the preferences of the current generation of kids. It will brief you on the ideas that they are most passionate about and the topics that concern them. You can then use this information to design a book that will resonate with them.

2. Figure Out Your Audience

It is of utmost importance to be aware of your audience before going about writing a book. Kids can be of all ages – they can be attending pre-school, kindergarten or of elementary school-going age. Which age will you be targeting specifically? Kids age soon. What interests them in their pre-school days may no longer hold their attention when they are in elementary school. Once you've figured this out, you can use your childhood experience and empathy to write literature that will appeal to your kiddie audience.

3. Will There Be a Message in Your Book?

Do you want to write a book that is merely descriptive - to be read for recreational purposes? Or one with a value-laden message that spurs the reader into a particular train of thought? Perhaps, you want to address issues that school-going kids have to deal with regularly or concerns that a parent may have regarding their kids. Know what you want the purpose of your book to be. If your objective is to tell a straightforward story merely, there's nothing wrong with it. However, if you want your book to contain a life-lesson, you will be required to put in a good amount of research before you go on to state an opinion to be shared with easy-to-influence minds explicitly.

4. Don’t Oversimplify

Kids’ literature today does not believe in spelling everything out for them. You need to craft a story for them which leave them space to imagine and add their elements into it. If you detail every little thing down, it could bore your young reader as it would not allow them any room to be creative with their imagination. At the same time, don't write a book that is so difficult that it becomes inaccessible for the kids. The kids are your audience after all, and you do not want to alienate them by overusing adult themes and jargon that they're not familiar with.

5. Consider if You Want to Include Images

Will your book contain imagery alongside the textual narrative or will you rely on the imagery used in the printed word? Children respond better to visual stimuli. It is more able to attract their attention as compared to other mediums. So perhaps, you should consider having a couple of pages of your work illustrated. Don't want to use graphics? No problem. Throw in a few photographs then. Ensure that these images are colorful and high-definition. You never know, a kid could pick up your book from the store based on these very images!

A writer starting on their journey to writing children's fiction can gain from many such suggestions and tips. The ones shared above are the most fundamental things any aspiring kid's book writer should keep in mind.

The Process of Writing Children’s Books

Although most authors think of being published as the end-goal, this undermines the very process of writing. An author is an author irrespective of whether he/she has been published or not. That said, you should gather as much input from others as possible once you've completed the first draft of your kid's novel. Share your work with yours and your friends' kids, nephews and nieces, teachers, parents, babysitters and the like. Aside from kids liking your book, you also want parental approval. The parents will be the one paying for it. So be mindful of not including anything that might offend them or tick them off against the book. If they have constructive criticism to offer, take this in your stride and revise your initial draft accordingly. The more you include different perspectives, the better your children's book will be.


A successful kid’s author is one who is still very much in touch with the child within them. They are curious, enthusiastic, imaginative, hopeful and full of empathy for the world. Writing literature intended for children is not as easy as it is mistakenly perceived to be. One has to be sensitive to the interests and thoughts of children. Kids' minds are still malleable for the most part, and the media they consume plays an integral role in the personality that they go on to develop. A children's author needs to be acquainted with this reality and recognize their responsibility in this respect.

A popular book cover and a handful of attractive pictures inside your book is sometimes enough to draw a kid's attention to ask their parents to buy them your book. You should understand that your book will undergo careful parental scrutiny before purchase and so you cannot afford to rely on the book's cover illustration – you need to provide meaningful content too. You will have to appeal to both the parents and the kids to have your kid's book sold.


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