A fox looked at his shadow at sunrise and said, “I will have a camel for lunch today.” And all morning he went about looking for camels. But at noon he saw his shadow again—and he said, “A mouse will do.”— Khalil Gibran
Playing one day at the seaside, I was topping my balls on the tees,
And the sand and the bent were littered with fragments of double D’s;
Piffle supreme I was playing, and varying “slice” with “pull,”
But I hit one ball a wallop like a kick of a Spanish bull.
It whistled its way towards Heaven in a rocket’s magic flight;
It canceled the crimson sunset like the shroud of a moonless night;
It knocked the paint off a rainbow and scattered the stars like bees;
And sped thro’ the stellar spaces as tho’ it would never cease.
It looped the loop like Pégoud in parabolic curves;
It was salve to my wounded feelings and balm to my ruffled nerves;
It clove my opponent’s gizzard like the stab of a Lascar’s knife;
And produced the hardest swearing I have ever heard in my life.
I have sought in the bent and the bushes that one magnificent ball;— T. M. Kettle
It may be Antartic crystals were broken by its fall;
It may be that Death as Caddy may light on the spot it fell;
I may have holed out in Heaven or find myself trapped in Hell.
Not all children are created equally. As an author targeting your writing to kids doesn’t automatically mean that your book should be 100 pages or less. In fact, children will develop incrementally by age group. Therefore, your writing has to mimic their attention span. It’s important to bear in mind that a three-year-old will need more pictures and visual aids than a 14-year old child.
So, what’s the appropriate length and topic to choose when writing a children’s book? Consider this as a short guide for the best children’s book-length by age.
Babies, Toddlers, And Preschoolers (aged 0-5)
Books for Babies, Toddlers And preschool children, ages 0-5, in most cases, these ages will be guided reads focusing on associating the concept of words to objects through pictures and will be comprised of more pictures and visual aids than they will words and pages.
Books For Babies
For babies, books should be 0-300 words is a guideline. In this age group will be entirely a guided experience and almost entirely visual and auditory.
Books For Toddlers
For toddlers, 1-500 words is a guideline. In this age group will still be mostly a guided experience and still be largely visual and auditory, although these readers
Books For Preschool Children
For preschooler children, a book of up to 1,000 words is appropriate in some cases. These readers will be steadily becoming come more independent, but may still need or want a guided experience and enjoy pictures which have a meaningful context to the words.
Young Readers (children ages 5 to 7)
The young, or early reader category, will encompass children ages 5 to 7. These books are a notch above the picture book category. Think of this category as a group of children who are just starting to read when creating content to publish.
Short books will contain illustrations. However, authors can delve into the content a little more with word count, as opposed to strictly focusing on the visual aspect. For most books in this category, a range of 3,000 to 5,000 words is appropriate. Sticking closer to the 3,000 to 4,000 range is a good point of reference for writers to focus on. This ensures it won’t exhaust the readers but will still provide sufficient detail in the content to pique their interest and read on.
Book by Chapter ages of 6 to 10
In this category, you’re writing books that are written with multiple chapters. Children who are reading these books typically fall between the ages of 6 to 10. When creating these books, a good word count range is anything below 10,000 words. Most chapter books will fall between 7,000 to 10,000 words.
Tweens and Young Teens Readers
When children reach middle school, they’re more focused and more interested in reading content than simply looking at images. Therefore, writers can focus on creating more in-depth books and a more creative writing style.
For tween readers who fall between the ages of 9 to 12, books can reach a word count of up to 60,000 with some publishers. It’s best to avoid hitting the pinnacle in word count, and instead, focus on the quality of the content being published. A good range for these books is 35,000 to 50,000 for most books.
For the young teen, books can hit a word count of close to 100,000 words. The readers in this age bracket are between 12 to 15 years of age and have a greater attention span and can comprehend more words/ideas they couldn’t at a younger age. Books for young teens will typically fall between 60,000 to 100,000 words on the higher end.
The Young Adult Readers
Sci-fi, supernatural, non-fiction, and other topics might reach a word count of 90,000 to 100,000 words. Readers in this category are aged 15 and up to adults. Depending on the genre of books in this category, the word count can fluctuate greatly, so authors must consider their reader, and the reader’s attention span, in creating books for the young adult reader.
In some cases, publishers may have their rules in place as to the best children’s book-length by age, and this will also dictate the length and material density of a book. If you are working with a publisher. It’s best to check before starting to determine the right length for desire age group before starting the writing process.
The best children’s book-length by page will vary for each author. Furthermore, the genre, the direction the book is taking (educational vs. informational vs. non-fiction, etc.) can also impact the word length for a children’s book. So, before you start writing, make sure you have an idea in place as to who your audience is, what their attention span is, and what will pique their interest for the duration of the book, to ensure they’ll get through it.
There’s no clear-cut guide which dictates just how many words to include when writing a book for children. When in doubt, authors should speak to a publisher to see if there are minimum/maximum counts in place. Better to be cautious and work towards the lower to mid-range, rather than overdo it and fluctuate, word count, which can result in losing the reader’s attention.
I heard the city time-bells call
Far off in hollow towers,
And one by one with measured fall
Count out the old dead hours;
— Archibald Lampman
I felt the march, the silent press
Of time, and held my breath;
I saw the haggard dreadfulness
Of dim old age and death.
Triumphal arch, that fills the sky— Thomas Campbell
When storms prepare to part,
I ask not proud Philosophy
To teach me what thou art.
Still seem, as to my childhood’s sight,
A midway station given,
For happy spirits to alight,
Betwixt the earth and heaven.
“The exact number of words per minute [read] is far less important than the fact that this value [The exact number of words per minute] cannot be greatly increased without seriously compromising comprehension.”– Mark Seidenberg
the general Reading for Comprehension Process
- Choose what you read — this a high speed filtering process
- Read according to the reading material type – fiction and nonfiction are not read at the same speed or purpose
- Preview the reading material/book
- Read with Intent
Choose what you read.
…Our new times call for new ways of searching for, filtering, consuming, and applying knowledge in order to improve our lives. — Michael Simmons
This would be seem to be an obvious thing, but not all reading materials are equally valuable, If valuable at all. This is especially true when it comes to email, newsfeeds, and, especially, to social media. Time spent reading less valuable materials is obviously times subtracted from reading the important stuff. If you choose to read a newspaper and pay more attention to the sports section then you do the business section you’re obviously not helping your business knowledge.
Skimming item which appear to have some potential will allow you to either discard the reading material not of importance or to move on to the Scanning and Reading Process.
Read according to the Reading material type.
“The exact number of words per minute is far less important than the fact that this value [The exact number of words per minute] cannot be greatly increased without seriously compromising comprehension.”– Mark Seidenberg
Reading a comic book, or a novel, does not entail same level of complexity nor does it contain as much valuable information as reading a textbook or a business book or even a highly technical manual. So, you can clearly read a work of fiction, like a romance or sci-fi novel or your favorite Fiction genre, much more rapidly without losing comprehension or missing valuable material, which must be comprehended learned and retained, if there really is any. However, if you read nonfiction reading materials at the same speed that you would read your favorite fiction materials you very seriously run the risk of missing valuable information or not comprehending it, or even worse miss comprehending it. You also run a very high risk of not retaining much of it.
Preview The Reading Material/Book
- If reading nonfiction, apply the rules of scanning before you begin the formal reading process.
- This will improve your comprehension, and your retention a bit of nonfiction information scanning which applies the principle of reading and re-reading.
- This will allow you to familiarize yourself with the informations and allow you to comprehend the important information faster more completely and retain more of it.
- Well, scanning does not involve reading all of it quickly reading the important bits and re-reading it even if you read more quickly than you normally would will allow you to comprehend it faster because you will of seen the important snippets of information more than once and therefore they’re more likely to stick in your brain cells.
Read With intent
- Eliminate distractions, interruptions, and definitely no multitasking
- Read the essential portions of the reading materials being sure to reread those item which you have already scanned.
- Annotate as you go, by highlighting, underlining, adding notes and ideas, so you can quickly come back to the important detail easily.
- Keep your own notes or write you own summary to reference and or share with others.