5 Key Elements that Make a Great Children’s Book

5 Key Elements that Make a Great Children’s Book

There will never be a time when children will not be fascinated by intriguing fairytales and eye-catching pictures. Books are a treat to children and a vessel to escape into their world, where their imagination runs wild. Though with many such children’s books available in the marketplace, it can be tough to stand out among these competitors.

However, many authors believe that it is easy to write a children’s book, considering they are not as lengthy and complicated as fictional books. But what they do not realize is that when something looks simple and easy, you have less room to hide errors and imperfections. 

Parents and children alike will always gravitate toward a book that resonates with their childhood and creates a fantasy world in their real world. Or they could be looking for something that makes learning things a little more fun. 

If you’re an aspiring author or publisher looking to bring your vision to life, consider exploring our book ghostwriting services. Our team of experienced writers can help you craft captivating stories that engage young readers while ensuring that your book stands out in the crowded marketplace.

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How To Write A Successful Children’s Book?

Writing a children’s book not only showcases a writer’s expertise, but also reflects on how well they know their young audience, and if they can spark the right emotions and curiosity within them to explore more. 

A children’s book is built on several things, but these 5 key elements can either make or break your book.

1. Memorable And Unique Characters

Think of a story from your childhood, the first thing that will pop into your mind will be your favorite character from that book, and there are multiple reasons behind it. As a child, we fall in love with characters that we can relate to. We like going on a journey with them.

So, it is extremely important for a book’s success that you have memorable characters in it. If your characters make an impact on children’s minds, you can even write multiple books based on them. Think of the Harry Potter books. They are filled with different strong and remarkable characters.

Some children look up to the curious Harry. Some like smart characters like Hermione, whereas others find Ron more likable and relatable. Fans of these characters can hop along with them through their journey of reading the book and almost think of them as real people.

So, to ensure that each character in your book has something noteworthy and unique to offer. We suggest that you take your time to clearly understand your audience first of all.

For example, if you are writing a children’s book with a magical theme, you can incorporate a story on how once a weak character who wished for superpowers gains them and saves the town from time to time. Though the storylines could feel cliche, their execution is what makes an indelible entry into the world of children’s books. 

You can also read the top best-selling books of that specific category to see what the readers liked about those books. See if your character shares any traits with the one in the books. Again, readers can find anything likable. It could be your character’s clothes, their way of talking, or their backstory. If your characters are not exceptional, readers will easily forget them, then your book will be lost in time like many others.

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2. Suspense And Action

Many authors consider suspense and action as key elements of adult novels, but it is not true. Kids love action and suspense too. While action sequences bring an exhilarating element to the written content, the suspense builds tension and makes children curious and eager to finish the story.

Many writers make the mistake of keeping their children’s books inoffensive, too funny, weak, and boring. What they do not realize is that today kids have multiple sources of entertainment. They have got TV, mobile phones, YouTube channels, and the latest gadgets to play the latest games.

This is why you need something in your book that excites and grabs the kids’ attention. For example, your idea for a storyline is that your character is a dog that lives on a farm.

Now, you can turn this idea into something fun and thrilling, like a storm hits the farm and the dog gets separated from its owner. Or it can be utilized into something bland like the dog goes to the market with its owner, and it is a happy story.

You can easily see which idea has the potential to grab more attention and will be interesting to read. So, do not limit suspense and action to adult stories only. But again, you have to keep it a little light considering your audience. You cannot use any harsh language or show bloodbath in your story.

3. Realistic Conversation

One thing that many authors find difficult while writing a children’s book is to write conversations that sound realistic and believable. Because, as adults, we speak differently, we use different words to sound more intellectual.

Whereas, children talk simply with easy-to-remember words. So, while trying to keep it simple, many authors turn the conversations too childish in their books. Authors often make these common mistakes while writing a children’s book.

They either use grammar, vocabulary, emotions, and sentence structures that are suited to adult lives in a children’s book without realizing that a child will not be able to comprehend it, or they force the childish way of speaking so much into the dialogue that they sound fake.

Another mistake we make is that we think every kid in the world talks in the same way our kids do, which is not true. Each child has their own personality and thought process, and any writer must cater to this requirement. 

So, to improve your dialogues and to make them sound more realistic and relatable. You can spend time with children. You can babysit other kids, do volunteer work at schools, and visit your relatives who have kids to understand what children are into these days.

4. Overall Plot and Ending

There is no doubt in saying that children remember a book because of its characters, but it is also true that the plot and ending of a story make these books and their characters so beloved. An interesting plot with difficulties only makes your book more appealing to children.

As we said earlier, today’s children like action and suspense, it is all part of the plot. If your story is about a cat that is floating on a boat and meeting random animals, nobody will like it. Whereas, if the same cat on the boat gets stuck in a whirlpool and ends up in a different world, it will give the cat a purpose to get back home.

One mistake that many authors make is that they take the endings of a children’s book for granted. It is either a weak villain or an easy task that is hardly challenging.

Imagine your character is set on a journey to fight a dragon and save the princess. They go through a series of difficulties, but in the end, when they are before the dragon. Instead of fighting it, they talk and become friends.

However, it is a good message that you should make friends, but the built-up hype got wasted in there. Instead, you could show a fight between the dragon and your main character. Once the dragon is defeated, you reveal that the dragon just wanted friends, and they become friends in the end.

Writers must know how to make the right mix of creating a happening story and indulging a moral lesson for children to strike a responsive chord with children.

5. Illustrations

Illustrations are extremely important for a children’s book, and there are various reasons why. Children find it difficult to focus on words for a long time if there is no visual treat for them. Illustrations also help children better understand the narrative presented in the book. 

Many authors illustrate their artwork and print it in their books. But it is completely okay if you do not know how to draw. Many authors outsource illustrators like Hancock Ghostwriters for their book illustration services.

But one thing you must understand is that adding illustrations is not enough. Your illustration must be appealing to the audience. Considering that children hardly pick their books, your illustration must be appealing to the parents as well.

They will see whether the book is appropriate for their child, and only then will they pick it. There are some ways to make your illustrations attractive and appealing:

  • Use bright colors to grab more eyes
  • Draw pretty-looking and solid characters according to your audience

Furthermore, if you are looking to self-publish your children’s book, read our blog on how to illustrate a children’s book for valuable insights into the creative process.

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Wrapping Up

Writing a children’s book is no joke, and should be considered with the same passion and seriousness as for other niches of the book-writing. If you change your priority from easy writing to actually creating a piece of art, this will change the audience’s perception regarding your book too. The more the children fall in love with the book you write, the more copies are sold. 

From creating a fantastic setting to taking your characters on an exciting journey, from a fun plot to a subtle theme that teaches a good moral lesson. These factors play a significant role in making a children’s book a great hit. 

If you want to get help on how to write the best children’s book, consider talking to Hancock Ghostwriters to get the right book inked and published for you.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What age group are children's books typically targeted at?

Children’s books are usually targeted at specific age groups, ranging from infants to teenagers. Board books and picture books are often designed for infants and toddlers up to around 3 years old. Early readers and chapter books are geared towards children aged 4 to 8. Middle-grade books are intended for readers aged 8 to 12, while young adult books are typically aimed at readers aged 12 to 18.

Are children's books only meant for entertainment?

No, children’s books serve multiple purposes beyond entertainment. While storytelling and engaging narratives are essential components, children’s books also educate, inspire, and foster emotional development. They can teach valuable life lessons, introduce new concepts and ideas, promote imagination and creativity, encourage empathy and understanding, and support language and literacy development.

What makes a children's book successful?

Several factors contribute to the success of a children’s book. Firstly, a compelling and well-crafted story that captivates young readers and keeps them engaged is crucial. The book should have relatable characters, a strong plot, and a clear message or theme. Additionally, age-appropriate language and vocabulary, along with appealing illustrations or visuals, are important. A successful children’s book often incorporates elements of imagination, humor, and interactivity, encouraging active participation from young readers. Lastly, the book should meet the needs and interests of its target audience and provide a memorable reading experience.

How long does it take to craft a children’s book?

A ghostwriter specializing in children’s books generally requires approximately two months to complete a 50-page book. When focusing solely on illustrating an already prepared manuscript, the timeline typically falls within the range of 6 to 10 weeks. However, the specific duration can vary based on the project’s complexity since children’s books come in a wide array of styles and themes.

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