Children's Books discussion

Books for Specific Age-Groups > What makes a great children's book (ages 4-8)?

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message 1: by Patrick (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:51PM) (new)

Patrick Doyle I'm sitting here working on my book for young children and that question keeps popping into my head.

I know what I love about the books I grew up with and I definitely know what my publisher thinks, but only one opinion matters to me... that of the parents with the little ones.

Please, if you have a moment, let me know what makes a children's book special to you and what do you look for when shopping for a new book to buy (page count, illustration style, tone & voice, characters, reviews, etc.).

Thank you friends.

message 2: by J-Lynn Van Pelt (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:53PM) (new)

J-Lynn Van Pelt I look for vivid illustrations, a strong storyline, characters that children can relate to, a larger theme or message, and if at all possible, a culturally relevant story--something that will add to their wider understanding of the world and its diversity.

message 3: by Alexandra (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:53PM) (new)

Alexandra I agree with J-Lynn. I'd also say imagination. Even when dealing with a real-life subject, such as nature, etc. Something to draw kids interest and make them want to be in the story, to feel part of the story.

message 4: by ABC (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:54PM) (new)

ABC (mary6543) | 341 comments Well, I just bought a book today. I spent 22 bucks on it. Way more than I wanted to. But why did I buy it? My main reason is because whenever we go to the bookstore he sits on the floor and looks at this book for an incredibly long time. It is one of those pop-up books with flaps and things, very complicated. It is about a ghost hotel.

But normally if I am doing the buying without any influence from my son, I'll buy something bright, fun, and energetic, yet not offensive or violent. Multicultural is good, educational is good.

What I think we need more of is "boy" type books that are educational. Too many of them are too sweet for his tastes. My son goes crazy over robots and superheroes. Yet it is hard to find a book about robots having Thanksgiving or superheroes learning to share.

message 5: by Alice (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:15PM) (new)

Alice Gold (alicewgold) One thing only for me - Is is fun to read? Can you sit and read it out loud and enjoy the story? There are many different paths that an author can take to make a story fun, but if it isn't fun to read, forget about capturing the attention of children.

Here are some ways that we find fun:
Flow in the words (does is rhyme or have a theme)
Captivating illustrations (not really the duty of the author)
Funny words, jokes or dialogue.
Does the story take you on an adventure of some sort?

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