1. fantasy girl
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    fantasy girl Contributing Member

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    just one question (children's book word counts)

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by fantasy girl, May 7, 2009.

    just one question.

    does anyone know the average word count for a young childrens book (ages 5-7)?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I don't, but I found this article within a couple minutes by performing a google search on children's book word counts. I don't know how knowledgeable the article's authoi really is, but it's a starting point.
     
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  3. fantasy girl
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    fantasy girl Contributing Member

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    it says 4-8 usually 1000-1500, i think thats a bit long dont you?
     
  4. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    Nope. That's about a page of size twelve Book Antiqua, maybe a page and a half. Maybe not four-year-olds, but eight-year-olds would read it.
     
  5. fantasy girl
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    fantasy girl Contributing Member

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    im aiming for 5-7 year olds so is about 250-500 words a better guess
     
  6. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    That is definitely not too long. On rare occassions, you mighht find longer ones for older children. A common format I've seen for picture books will have the book at 32 pages, sometimes more, sometimes less. Since half of the pages are usually going to be illustrations, 1500 words would give you about 100 words per page. Depending on the age of the child and who is going to be reading it, that's perfect.

    Very few four-year-olds can read independently, but that doesn't mean you necessarily need to make it so much shorter or easier to read. There are picture books that are meant to be read bychildren and there are books meant to be read to children. Kids can follow much more than they are given credit for sometimes. Just because they haven't achieved that level of reading comprehension doesn't mean they can't follow the story by listening and looking at the pictures. Reading stories to children that are above their level of comprehension helps them become better readers.
     
  7. fantasy girl
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    fantasy girl Contributing Member

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    thanks rei
     
  8. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    You're welcome. Picture books are a lot harder than people think.
     
  9. fantasy girl
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    fantasy girl Contributing Member

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    thanks
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    100 words per page is actually very high for picture books... go to amazon and check the 'stats' for some of the best-selling pb's and you can find your own average, plus learn about appropriate vocabulary and sentence structure with the 'concordence' info...

    you should join one of the good children's author writing sites to learn the basics of writing for little ones... it's a highly specialized aspect of the writer's art and not as easy to do successfully, as most who try it seem to think...

    here's just one you can find by googling: http://www.write4kids.com/

    i'm an always-buying-books mom of 7/grandma of 17, have a free books section in my donation center, plus i mentor many who write for kids, so if you need any help along the way, just drop me a line...

    love and hugs, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     
  11. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just providing a bit of reassurance that it doesn't have to be a total disaster if it's outside the norm and that kids can handle 100 words per page. If a child can't handle a picture book with that much, how can we expect them to move on to chapter books?
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    rei, the point i was making is that picture books are for the littlest ones, who wouldn't be reading that much text... so, writing that much isn't likely to get one's ms looked at, much less accepted for publication as a picture book... here are the stats on just a few of the better-known ones:

    see what i mean?... in a picture book, the illustrations are actually more important than the words [much as we writers would love to believe otherwise], so when writing for the ages of kids who would be looking at and reading picture books [or having them read to them], if new writers want to maximize their chances of being published, it's of vital importance to stick to what is actually being published the most...

    100 words per page would work for the 'tween' market, but those are not 'picture books'... they're the 'beginner' chapter books and thus, would be ok for those ages that don't focus mostly on the pictures and would be up to reading thousands of words...

    so, when you get up to the 9-12 group, then that many words would sell... but those are not generally considered 'picture books' even if they do contain some illustrations...

    definitions of a 'picture book':

    and from a chart on one publisher's website:

     
  13. fantasy girl
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    fantasy girl Contributing Member

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    thanks maia
     

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