Although some people think that penning children’s literature has to be simple that couldn’t be further from the truth. There are numerous challenges when it comes to writing the best children’s literature, so how can you get your stories noticed?

Cameron Gonzales, a successful children’s author who penned “Are You A Bird” gives her advice and shares her top tips for writing for children in this useful article.

Work Out Your Audience

“It’s easy to say that you’re writing for children,” Cameron says. “But which age group are you aiming your book towards? Reading abilities will always develop rapidly and that means your style has to fit into a specific age bracket. In my years of experience working in schools with all year groups from elementary to high school, I’ve learned a lot about how children learn to read and the type of literature that they prefer.”

There are three primary audiences you may wish to aim your book at – the 2-6 age bracket, the 8-11 age bracket and the young adult market for age 12 plus. Nevertheless, there are several different reading levels even within these age groups.

“Children aged between 5 and 6 years generally have more advanced reading skills than a child of 3.” Cameron Gonzales points out. “This means you’ll need to think more specifically when you’re determining the number of words you’ll use and the number of illustrations you’ll have.”

Get The Theme Right

Selecting the right theme for your book is vital when writing children’s literature. You need to appeal to the age group that you’re targeting. That means you need to find out what’s important to children of that age and the situations they encounter regularly. Children must identify easily with the characters and settings you create.

Developing The Story

Your story always has to have a clear beginning, middle, and end. “Children like their stories to have a clear resolution,” Cameron says. “You also need to have a peak moment in the middle of the story and perhaps a moral or learning message to the tale. Remember to keep it fun though – too moralistic and children just won’t engage.”

Get The Word To Picture Ratio Right

The younger your target reader, the more pictures you need. However, even older readers appreciate having some pictures with their text. Not only does this visually break up the words and make it simpler and more pleasant to read, but it also helps children who are less able readers to understand the context of the story that they’re reading. “Even if children can’t decipher every word they can often tell what’s happening from the illustrations that you include,” Cameron says.

Stay Unique

When you’re submitting a children’s book to a literary agent or publisher, you need to ensure your story stands out from its rivals. The children’s literature market is an overcrowded one and you need to find something that makes your story different from the others out there. “Bear in mind that children’s books don’t have to be funny. They can be silly if you want, but they can also be serious. The key is appealing to a child’s mind.” Cameron says.

“There’s no single way to tell your story. Children go through many situations in their lives, and you can help them to deal with them through the stories that you create. With the right approach, your book can help young people to overcome the challenges that they’re facing or it can help them to find something to laugh about even in troubled times.”

Cameron’s advice is certainly helpful and informative. If you’re keen to put pen to paper and begin writing your first children’s book, these top tips could point you in the right direction.