Writing a book of any kind can be challenging and requires creativity and imagination. With adequate knowledge of the topic, the author can grab the reader’s attention and keep them hooked until the end.
When we talk about children’s books, you can see they come in different shapes and sizes. Depending upon the plot and different tones of voices, it’s hard to tell which of the children’s books are good to read.
Still, many good ones possess certain characteristics that are more preferred than others. They should offer exciting stories that young audiences would love to read.
Essential Features of A Children’s Book
1. The Type of Language to Choose
When writing adult novels, you can use complex words from the vocabulary. You must pay attention to the language when writing a children’s book.
Since your target audience is not yet familiar with complex words, it is necessary to use simple language for them to understand.
Not only this, but it should also be engaging and fun to read. Use different techniques in your storytelling aside from simple text, such as rhymes.
2. Fascinating Illustrations
Children are mostly not fascinated by books with just plain text. Most often, the younger ones are not able to read yet. With the help of captivating illustrations in the book, they could better understand the story.
Simple text can make the kids get bored and easily distracted. You need to find a children’s book illustrator to bring the story to life and persuade children to read until the end.
If you plan to design illustrations yourself or hire a professional, here are some tips to make perfect illustrations for a children’s book.
Look for Inspiration
Get inspiration from your favorite artists and famous illustrators. Look for the latest trends and stay up to date. Do something you are good at, whether graphic design or watercolors. Keep in mind the age group and draw something appropriate.
Illustrate the Storyline
You need to bring the story alive for a children’s book by making drawings that illustrate it. The author may also outline what the drawings should portray. Go through the story and whole book and make rough drawings as you go on. Make a color sample at the end to depict how the final illustrations will come out.
Before you finalize the sketches, get feedback from an editor or art director. Unless it’s your own book, you need to make several edits based on the publisher’s or author’s preference. You can even ask for a response from fellow illustrators, friends, and family.
Focus on Character Development
Many stories accompany the main character that is drawn on most of the pages. You must get to know the character first and then draw it with different expressions. Young readers need something to continue to understand a story better. If the same character with the subsequent addition of other things is shown, they can tell that it’s a story and what it’s trying to say.
3. A Meaningful Message
Besides being aesthetically pleasing and well-written, a children’s book should be able to deliver a valuable message. Parents prefer to buy books for their children that can teach them important life lessons.
The message need not be a complex one. It could be about friendship, family, courage, caring, love or kindness. Most importantly, whichever topic you are emphasizing should be clear to understand.
The Impact of Reading Books to Children
You don’t necessarily need years of experience to be a good author. The most important things that count are your skills, knowledge and love for children. Regardless of the achievements that you have gained over the years, what matters the most is how much impact your book has on the children’s minds.
There are countless benefits that reading can have on a child’s mental development. From developing cognitive behavior to building bonds between a parent and a child, good books have a positive influence on children.
Empathize with Others
When kids read a story, they think about the struggles the character had to go through. It helps them develop empathy and sometimes even relate with them. Moreover, children will gain a better understanding of their emotions and others as well. It helps them develop social skills.
Help in Cognitive Development
Helping your kids read can help them develop a deeper understanding of the world. They can learn even simple things like sharing their things with others. When they acquire knowledge, they can use this to make better sense of their surroundings.
Often kids find it hard to interpret what they see, read and hear. Kids can use the knowledge gained from reading which helps in developing perception of things around them.
Build Stronger Bonds
Setting a bedtime reading routine can help kids and parents develop a strong and close-knit relationship. Besides gaining knowledge, reading provides an opportunity for both to have a regular activity to look forward to. Moreover, it provides a child with love and attention that greatly helps promote their mental well-being.
Create Greater Concentration
Reading to a child more often can help improve concentration abilities. They can learn to sit in a place and read or listen for longer periods. This trait can help them in their future education. When a teacher delivers a lecture, they would listen and try to understand rather than not know what to do.
Reading from an early age can help the kid think beyond words and become more creative. They can use their imagination to picture the characters and scenes as the story continues. With developed imagination, kids become more creative and use their ideas for daily activities.
Improved Vocabulary and Literary Skills
Reading to a two-year-old who can’t seem to know the words still helps them develop an understanding of how to read a book. It also shows them how to move pages and pay attention. The part of the brain that processes information gets stimulated early on with reading.
When parents read words aloud, kids get exposed to new vocabulary and phrases that they might not learn in school. With illustrations in a book, they can learn how to relate a word with its picture and recognise things early on.