Posted by: Kathy Temean | March 20, 2010

Children’s Books Standard Guidelines & Interesting Video

Rebecca Ryals Russell on her blog Ramblings of a Raconteur posted guidelines for various children’s books.  I know  many of you are fully aware of this, but there are new writers out there who could benefit from these guidelines. 

I do want to add, you should always check out the guidelines on a publishers website to make sure.  Nothing is ever laid in stone and these numbers will vary.  If I had taken the time to write something up, I may have put down different word counts, but these work as a guide.  Just make sure you check them out before you submit to a publisher.

PICTURE BOOKS for  ages 3-6, fiction/nonfiction: standard is 32 pages with up to about 600 words. This includes text and illustrations.

PICTURE BOOKS for ages 4-8, fiction/nonfiction: average of 32 pages (can go up to 40 pages for older readers) or up to about 1000 words including text and illustrations. No controlled vocabulary since meant to be read aloud to children.

EASY READERS for ages 5-9, fiction/nonfiction: generally run from 32-64 pages with text running from 100 words to about 2000 words. Geared for children beginning to read independently these books usually include illustrations. Stories should include dialogue and action. Can include a few words per page up to chapters.

FICTION PICTURE BOOKS for ages 6-10: can be up to 1400 words with about 40 pages. Geared for third through fifth grade classrooms. Intended for teachers to use as tie-in with school subjects.

NONFICTION PICTURE BOOKS for ages 8-12: with 48 pages and up to 2000 words, these books are aimed at the middle grade reader. Illustrated with photographs or drawings, maps, etc. they often include sidebar information.

See the rest of the list by clicking this link


Make sure you watch until the end.  Shows that just a little adjustment in thinking can make a big difference.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Thanks, Kathy. You are so helpful!
    Pam B


    • Pam,

      Your welcome. Glad to hear from you, again.



  2. Got to thank you for this and ALL of the insightful and very helpful information that you make available at amazingly regular intervals. Thank you.


    • Elena,

      My pleasure. It is nice to know that you are getting something out of what I post – since that is my goal.



  3. Handy list! I have a friend who wants to write children’s book. I’ll know she’ll find this helpful!


    • K.M.

      Definitely something your friend should be aware of staring out. I’m sure she will thank you for sending it to her or him.



  4. Kathy, Thank you so much! I’m so flattered.


    • Rebecca,

      I was hoping you would be okay with it. I thought you would, but I should have mentioned it first. I think it is important for new writers to know the difference between categories and you did a good job putting together the information in a concise, easy to understand way, so I figured why reinvent the wheel. I h ope you received additional traffic.



  5. Kathy, of course the list is helpful, and I thank you for it. It’s always good to have these guidelines to refer to, but I have to tell you….

    …WHERE did you find this audio video?!!!!! It was aMAzing! WOW! WOW! WOW! I LOVE it!


    • Donna,

      I thought it was cool, too, but I felt like I would be cheating just putting up the video. On the other hand, I hope people noticed it and watched it. David Caruba sent it to me to put up on my blog. He got it from Don Hinkle who used to be a member in NJ, but now live in Martha’s Vineyard. I guess that how the web works.



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    helpful information to us, keep it up.


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