Regardless of how good your idea is for your upcoming children’s book, you have to make sure that the children that read it feel the same way. Children’s books are more than just a series of pictures and animals attached to each letter of the alphabet. It is essential that you do your research before writing and publishing a children’s book, and there are things to consider as you do so.
It sounds silly, but it is essential that you ‘go back to school.’ Speak to school teachers that teach the age-level that you are targeting in your book. They are, typically, more than happy to open up their experiences with children and what they look for in a book for that age group. If you do not know any teachers personally, you can check in with a local elementary school - make sure you sign in first.
Before you start to try and impress children and parents with your new book, remember that you are a storyteller first. Speak to children in your target group by reading them a book and asking them questions. Even children in preschool can be asked simple questions, and you will get a handle on what they like to read. You may also speak to parents or educators of small children if they are not yet verbal enough, talk to parents and teachers.
If you are a parent and planning to write a children’s book, the research lays in your children. However, if you do not have children, speak to family members about hanging out with your nieces or nephews for the day. What is disguised as a super fun day at the park for your favorite nephew is an excellent research for your book for an audience of his peers. Pick up on his language skills, what he enjoys, his favorite activities, and more.
Watch children’s shows and films aimed at the age group for whom you are writing. Make sure to watch the most popular cartoons and movies, as these are the programs and movies that have children mesmerized enough to watch over and over. Take individual notes on the storylines, the characters, and the themes of these shows.
Use resources such as Reedsy to help edit your books and collaborate or research with other like-minded writers. When you write a children’s book, you are not merely putting bold pictures into a simple story. Kids are not as simple-minded as one may think, and as adults, they know what they like to read.