Things to Know about Children’s Picture Books

Updated: Apr 29

By Michael Heath / selfpublishingUS.com

So, who is going to illustrate your children’s book?

Have you written a children’s book or have a great idea for one? Did you ever think about what it would take to get it published?


If you are new to publishing a children’s picture book it is important to know exactly what a children’s picture book is.


Standard for Children's Picture Books

A children’s picture book is a book that combines visual and verbal components into a story that is aimed at an audience of one to five-year old children. To respect the age of the reader, the story should be engaging without being too complex. To assure books in this category are appropriate for young readers, there are certain industry standards that should be followed:

  • A children’s picture book is usually 32 pages, sometimes 24 pages and occasionally 40 pages

  • These books normally come in three shapes: profile (8w x 10h), landscape (10w x 8h) or a square (8 x 8). Other popular sizes are 8.5w x 11h and 9w x 12h

  • Word count needs to be 1000 words or less

  • It is a tradition to take a favorite image from inside the book and use that for the cover

When writing a children’s book be sure to stay away from characters or scenes that do not contribute to the plot. Word count is important, so steer away from modifiers by using more specific verbs and nouns that convey what you mean (e.g. Annie lived in a mansion instead of Annie lived in a very big beautiful house). Don’t add description in the text that is already being shown in the picture, instead provide insights from the speaker. Remember that the story can be simple while still putting forth an important message.


Children’s picture books are young people’s introduction to literacy. They can be fun for kids while stimulating a lifelong interest in reading. When creating one it is important to follow some rules to allow the effort to be successful.


SelfPublishingUS had printed many children's picture books - contact us to learn more.

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