How Many Words in a Children’s Book

How Many Words in a Children’s Book?

When it comes to writing a children’s book, one of the most common questions that authors ask is, “How many words should it have?” While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, it is essential to consider various factors such as the target age group, genre, and the purpose of the book. In this article, we will explore these factors and provide some guidelines to help you determine the appropriate word count for your children’s book.

Factors to Consider

1. Age Group:
The age of your intended readers is a crucial factor in determining the word count of your children’s book. Younger children generally have shorter attention spans and may struggle to sit through a lengthy book. For picture books targeting children aged 2-5, the word count typically ranges from 100 to 800 words. For early readers (ages 6-8), chapter books can be around 5,000 to 20,000 words. Middle-grade novels (ages 9-12) usually fall between 20,000 and 55,000 words. Finally, young adult novels (ages 13 and above) can range from 55,000 to 80,000 words or more.

2. Genre:
The genre of your children’s book is another important factor to consider. Different genres have different expectations in terms of word count. For example, a humorous picture book may have fewer words compared to a fantasy adventure novel. Researching similar books in your chosen genre can give you a better idea of the acceptable word count range.

3. Purpose:
It is crucial to consider the purpose of your children’s book. Is it purely for entertainment, or does it have educational aspects as well? If your book aims to teach children new concepts or skills, it may require more words to effectively convey the information. However, if the primary purpose is to entertain, you may want to keep the word count concise to maintain the reader’s interest.


Q: Can a children’s book have no words?
A: Absolutely! Wordless picture books are a popular genre in children’s literature. These books rely solely on illustrations to tell a story, allowing young readers to use their imagination and interpret the narrative in their own way.

Q: Are there any exceptions to the recommended word count ranges?
A: Yes, there are always exceptions to the guidelines. Some books may fall outside the usual word count ranges due to unique storytelling styles, specific themes, or even the preferences of a particular publisher. However, it is generally advisable to stay within the suggested word count ranges to ensure your book is appropriate for the intended audience.

Q: How important is it to edit and revise a children’s book?
A: Editing and revising are vital steps in the writing process for any book, including children’s books. It is crucial to ensure your writing is clear, concise, and engaging for young readers. Consider seeking feedback from beta readers or hiring a professional editor to help polish your manuscript.

Q: How long does it take to write a children’s book?
A: The time required to write a children’s book varies greatly depending on factors such as the word count, complexity of the story, research needed, and the writer’s experience. Some authors may complete a picture book draft within a few weeks, while others may spend several months or even years perfecting a novel.


Determining the appropriate word count for a children’s book involves considering factors such as the age group, genre, and purpose of the book. While there are general guidelines to follow, it is essential to conduct research and analyze similar books in your chosen genre. Remember that writing for children requires creativity, simplicity, and the ability to engage young readers, so choose your words wisely and enjoy the process of crafting a captivating story for the next generation.

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