Saturday, April 30, 2011

Board books and picture books for children continue booming

Jumbo Editorial Team

Board books and picture books with short texts for children under five years old are booming in both fiction and non-fiction.

Picture books for the four to eight-year age group are still going strong, especially silly, wacky stories. Despite what you’ve heard recently at writers’ conferences, talking animals seem to be back in style, as long as the characters have very strong, distinct personalities with realistic and humorous stories about bears are the most popular.

In the ever-changing world of children’s book publishing, it’s often hard to keep up with what’s hot. While strong writing and an author’s passion for the subject will always prevail, there are some areas where editors are currently buying.

Poetry is more prevalent than in years past, especially collections from a single author with a theme or hook. While the market appears to be saturated with folktales, story collections are still popular.

Stories with dragons, wizards, gnomes and other mythical creatures abound, possibly because of the success of the Harry Potter books. Several books about fathers and their relationship with their children have fared well Also, books that combine fiction and nonfiction are a new way to teach subjects such as history, biography or art.

Historical fiction is still big for middle grade readers, though lengthy series seem to be giving way to single titles and shorter series. Biographies, humorous contemporary stories, and mysteries are always considered hot.

Young adult fiction is stronger than it has been for years, with time-travel, fantasy, adventure, problem novels, and realistic contemporary fiction topping the list.

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