Are you thinking about writing for children, but you're not sure how long the book should be? Here are some general guidelines to steer you in the right direction.
Picture books for ages one to six are actually broken down even further into books for one to three year olds, three to five and five to seven. In general, however, these books are mostly pictures which carry at least half of the story and supply descriptions and character details. These books should be anywhere from 25 to 1,500 words.
Ages Seven to Ten - these books have more text and fewer pictures with lots of action. These can run from 1,000 to 10,000 words. These are often read to children by adults. Some children, however, will read these themselves so keep the words to the proper age level, but not oversimplified.
Easy to Read books are for ages six to nine and are read by children. The words should be easily recognized. Keep the length from 500 to 2,000 words. Most publishers prefer 1,000 to 1,500 words.
Middle grade readers are aged eight to twelve. At this stage, there are books aimed for girls and those aimed for boys, but mixed characters are always welcomed. Kids this age are interested in everything. Keep these to between 20,000 to 40,000 words.
Teen books are aimed at kids between the ages of twelve to sixteen, but can also be read by kids younger. These stories are longer and more complex and often deal with more serious issues. These stories are 60,000 words and above.
Keep in mind the word lengths listed above are general guidelines. Once you've crafted your story, be sure to check the listed guidelines of the publishers to whom you want to submit your story. They may have very different requirements - follow those guidelines and edit your story accordingly before submitting.