Types of Children’s Books

Children’s Book

Just as there are genres for adult readers, many types of children’s books have appeared over the years. These vary in types of stories, illustrations and interaction with the readers. Following is a descriptive list of these types, as well as the sub-genres within each group. The information provided here is adapted from my studies in my Literature for the Young Child class, taught by Dr. John Cech.

Stories

1. Picture Books: These stories concentrate more on the illustrations than on the text. The text of the story compliments the artwork rather than the pictures adding to the story.

2. Rhythmic Books: These books usually rhyme or have a musical component. Popular examples of these books are “Green Eggs and Ham” and “The Cat in the Hat” by Dr. Seuss. This genre also includes nursery rhymes and lullabies.

3. Folklore: Tales such as these have been passed down through generations and oral traditions for centuries. Tomie dePaola, an author-illustrator, frequently uses folktales to create stories for children. Myths are often paired with folklore, and these stories specifically attempt to explain different aspects of life. The goal of these stories is to pass down knowledge to younger generations.

4. Fairytales: Princes fighting for princesses dominate this genre. These stories have a magical component and are a more detailed way of explaining the world.

5. Fantasy: Fantasy stories are predominantly magical in nature but also comment greatly through this lens on contemporary life. Often an intense struggle of good versus evil occurs.

6. First Books: Nowadays children are introduced to stories even before they are born. Public libraries run programs where caregivers bring their infants to the library and are taught how to read to them. Books made out of board, cloth and plastic all make up this category, and their stories introduce babies to the basic outline of our world.

7. Concept Books: Concepts ranging from getting dressed to sharing are covered in these stories. The example book made on this site is a concept book about the season of spring.

8. Issue Books: A new trend in children’s books is the introduction of controversial issues facing society today. Examples of topics include divorce, abuse, sexuality and war. Debate surrounds whether or not children should be exposed to these at a young age.

Illustrations

1. Watercolor

2. Sketches

3. Line drawings

4. Photographs