Recently, I have been challenged to write beginning reader books for kindergartners. Easy, right? Easy, no! If you write for children, you know it’s not as easy as it seems. And writing for beginning readers is extremely word-limited.
My trusty Children’s Writer’s Word Book by Alijandra Mogliner, is a must-have! It includes word lists for grades K – 6 plus a thesaurus with the grade level in parentheses for each word. She also gives sound advice on social changes, classroom themes, and publishing tips per each grade level, along with writing samples. I highly recommend this book, especially to those of you who are writing for early readers.
Try writing a story at a kindergarten level using only the words provided in that list. Yes, you can do it. But this writing style comparable to the Dick and Jane books leaves out many details. Just remember, though, the illustrator can fill in where the limitation of words cannot.
Have you ever read a book to your child, student, or grandchild and thought, “I could’ve written that!” I will admit I have. But once you get started and figure out the rules to what makes a story publishable for that age level, you might think again. It’s not nearly as easy as it seems. Pay attention. Browse through similar books at the book store or your library. Word count is minimal, too. Try writing a story with a 150 word limit. It’s a great writing exercise, actually!
Once again, I’d really like to recommend the Children’s Writer’s Word Book. It will make a difference.
As always… Keep on writing!