Font, Size & Categories in Children’s Book

While researching, I came across this interesting guide for the size of typefaces used in children’s books. I plan to use it as a reference for my books.

(Image Source: Jury, D. (2004) About Face: Reviving the Rules of Typography. Switzerland: Rotovision, p. 74)

Standard Age Groups for Children’s Books.

Board books: 0-3.
Picture books: 3-7.
Chapter book/Early readers: 5-8.
Middle Grade: 8-12.
YA: 12+ or 14+ (depending on content) (Sterry, 2011)

Does your book have to be a particular length to sit on a children’s book shelf?
That varies depending on the age group; picture books are usually less than a thousand words, YA is usually less than 100,000 words. (Sterry, 2011)

In Martin Salisbury’s Illustrating Children’s Books, he defines a picture book as coming in the format of 24 or more usually 32 pages. In contrast, he states that the limit age of picture books has crept down recently: “Publishers currently consider picture books as suitable for children up to only five or six” (Salisbury, 2013, p.74). He admits that there is a clear gap in market for illustrated books aimed towards children aged six to nine.

“Picture books are primarly intended to be read to a child of pre-reading age by a parent [or an adult]. This means that the audience is effectively ‘reading’ the pictures while listening to the soundtrack, and learning to fill in the gaps between the two things (sometimes referred to as ‘closure’) in order to fully experience the book” (Salisbury, 2013, p.75).


The ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a GTIN-13 beginning with 978 or 979, and is used to identify books. The ISBN number is encoded into an EAN-13 barcode. ISBNs are allocated to publishers by Nielsen Book Services, the UK’s ISBN agency.

Jury, D. (2004) About Face: Reviving the Rules of Typography. Switzerland: Rotovision, p. 74

Salisbury, M (2004:2013) Illustrating Children’s Books. London: Quarto Publishing. pp. 74 –

Sterry, (2011) ‘How to Get Your Children’s Book Published’ written for Huffington Post 10th January 2011. Reproduced at:
[Accessed: 24 January 2016]



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s