Story Writing Ideas

How to Write the Best Baby Books


Here are our top story writing ideas garnered from studies of babies' development and best seller books for this age group; get lots of creative writing ideas on how to write the best books for babies:

Story Writing Ideas #1: Babies Love Books About Animals

Babies enjoy looking at pictures of animals and listening to animal stories, especially if they revolve around baby animals; for example, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, where a busily-munching caterpillar eats a hole right through the book and turns into a butterfly: a much-loved classic.

Carle's books are a winning combination of fascinating facts, ingenious ideas and brilliantly colored artwork: qualities bound to capture the eyes and heart of any baby. Check out his other books as well: The Very Busy Spider; The Very Quiet Cricket; Have You Seen My Cat?; Will You Be My Friend?; 1, 2, 3 to the Zoo; Rooster's Off to See the World.

Look out also for Joyce Dunbar's Four Fierce Kittens; and Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell, which capitalizes on babies' love for the game of peek-a-boo: pictures of animals hidden under flaps, until at last the child finds the perfect pet - a puppy.

Stories about talking animals are also favorites with babies: for example, the Spot the Puppy series by Eric Hill; Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown; Nancy Carlstrom's Jesse Bear, What Will YOu Wear? and Jesse Bear's Tum-Tum Tickle; Deborah Guarino's Is Your Mama a Llama?; and Cressida Cowell's What Shall We Do with the Boo-Hoo Baby?

Story Writing Ideas #2: Stories About Babies are Favorites Too

Babies enjoy looking at pictures and photographs of other babies, and they love stories of babies like themselves: for example, Welcome, Little Baby and One Little Spoonful, both by Aliki; Sarah Hayes' Eat Up, Gemma; Patricia Hubbell's Wrapping Paper Romp; Jan Ormerod's Peek-a-Boo!; Helen Oxenbury's 4 titles: All Fall Down; Clap Hands; Say Goodnight; Tickle, Tickle.

Babies have short attention spans and prefer simple tales with straightforward plots. They love books that revolve round the familiar world of home, family and pets: simple stories about everyday incidents like going for a walk, going to the park, going shopping, taking a bath or playing with parents or siblings - with the baby as the central character. For example, Ann Morris' This Little Baby's Morning and This Little Baby Goes Out; Sarah Garland's 3 titles: All Gone!; Going Shopping; Having a Picnic; 7 titles by Shirley Hughes: Bathwater's Hot; When We Went to the Park; Noisy; Two Shoes, New Shoes; Bouncing; Giving; Out and About; and 4 titles by Shigeo Watanabe: I'm Going for a Walk; Hallo! How Are You?; I'm Playing with Papa!; I'm Having a Bath with Papa!

Story Writing Ideas #3: Babies Like Nursery Rhymes & Rhyming Songs

Babies enjoy simple rhymes, especially fingerplays and action rhymes; for example: these 3 titles by Marc Brown : Finger Rhymes; Hand Rhymes; Play Rhymes; Kay Chorao's Knock at the Door and Other Baby Action Rhymes; Nadine Bernard Westcott's Peanut Butter and Jelly: A Play Rhyme. Babies love rhymes with a lively beat or musical rhythm, and lots of repetition; for example, Over in the Meadow by Ezra Jack Keats; Sylvia Long's Hush Little Baby; and We're Going On a Bear Hunt! by Michael Rosen.

As these books will be read aloud, the sound of the words is important. Polish your sentences, giving them a lively lilt and a melodious flow; make sure they don't sound stiff or jarring. Try out interesting, delightful combinations of words, even lovely strings of nonsense words. Check out Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault; Charlie Parker Played Be Bop by Chris Raschka; Ride a Purple Pelican by Jack Prelutsky; Jamberry by Bruce Degen; Time for Bed by Mem Fox; and The Piggy in the Puddle by Charlotte Pomerantz.

Add a touch of humor too: look out for The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear; Lenny Hort's The Seals on the Bus; Raffi's Down by the Bay; and Nadine Bernard Westcott's The Lady with the Alligator Purse (a twist on a familiar rhyme).

Story Writing Ideas #4: Babies Love Humorous Stories & Funny Poems

Babies love silly rhymes and nonsense words, humorous stories and comical pictures. Check out these 3 titles by Sandra Boynton: Blue Hat, Green Hat; But Not the Hippopotamus; Moo, Baa, La La La; June Crebbin's Cows in the Kitchen; Alexandra Day's Good Dog, Carl; Vivian French's Oh No, Anna!; Pat Hutchins' Rosie's Walk; Bill Grossman's My Little Sister Ate One Hare.

Story Writing Ideas #5: Some Babies Enjoy Books about Vehicles

Some babies are crazy about vehicles (just like some adults!) and go for every book on their pet subject, be it fire engines, trains, trucks, airplanes or rockets. These can range from purely informative books to stories about animated vehicles: check out these 4 Peter Spier titles: Big Trucks, Little Trucks; Fast Cars, Slow Cars; Here Come the Fire Trucks; Trucks that Dig and Dump; 7 titles by Byron Barton: Boats; Planes; Trains; Trucks; My Car; Airport; I Want to be an Astronaut; 4 titles by Donald Crews: Truck; Freight Train; Inside Freight Train; School Bus; Thacher Hurd's Zoom City; Philemon Sturges' I Love Trains!; Dan Yaccarino's Zoom! Zoom! Zoom! I'm Off to the Moon!

Story Writing Ideas #6: Board Books & Picture Books for Babies

As the name suggests, a picture book tells a story through the interplay of pictures and words. The pictures are just as important as the text; part of the story, or even the whole story, may be told through the illustrations alone. Babies love books with large, clear, simple pictures in bright colors.

Look out for Molly Bang's Yellow Ball, 1991, Greenwillow; John Burningham's Hushabye, 2001, Knopf, and Mr Gumpy's Outing, 1971, Henry Holt; Alexandra Day's Good Dog, Carl, 1985, Aladdin; Eric Carle's From Head to Toe, 1997, HarperCollins.

Board books have pages made of thick cardboard. Babies love little board books they can hold and play with; they enjoy the brightly colored pictures and the feel of the smooth, sturdy pages. Check out Jez Alborough's Hug, 2000, Candlewick; Molly Bang's Ten, Nine, Eight, 1983, Tupelo; Janet and Allan Ahlberg's 4 titles: Baby Sleeps; Blue Buggy; Doll and Teddy; See the Rabbit: all 1998, Little, Brown.

Story Writing Ideas #7: Interactive Children's Books & Educational Books for Babies

These are books with built-in gadgets that appeal to a child's senses, for example, flaps, peepholes, pop-up pictures, tiny bulbs that light up, or various textured materials like silk, wool or sandpaper pasted onto the pages. Look out for Clare Beaton's Mother Goose Remembers, 2000, Barefoot Books; David Carter's If You're Happy and You Know It, Clap Your Hands, 1997, Scholastic; Elizabeth Hathon's Oh, Baby!: A Touch-and-Feel Book, 1999, Grosset & Dunlap; The Wheels on the Bus by Paul Zelinsky, 1990, Dutton.

For lists of best selling books for babies, and worldwide sales figures, go to Best Books for Babies

For great story writing ideas for older kids, go to Ideas for Toddlers' Books and Preschoolers Kindergartners' Stories: Ideas for Writing a Book.

Return from Story Writing Ideas to Creative Writing Ideas: Hot Favorites for Kids

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