Children’s Literature: Genre Guide

Children’s Literature: Genre Guide

Children’s literature can be categorized in a number of ways. But the easiest way to do so would be according to the genre or the intended age of the reader.

Here’s the complete genre guide in children’s writing. Everything you ever needed to know, and then some more!


A literary genre is a category of literary composition. Genres are usually determined by literary technique, tone, content, or even length of the book. E.g. Poetry, biography, picture books.

Major Genres in Children’s Literature:
  •  Picture Books: Story and concept are narrated through a combination of text and pictures. But the focus is much more on the pictures, rather than the text. Traditionally, picture books have exactly 32 pages with a picture on each page. (Although, of course, there are notable exceptions to this rule.)

+The very hungry caterpillar

+ Where the wild things are

  • Picture Story Books: Books that have some pictures, but not necessarily on every page. Both text and pictures move the story forward.

+ The Jungle Book

+ Bambi

  • Traditional Literature:   Folk songs, folk tales, legends, myths and rhymes from the past.

+ Aesop’s fables

+ Bible Stories

  • Historical Fiction:  Stories that are set in the past, have authentic setting and recount events that could have occurred.

+Little House on the Prairie

+The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

  • Modern Fantasy: Make-believe stories set in imaginative worlds. Stories about people and places that do not exist.

+ The Harry Potter Series

+Percy Jackson Series.

  •  Contemporary Realistic Fiction: Stories and events in a contemporary setting with realistic characters that children can relate to.

+ Superfudge

+ Holes

  • Science Fiction: Stories that deal with futuristic Science, futuristic settings, aliens or paranormal abilities. The writings are based on scientifically established laws of nature.

+ Artemis Fowl

  • Non-Fiction: Informational books that deal with the real world and explain subjects or concepts. +George’s Secret Key to the Universe
  •  Biography: An account of a person’s life; this category of literature includes autobiographies, diaries, letters, memoirs.

+ Looking at Lincoln

+ Nelson Mandela.

  • Poetry: Writings in verse form; could be rhyming or non-rhyming.

+ Where the sidewalk ends.

All these genres can be further categorized into subgenres. And sometimes there may be overlap between genres. But overall, these are the universally accepted norms for structuring and categorizing children’s literature.


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