How to create compelling characters for kids

Hi everyone

You may have noticed is developing.

I have taken on-board my first new illustrator and he is working on illustrations for my debut children’s picture book for 3-5 year olds.

So what makes compelling characters for kids in terms of the writer/illustrator partnership for that age group:

  1. Character expressions mimic that of the kids’.
  2. They behave in the same manner as a kid would.
  3. They speak the kids’ language.
  4. Even the more scary animals are cute, cuddly and approachable.
  5. Each character has their own character that makes them memorable in some way.
  6. They are colourful.
  7. The story is told from the point of view of the main character.
  8. The main character is likeable and approachable.
  9. Kids can relate to the main character in some way.
  10. Each character could have a story of their own to tell.

My debut children’s picture book © “The Owl Who Couldn’t Hoot” will be out in a few months.

If you would like to keep up to date with what is happening and for news , information and inspiration . Please click on the link below and fill in your details:

Write soon. Sandra.

18 thoughts on “How to create compelling characters for kids

    1. Thanks for the insight. As you like a lot of graphics and cute and cuddly things, then I think you would like my owl story. Unfortunately, at the moment, I am still waiting for the illustrator to finish the illustrations.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have written a story about a Baby Owl who was born without a hoot and enlists the help of several animals to find it. It is still awaiting promised illustrations.


      2. Great. I have written a second picture book that needs editing and re-working. The main character is a snail and it has smaller creatures in it such as insects.


      3. That will be great. Thank you. I am currently working on non-fiction books so it may be a while before snail slithers your way but I will let you know when he does.


  1. Hi Hutchagoodlife

    I write picture books for 3-5 year olds. I am doing a Writing for Children course with the Writer’s Bureau. It is a distance learning course. I will look at my course guide and get back to you.

    Speak soon


    PS Love reading your blog posts, they make me laugh. Keep up the good work.


  2. Regarding writing for children, roughly how many words should a picture book have, how many should a 9-12 year old chapter book have and how many for a teen or young adult? I have tried researching but the answers really seem to vary.



    1. Hi hutchagoodlife

      Sorry about the delay in replying to your question. As I previously mentioned, I write children’s picture books for 3-5 years. I am doing a distance learning course with the Writer’s Bureau that is called Writing For Children and covers various age group categories up to the 9-12 years.

      In my course content guide it states that books for 9-12 years can be anything from 15,000 – 30,000 words and gives examples of The Animal Ark Series, Philip Pullman’s Northern Lights Trilogy and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter. It states that: “The Key Character must always be in the foreground, the story must have a theme and work towards furthering and resolving the main plot of the story.” It says that these books can be part of a long series involving the same characters.

      Unfortunately my course does not include writing for the teen or young adult market and this is not something that I have researched or looked into myself and so I do not feel able to give you the answer you are looking for. I would suggest that you may want to join some writing groups, for example on LinkedIn, where you can connect to many different writers and pose questions to the group, that may help you.
      My other suggestion would be to go into your local library and bookstore and ask them. They will probably have staff that have been there a long time and may be able to answer your question. They will also point you in the direction of books for that age group that you can study in terms of number of chapters, sentence structure etc. Or you could do a course?

      I hope this information has been helpful to you?

      I look forward to seeing you in print.

      All the best


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