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Age range in PB queries?

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Are you supposed to specify the age range in picture book queries or is that optional? I’m having trouble figuring out the sub-age ranges. Are the most common 3-6 and 4-8? I know there must be an article somewhere that breaks this down, but it’s surprisingly hard to google it!

Thanks!
Katrina
#1 - November 17, 2020, 10:28 PM

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Hi KatrinaT,

In general, PBs go from 2-8, with the most common range being 4-8. If you're uncomfortable indicating where yours falls, maybe describe it as "for a younger/older picture book audience."

Good luck!
#2 - November 18, 2020, 05:00 AM
PRUDENCE, THE PART-TIME COW, A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK, BUSY BUS series, EMERGENCY KITTENS, and more!
Twitter @jodywrites4kids

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I feel like most publishers use the 4-8 range as a target for PBs. The exception is a lot of PB bios seem to focus on slightly higher target range, more like upper elementary. So 6 - 10?
#3 - November 18, 2020, 06:23 AM
Freaky Funky Fish ( Running Press Kids, May 2021)
Tell Someone (Albert Whitman, October 2021)
Peculiar Primates (Running Press Kids, Fall 2022)

Ok, that’s what I was thinking—4-8 as default, 3-6 if it skews younger. And then the older nonfiction set.

Thanks for the help!
#4 - November 18, 2020, 07:04 AM

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As above, but I've also noticed some publishers categorize their book lists according to age, so when this happens I say where my manuscript fits into their categories.
It is so flexible - children and their reading capabilities are not "one size fits all", are they!
#5 - November 18, 2020, 02:00 PM
Odd Bods: The World's Unusual Animals - Millbrook Press 2021
Tiny Possum and the Migrating Moths - CSIRO Pub. Oct. 2021

www.juliemurphybooks.com

He is Risen! Alleluia!!!
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when i query, i don't specify the age but a general range as jody describes and i typically have three categories, baby/toddler, younger, older pb readers. and of course, the best pbs are for grownups too.
#6 - November 18, 2020, 03:15 PM
Little Thief! Max & Midnight, Bound, Ten Easter Eggs & 100+ bks/mags
https://vijayabodach.blogspot.com https://bodachbooks.blogspot.com

Thanks!
#7 - November 28, 2020, 10:47 AM

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IMO the picture book range breaks down into a number of possible age ranges: As examples, 2-4 for concept books for the very young, 3-5 for simple PBs and bed-time books, 4-6 for "classic" picture books, 5-7 for PBs with school settings.... One handy trick is to look on Amazon for books similar to yours in themes and complexity of story and vocabulary, and see what age range they give there.
#8 - November 30, 2020, 04:07 PM
Harold Underdown

The Purple Crayon, a children's book editor's site: http://www.underdown.org/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/HUnderdown

Thanks, Harold, that’s really helpful—just what I was looking for!
#9 - November 30, 2020, 04:31 PM

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