Books for children & young people of all ages

Only a few decades ago there were hardly any books for children of all ages. Apart from a few picture books for children from 2 years of age, the printed word only played a role in kindergarten and school. In the meantime, however, there are books for every age group - and that already starts with the very small babies. The selection of titles and different types of books is so large that it is not always easy for parents, grandparents and friends to find the right choice for the respective age group. We would therefore like to give you an overview of the book landscape and lighten the jungle. In the following overview we have summarized the most common types of books for children of different ages with their most important features. Have fun exploring!

Books for children from 0 to 3 years

It is obvious that picture books are designed for the smallest children. But while you can read real stories to children from 2 years upwards, books for younger children are all about sensory experiences. Feeling shapes, understanding pictures and colours - all this promotes development and cannot begin early enough.

An example picture of an elementary picture book, which is opened and shows a red butterfly.

Elementary Picture Book

Elementary picture books are books specially designed for small children. They are not yet about a specific story, but mostly about the illustration of objects that already play a role in the life of the children. Whether toys, dummies, bottles or stuffed animals - realistic illustrations help in the elementary picture book to understand the basic shapes and colours. It is important not to overwhelm the children's senses, which is why elementary picture books are kept very simple. The presentation also meets current safety standards with rounded corners and a format suitable for children's hands. Sturdy cardboard is often used for such products because it is durable and strong enough to withstand rough handling.

An example of a feeling picture book, which shows a Christmas tree and a Christmas angel made of cloth to feel.

Feeling Picture Book

The feel picture book allows children to experience depicted objects haptically. Forms and materials are worked into these books so that they become tangible. These books promote the ability to grasp and stimulate the senses of the child. Recognition of objects is an important part of language development, while the tactile picture books also stimulate motor skills.

An example picture of a pop-up picture book of the small caterpillar Nimmersatt.

Pop-up picture books

Most parents will know pop-up picture books from their own childhood. They are books in which a three-dimensional structure is built up when each new page is opened - or pops up, if you take the term precisely. Often, figures or objects in the pictures shown can be moved by means of sophisticated sliding mechanisms. With these books, children learn that objects in pictures are three-dimensional. They also stimulate curiosity because they bring a certain interactivity with them. A robust design is particularly important for pop-up picture books so that the mechanism works as long as possible.

Books for children from 2-3 years

At this age, picture books are still very important because letters and symbols do not yet play a major role. Nevertheless, you can already read many picture books with text to a child at this age. The assignment of terms, objects and living beings promotes recognition and builds up vocabulary. But also the experience of stories is already possible through picture books.

An example picture of a problem-oriented picture book.

Problem Oriented Picture Book

Here, realistic situations are presented that have usually already occurred in the lives of small children. These picture books help the child to recognise and overcome certain problems. The acting characters guide the child from recognizing the problem, to the search for solutions, to overcoming the problem. The identification with the occurring figures and characters is very important because the child can put himself directly into the situation. Furthermore, such books encourage and can increase the empathy for other people's problems.

An example picture of a fantastic picture book.

Fantastic Picture Book

Here the imagination of the children is stimulated above all. They understand that the fantasy world offers the opportunity to experience adventures. At the same time, these experiences should not be perceived as threatening. Fantastic picture books help to make this experience in a safe and secure environment together with the parents. Humour is also usually not neglected in such books.

The example picture of an animal picture book.

Animal Picture Book

Animals are very important and fascinating for children. Understanding fellow creatures and experiencing what animals there are here and on other continents is usually a formative experience. These picture books increase the children's knowledge and illustrate how animals and humans exist together - and where this existence can encounter conflicts. The respect for nature and fellow creatures is also sharpened.

Example picture of a non-fiction picture book.

Non-fictional Picture Book

The non-fiction picture book also serves a similar purpose to the animal picture book, except that it is about understanding complex things and processes. Whether nature or technology - a non-fiction picture book conveys scientific content in a way that is suitable for children and appropriate for their age. The curiosity to explore things is encouraged and expanded together with the knowledge.

Example picture of a fairy tale picture book.

Fairytale Picture Book

Fairy tales are indispensable for children. Whether when they fall asleep or just like that - reading a fairy tale aloud only becomes really interesting with a fairy tale picture book. Channeling the child's imagination through concrete pictures helps to classify and process the fairy tale story. Giants, witches or a high tower are often difficult for small children to comprehend through word descriptions alone.

Example picture of a religious picture book.

Religious Picture Book

A religious picture book can increase the understanding of the preferred religion. In this way, values and norms that play a role in the respective religion can be conveyed to small children at an early age. In the modern world, this also includes tolerance of other religions. These picture books are very helpful for parents for whom a religiously shaped world view is important in their upbringing.

Example picture of a reading aloud book.

Reading Aloud Books

Reading aloud books are available for children of all ages. Depending on age and individual stage of development, there is a wide range of topics for all types of narratives. Whether detective story, horror story or funny animal stories - there is hardly anything that is not themed in reading aloud books. Reading aloud offers the opportunity to convey a story in direct interaction with the child and to discuss it when necessary, for example when the child has questions or does not immediately understand something. The parental classification of content is especially important for small children.

Example picture of a interactive book.

Fun and Interactive Books

While reading aloud is often about falling asleep, fun and interactive books are designed to do the opposite. This is all about fighting boredom. Whether games for outdoors and indoors, joint handicrafts or the interactive exploration of new areas of knowledge - fun and interactive books are popular with all children.

Books for children from 6 years

At this age, most children begin to read for themselves. Even though parents are often still needed to read aloud or read along, this age group takes the first step into their own literary world. Often the ability to read also begins in kindergarten - so you have to adapt the content to the individual developmental stage of your child. It may well be that a five-year-old capable of reading already understands books for older children, and a seven-year-old with reading difficulties may be overwhelmed by this. The age recommendation is therefore not as decisive as the individual ability to grasp.

Children's books

Almost all categories of the topics already dealt with in the picture books also exist in books for children from six years of age. The difference lies in the content, which moves away from the picture content and towards the text content with increasing age. Nevertheless, this age group shows the greatest overlap between pure picture book and text content. We therefore do not want to repeat what has already been said, but rather draw attention to the differences between picture books and children's books. In the different areas

  • Children's books
  • Problem-oriented children's book
  • Fantastic children's book
  • Animal children's book
  • Non-fiction children's book
  • Fairytale children's book
  • Religious children's book

everything that has already been said about the picture books applies. In addition, you should make sure that the children's books are written in a large, child-friendly font and in age-appropriate language. On the one hand, this helps to keep the children's books interesting and stimulating; on the other hand, it facilitates the general understanding of the contents. For example, the greatest picture book about rockets quickly becomes boring if the child feels underchallenged according to his or her age. That's why it makes sense to expand on topics already purchased as picture books with new, age-appropriate children's books. Otherwise, you risk that your child will lose the desire to read or certain topics or not develop them at all.

First reading books and learning to read books

This brings us to a new subcategory that does not exist in picture books. First-reading books and learning to read books are not only there to develop the actual ability to read, but also to promote the fun of reading.

Books for children from 10 years

Youth Books

Children at this age have already had their first experiences with children's literature and developed their own preferences. For them, there is content from all areas, which is expanded according to age, until finally the transition to adolescence and young adults comes. From now on, children want to have a greater say in what they read. Youth books written especially for this age group deepen already known contents (e.g. non-fiction) and expand them with new aspects.

In fiction, new genres are available, while the classic infant categories are becoming less important. Good books for young people also deal with everyday problems and even serious topics in a way that is appropriate for children and age groups. Difficult topics such as conflict, loss, illness and even death are incorporated into stories because they are increasingly part of the everyday lives of many children. The selection of books for young people is almost as large as for books for adults. At this age, the joy of reading can blossom - those who enjoy reading books at the age of 10 will usually do so for the rest of their lives.