Last updated: August 14, 2021

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For those of us who love to read, books are the gateway to fantastic, mysterious, enthralling, stimulating and playful worlds, and what could be better than experiencing this indescribable pleasure from an early age? Welcome to ReviewBox! Discover the magic of children's stories!

What child doesn't love to be read a bedtime story? Children's stories transport the little ones to stories of other times, with fabulous and enigmatic characters that surprise, amuse and thrill them. In addition, these stories stimulate their imagination, attention and empathy.

Throughout this article you will delve into the wonderful world of children's stories and you will learn about their main characteristics and peculiarities. This information will help you to choose the perfect book for your child and, why not, to look for an old fable from your childhood to read again and enjoy.




Summary

  • Children's stories are stories written for children of different ages, which can contain from fantastic stories to fables and legends, always accompanied by colourful and striking drawings, according to the different themes.
  • There are many varieties of children's stories, among which you can find classics, short stories or modern variants, among many more options, which differ from each other mainly by their themes and types of approaches.
  • It is very important that when buying a children's story for your child you take into account certain factors, such as genre, classification, theme, number of pages and variants according to age and gender, among other relevant aspects.

The best children's stories: Our picks

Past Recommendations

Buying guide: What you need to know about children's stories

The main aim of this buying guide is to provide you with useful information about the product you are interested in buying. Therefore, we will tell you what the most important features of children's stories are, including their advantages and those aspects that are not so beneficial.

Children's stories stimulate children's imagination, creativity and attention. (Photo: freeograph / 123rf.com)

What are children's stories and what are their advantages?

Children's stories are stories with themes adapted to the interests of the youngest children. In the market you can find a great variety of this type of stories, written in the form of novels, prose or short texts, among other literary genres.

On the other hand, children's stories deal with numerous themes, such as friendship, love, solidarity and family, from a point of view that is appropriate for the ages at which they are aimed. You can find classic or modern variants in traditional paper format, as well as in audio format.

Among their many advantages, children's stories are an extremely broad, fun and versatile alternative for your children to connect with the world of books. In addition to stimulating their interest in reading, they help them develop their imagination, empathy, attention and concentration.

Advantages
  • They connect children to reading
  • They develop imagination and empathy
  • They convey human values
  • They stimulate cognitive functions
  • There is a wide variety of themes and approaches
  • They are fun and entertaining
Disadvantages
  • They can have a macho look
  • Many maintain unrealistic stereotypes of beauty
  • Some are too conservative or old-fashioned

Classic, short or modern children's stories: what should you pay attention to?

Children's stories have different themes and approaches depending on the age of the children. In the following, we will detail the main features of these books so that you can compare them and choose the variant that is most appropriate for your child.

Classic children's stories. These are popular and timeless stories that are passed down through the generations. In this category you can find copies of "Little Red Riding Hood", "Pinocchio", "Peter Pan", "Puss in Boots" and "Cinderella", among many others, either in their original version or another version.

Short stories. Short stories are, as the name suggests, short children's stories or tales aimed mainly at younger children. These variants, within which you can find different themes, are a great option to read to your child before bedtime.

Modern. They can be modern in format or content (or both). In the first case, you can find paper copies (with new graphics and textures) or audio copies. And in terms of subject matter, they can focus on children's current interests in different areas (school, family, entertainment, etc.).

Classics Short Modern
Main themes Friendship, love, family, empathy, solidarity, etc. Friendship, love, family, empathy, solidarity, etc. Friendship, love, family, empathy, solidarity, social themes, changing stereotypes, etc.
Number of pages Variable Between 20 and 30 pages, approximately Variable
Ages Varied Young children, mainly Varied
Literary genre Legend, novel, fable, etc. Short stories (short tales), prose, etc. Novel, story, biography, etc.

Are there Audio stories for children?

Technology is also part of the world of books, so you can find different and numerous variants of audio stories for children so that your child can connect with the contents of different children's books from a CD or mobile device (a device with which he/she is very familiar).

Below is a comparative chart showing the advantages and disadvantages of this modern system. This information will allow you to compare this mechanism with the paper story format, and to choose the option that you consider most appropriate for your child.

Advantages
  • Children are familiar with this format
  • They can listen and watch hundreds of stories on youtube
  • Most of them are accompanied by visual content and music
  • They last only a few minutes so that children do not get bored or scattered
  • They can capture their attention more than reading
Disadvantages
  • Children do not have contact with reading
  • The voices are impersonal, unlike stories read by parents
  • Many do not have graphics to observe closely
  • They do not have textures to touch

Buying criteria: factors that allow you to compare children's storybook models

In this last section of the article we will talk about the factors that you should not lose sight of when buying a children's storybook, as there are countless variants to choose from, adapted to the different interests of your child. Don't miss it!

Genre

Children's literature is a genre in itself, but these stories can have an approach closer to novels, short texts, or prose, among other variants. Here we will mention the characteristics of these children's literary genres so that you can get to know their main peculiarities.

Novels. Children's stories written in novel format are usually aimed at older children, as their content is longer and more complex (usually divided into several stories). If your child is 10 years old or older and is familiar with reading, these variants can be an excellent choice.

Short stories. Short stories are short texts written mainly for younger children, so their content is simple and concise. We recommend this type of story to read to your child before bedtime, as they will retain and memorise the information easily before falling asleep.

Prose. Prose is verse or poetry that is characterised by having separate paragraphs that are presented in rhyming form. Young children particularly love this format, and memorise the content quickly, making it a fun and playful alternative.

Classification

Children's stories can have an infinite number of themes that classify them into mystery stories, fables, legends, etc. Below, we will mention some of these classifications so that you can get to know their types of plots and approaches.

Mystery stories. Mystery stories are those that hide an enigma to be solved, so they are related to the suspense genre. They can be a very entertaining and engaging option for your child, but if they are young, look for a variation that does not scare them.

Legends. These are stories that are passed down orally through time, so they are usually very old. These stories, which are usually fantastic, can be found mainly in classic children's stories, such as "The Hunchback of Notre Dame", "The Pied Piper of Hamelin", "Gulliver's Travels", etc.

Fables. Fables are stories whose main purpose is to teach children a lesson or moral. These beautiful stories, whose main characters are usually animals, can be found in classic tales such as "The Hare and the Tortoise", etc., or in more modern variants.

Stories with a social theme. They talk about different social and cultural issues, so you can find variants oriented to sexual diversity, racism, xenophobia, solidarity, empathy, female empowerment, etc. (written with understandable examples for children).

Other types

In addition to those mentioned in the comparative table, there are other types of children's stories with different themes for children. Below, we will mention the particularities of some of them, so that you can take them into account when making your purchase.

Bedtime stories. These stories are usually short, as they are read to the little ones minutes before falling asleep. Look for stories that have themes that relax your child, and that do not generate anxiety, fear, worry or adrenaline, as this will make it difficult for them to fall asleep or they will sleep badly.

English stories. There are children's stories in English that are very practical for the little ones to learn the language in a natural, playful and fun way (as this is the age at which they assimilate the information the most). In the market you can find these books with different themes, which are an excellent option.

Animal stories. Children's stories with animals are a classic of this literary genre, as children love them. These characters, cute and funny, leave very deep and human messages, so that copies of this type (which usually correspond to fables) are very educational.

Didactic stories. Didactic children's stories are those that teach children different things through play (such as adding, subtracting, learning colours, words, etc.). They are mainly designed for the youngest children, and you can find them in different textures and formats.

Number of pages

How many pages do children's stories have? The number of pages varies, but there are certain parameters depending on whether it is a short, conventional or long story. Here we will give you some references in relation to this subject so that you can have an approximate ideal.

Short children's stories. Short children's stories are usually between 20 and 30 pages long, approximately, but the texts (which can also be written in prose or poetry) occupy only a percentage of the pages, given that the graphics have a predominant place.

These stories are aimed at younger children, who are not yet ready to incorporate so much content. So if you are looking for short children's books, we recommend that you look for copies with graphics that appeal to your child.

Conventional children's stories. Conventional children's stories are usually between 40 and 70 pages long. There are variants with more or less pictures, but usually the graphics are not given such a high priority, as they are aimed at younger children.

Books with this approximate number of pages are the most common and sought after, as they cover a much wider age range (from 6 to 10 years old). You can find them with multiple themes and types of approaches, according to the stage of the child.

Long children's stories. Long children's stories have a format more similar to novels, as they are designed for slightly older children (10 years and older). They are usually up to 100 pages long with few graphics, as they give priority to the text.

these books require a certain level of reading fluency

Due to their considerable number of pages, these books require a certain level of reading fluency on the part of the child. It is important that your child starts by reading short stories and gradually builds up to longer variants, so as not to be overwhelmed by so much content.

Depending on age

A very important factor to take into account when buying a children's story is the age of the child

A very important factor to take into account when buying a children's story is the age of the child, as this will determine what type of book is most suitable. Therefore, we will give you an approximate overview of the recommended stories according to each age so that you can have it as a reference.

Babies. Children's stories for babies are focused on stimulating the sensory, auditory and visual functions of the little ones. Therefore, you can find a wide variety of these books with different formats, textures, colours and sounds for your child to interact with them.

3 to 6 years old. This is the age when children start kindergarten, so educational books (with names, animals, objects, etc.) are ideal for this first stage. Keep in mind that as their attention span is more limited, it is best to look for short and dynamic texts.

6 to 9 years old. At this age, children already know how to read, so they can create their own reading space and connect with books in a much more intimate and direct way. It is important that they choose the topics that interest them and that the texts are not too long or complex, as they will become bored or frustrated.

10 years and older. At this stage, children can read much more fluently, so novels can be a great option for them to start reading longer books. It is very good for them to discover new authors and choose their favourites, slowly building up their own library.

Children's stories vary in format and content according to the age of the children. (Photo: Jrgen Flchle / 123rf.com)

According to gender

Here we enter a somewhat controversial point, given that times have changed and there are no longer labels that determine which stories boys should like and which girls should like. For this reason, we will comment on which books they generally choose, always respecting their freedom to deviate from sexist stereotypes.

Girls. The children's stories most often chosen by girls are those about princesses and fairies. However, in recent times, the heroines no longer wear long dresses or maintain a submissive posture in the face of adversity, but rather, they are rebellious and powerful women.

Children. Children, depending on their age, tend to prefer children's stories with more action, mystery and adventure. They also generally choose stories that are fun and dynamic, so you can find different variations of this type to entertain and stimulate them.

Both. There are certain themes that appeal to both girls and boys, depending on their age. If you are looking for a children's story that is not so pigeonholed in gender (feminine or masculine) you can look for variants of mystery, fables, legends, etc., with human or animal characters.

(Featured image photo: jollier / 123rf.com)

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