Studies in childhood development show that as kids grow, their reading preferences change. They have short attention spans and prefer simple tales with straightforward plots, especially those revolving round the familiar world of home, family, friends and pets. Babies love nursery and action rhymes, rhyming songs, and books about animals: for example, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, Joyce Dunbar’s Four Fierce Kittens, and the Spot the Puppy creative writing short story ideas by Eric Hill.
Babies also enjoy stories about everyday incidents they can relate to, like going for a walk, having a picnic, buying new shoes, getting invited to a party or playing with parents, siblings or friends: check out Sarah Garland’s Going Shopping, Shirley Hughes’ When We Went to the Park, and Shigeo Watanabe’s I’m Having a Bath with Papa! Toddlers enjoy stories about children like themselves, for example, Sarah Garland’s Going to Playschool and Shirley Hughes’ Alfie Gets in First. They also love books about animals, and tales of animal characters who are really children in disguise, for example, Mercer Mayer’s Little Crittur stories and Virginia Miller’s Bartholomew Bear series. Rhyming songs, nursery rhymes and funny poems are also favorites with toddlers: for example, The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear and Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb by Al Perkins. For more creative writing ideas, go to How to Write a Good Book for Babies and Write Best Seller Books for Toddlers. Favorites with preschoolers include simple adventures, stories about mischievous children, fairy tales and fantasies involving talking animals or toys.
They also enjoy simple fantasies and fairy tales that open up an imaginary world of heroes, heroines and courageous deeds, thereby satisfying their thirst for adventure. Paddington Bear series by Michael Bond, The Enormous Crocodile by Roald Dahl, and Robert Munsch’s I Have to Go, and Thomas’ Snowsuit. They prefer their books to come in a series, for example, The Berenstain Bears stories and Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad series. Give your stories lots of humor: they love tall stories, jokes and slapstick comedy, for example, Peggy Parish’s Amelia Bedelia and sequels. Also popular are action-packed adventure and mystery books like Edward Packard’s Choose Your Own Adventure series, and tales revolving round school and friends, for example, Patricia Reilly Giff’s Kids of the Polk Street School series and Ann Martin’s Babysitters’ Little Sister series.