When Writing A Children’s Book Don’t Forget Dyslexic or Struggling Readers
I meet new authors all the time who are writing or have written a children’s book. And who are promoting their books and seeking distribution. Word of advice, please remember all children are not at the same reading level and some may have real difficulty reading the text. Knowing this ahead of time and taking into consideration that some children may have a learning disability will add to the success of your book. So often I turn down book suggestions for my collections because they are not designed well and lack good illustration. Fancy fonts I came across this article by author, Amy Witcher Richau and she explains the importance of book design in reference to dyslexic readers. It’s definitely worth reading if you are writing a children’s book.
I’m not dyslexic. But my daughter is. So I know that before I buy her a book I need to know more than if it’s a story or about a subject matter I think she’ll like. I need to check the book design and the text to make sure the book won’t make the already difficult task of reading it any harder for her.
As an avid and early reader it pains me that my daughter doesn’t enjoy reading like I do. But even after years of interventions that is still her reality. And there are few things more frustrating than feeling like you have finally found a book that will speak to your child only to have her put it back on the shelf because of the size of the text or the design of the pages.
Reading books on an e-reader like a Kindle where you can change the look and the size of the font can be a huge win for struggling readers. Some fonts are thought to be more “dyslexic friendly” than others— but not all books have digital versions.
I don’t believe any book designers or publishers are making their books less accessible to dyslexic or struggling readers on purpose, but I do think some books would find more readers (or frustrate their readers a bit less) with a few design changes.
All of these examples below boil down to one main idea — make the text as easy to read as possible.
1) Text Not Over a White Background
Something that pops up from time to time in books for young readers is text over a busy design.
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