There are a lot of different types of picture books and it is important to know the difference when submitting a manuscript to a publisher. It shows you have done your research and they will respect you as a professional.
When we think of picture books we usually just think of a book with words and pictures however there is more to it than that. This is the understanding I have to in defining each book type.
Toy books/Board books
These books usually feature more interactive elements like cloth, pop up and plastic. As they are for babies words are less important and it’s more about the way they are played with or read by adults. They often feature a lot of actions and noises the adult does as reading them.
These books start to introduce basic learning of alphabet, numbers, colours and shapes etc. They have more of an emphasis on words than the toy books however images are still the main attention as this audience cannot read yet. They average around 300 words and often are board books with interactive elements.
Early picture books
These books are more about an entertaining story. They feature both words and pictures and average around 1000 words. They are usually paper pages with either a hard cover or paperback. The age group for these is between 4-6 and these children are starting to read the stories themselves so the words used are important.
These are the next step up from the previous books they have a higher word count up to 2000 words. They are written so the child can read them all by themselves. They have simple language and usually are told through action and dialog. They still feature illustrations on every page.
Early chapter books/Transition books
These books are the transition from picture books to chapter books. They still feature illustrations but not as many and a lot of time only black and white. They feature a lot more words and can have chapters.