Story Patterns of Children’s Books: Secrets of Effective Narrative Structure

The main aspects of excellent books for the little ones that the editors and publication agents always try to find in the new written works are a powerful structure of narration and interesting development of the characters. Exciting story patterns of children's books attract more readers and make the plot engaging. What the book-lovers look for is actually a twisted plot with a satisfying ending and an intriguing beginning.

Structure of a Narrative Essay

  1. Beginning: It should present the story protagonist, explain his or her aims and desires, reveal the motives, and introduce the problem. A call to action also belongs to the protagonist.
  2. Middle: Escalation of the problem gets more intense when the protagonist tries to find a resolution and achieve the aims. 
  3. Climax: The protagonist meets the most important challenge, finds a solution, and undergoes changes in the course of the process. It typically takes place before the ending.
  4. The end: All problems are resolved. The protagonist has no more needs or desires that are not satisfied.

The story structure children's books generally have a promising beginning, which makes the readers expect the future events. It is very important that the book ending is never sad or disappointing. The ideas set up on the first pages of the story should evolve up to the complete resolution at the end. At the same time, the solution of the problem found in the last chapter should always correspond to the problem set at the very beginning.

Things to Remember

The narrative organization implies that the protagonist undergoes development and evolution that goes on until the end of the story.

Besides, it is a must for the protagonist to find the solutions. There should be no parents, gods, or any other outside forces that save the protagonist or do everything instead of him or her.

The books written for the smallest children are written to teach the ethical and other concepts. Thus, they have to be clear and easy to comprehend. The writers have to work on an excellent narrative organizational pattern and also make sure that the concepts should be presented in a simple manner.

One of the examples of such books is The Very Hungry Caterpillar written by Eric Carle. Have a look at the key requirements to strong narrative in all the book parts.

Key Requirements to Strong Narrative


  • Briefly presents the protagonist, his or her wants and motives.
  • Asks a question or presents a problem to be solved and addressed.
  • Gives clues to the peculiar features of the story.
  • Hooks the target audience and encourages them to read.
  • Does not introduce the setting or the characters formally.
  • Invites the readers to observe the behavior of the characters. 
  • Poses the question and problem immediately. If the book is about thirty pages long, it should happen notlater than on the eighth page. Moreover, if it is a book with the chapters, it should happen notlater than at the end of the first chapter with some hints given at the very beginning.


  • Organizing paragraphs, the writer should help the audience gain understanding of the motives that the protagonist has in the course of the story.
  • The life of the characters is to be independent.
  • The increase in the difficulties takes place until the climax.
  • The resolution of the conflict can be three-staged with repetition of the language and ideas, e.g. three little pigs.
  • The readers will not put the book aside only if there is dramatic tension.


  • The first page should already have hints about the climax.
  • It is crucial to have climax in the story as it tests the character and gives him or her opportunities to develop. 
  • The experience should change the characters.
  • The protagonist is supposed to find solutions alone.
  • The picture book with about 26-30 pages should have climax in the second but last chapter according to the story patterns of children's books.


  • It should happen right after the climax.
  • It gives the answers to the asked questions and presents the solutions to the existing problems.
  • Protagonists have the desires satisfied or lose the need to do that. 
  • The action is rounded up.
  • All additional characters also have all problems resolved.
  • It looks as if the story will go on and the characters will keep living their lives.
  • The readers have a chance to make their own conclusions.
  • The ending should not be excessively predictable.
  • It is in the final chapter of the book.

Effective story patterns of children's books always follow the narrative formula and get successful among the readers.