Thanks, Claire, for asking questions about how to know which page count to choose for your manuscript.
Let’s compare two nonfiction books that Kaeden publishes:
How to Make Snack Mix is for Kindergarten. It has 47 words and 16 pages. It is for Guided Reading Level C.
How to Make a Card is for 1st Grade. It has 69 words and 20 pages. It is for Guided Reading Level G.
Now let’s look at the sentence structure of both books:
How to Make Snack Mix starts with 2 sentences of instruction.
After that, most of the sentences are repeated following this pattern:
Put in one cup of peanuts.
Add one cup of marshmallows.
Add one cup of candy-coated chocolates.
Add one cup of raisins.
How to Make a Card, however,does not use repetition of sentences. Each sentence is new and structured differently.
So if you want to write a 16 page book, then I would recommend repeating most of the same sentence structure throughout. Plus use a shorter word count of about 50 words.
But if you want to write a 20-page book, then you can be more free to write a different type of sentence for each page. And you should use a longer word count of about 70 words.
Does this help clarify what you want your manuscript to be?