One of my favorite things to do around each of the holidays throughout the year when my kids were little was to collect holiday-themed books to read. I always had my eyes open for used holiday books at the thrift store or used book store and, of course, we borrowed books from the library. During the weeks preceding each holiday, we would use those books for our read-out-loud time, and that became part of our holiday celebration.
My kids may be a little too old for Halloween picture books at this point, but I still love this tradition, so I decided to spread that tradition on to you guys. Here are a list of 13 kid-friendly Halloween books, including some of the classic stories I read to my kids (some are even so old that my mom read them to me!) and some that are new from authors that we love. Note: Amazon affiliate links used.
The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda D. Williams and Megan Lloyd
The Little Old Lady is one of the classic stories that I remember from my childhood. I love the little old lady’s fearless attitude towards the spooky things that happen around her and her clever solution to handle what’s happening. I also love that it teaches kids that sometimes things that seems scary aren’t really that scary after all.
The Berenstain Bears Trick or Treat by Stan Berenstain and Jan Berenstain
This is another classic from my own childhood. Brother and Sister Bear head out to trick or treat and plan to avoid Miz McGrizz’s spooky house. But as they trick or treat, they discover that looks can be deceiving, and they end up having a wonderful, perspective-changing time with Miz McGrizz.
Pete the Cat: Five Little Pumpkins by James Dean
This adorable book finds Pete the Cat rocking out to the classic Halloween children’s song “Five Little Pumpkins.”
Spooky Pookie by Sandra Boynton
From one of my kids’ favorite board book authors, Pookie tries on costumes one by one, but somehow can’t find just the right thing. Pookie’s resolution is adorable!
Pinkalicious Pink or Treat by Victoria Kann
In this cute Pinkalicious story, the mayor has canceled Halloween because a storm has knocked out the town’s power. No Halloween means no Halloween candy. No Halloween jack-o’-lanterns. No Halloween trick-or-treating. No Halloween holiday parties. And worst of all, no Halloween costumes. Pinkalicious is determined to fix the situation so she can wear her perfect costume.
Who’s There on Halloween? Board book by Susan Hagen Nipp and Pamela Conn Beall (Authors), Charles Reasoner (Illustrator)
Who’s There On Halloween? encourages readers to play along and use the clues to name the holiday characters hidden inside. Fun interactive book for toddlers and preschoolers!
It’s Pumpkin Day, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff (Author), Felicia Bond (Illustrator)
Join Mouse from If You Give a Mouse a Cookie as he decorates all the pumpkins in the patch! Although this book was written after the “golden era” of my kids’ read-aloud days, they grew up loving the “If You Give a Mouse” books.
Peanuts: It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown by Charles M. Schulz
This is a board book version of the classic Peanuts Halloween tv movie. It includes reusable stickers that kids can use to interact with the story that they (and we!) all love.
Splat the Cat: What Was That? by Rob Scotton
Halloween should be a black cat’s favorite holiday, but Spat the Cat is nervous about visiting a creepy haunted house. He’s worried it will be too scary. Splat’s friend Spike tells Splat not to be a scaredy-cat—the haunted house is just for fun! Kids will love this lift-the-flap book (I know my kids lived for them!).
10 Trick-or-Treaters by Janet Schulman (Author), Linda Davick (Illustrator)
10 trick-or-treaters is a cute not-so-scary Halloween counting book with bright, bold artwork and fun rhythms:
on a dark and spooky night
out to get some candy
or give someone a fright.
I Spy Spooky Night: A Book of Picture Riddles by Jean Marzollo (Author), Walter Wick (Illustrator)
My kids lived for “I Spy” books, and frankly I enjoyed an occasional break from reading out loud. This “I Spy” book takes children through a spooky old house at night where they search for spooky items like bats and lizards and owls.
Franklin’s Halloween Paperback by Paulette Bourgeois (Author), Brenda Clark (Illustrator)
Perhaps because our last name is Franklin, and perhaps because Franklin was one of my kids’ favorite characters, we had a huge collection of Franklin books (you know…the kind that you know backwards and forwards because you’ve read them so often). We love Franklin’s experience at his Halloween party, where he thinks there might be a real ghost (spoiler: there isn’t a ghost, and Franklin realizes what’s really going on…).
The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree by Stan Berenstain and Jan Berenstain
Three brave little bears explore the inside of a mysterious old tree and go into, up, through, over, down, and out. We just love the Berenstain Bears books, so I thought they deserved an extra spot on the list!
What are some of your favorite Halloween picture books?
For more Halloween entertainment, visit a few of my favorite blogs:
- Best Halloween Mysteries by In Our Spare Time
- 5 Halloween Movies for the Whole Family by Mom Does it All
- Have a Spooky Good Time With These Kids’ Halloween Shows by Views from the Ville
- Are Corn Mazes Dog Friendly by Two Little Cavaliers
- 30 Spooktacular Halloween Board Books for Toddlers by Mom on the Side
- Fun Family Halloween Movies that Kids Can Watch too by Our Family World
- Top 7 Scariest Books That Will Make You Want to Read With the Lights On by My Kids Guide
- Spooky Fun Halloween Apps for All Ages by Pretty Opinionated
- 13 Nights of Halloween by MommaDJane
- Family Friendly Shows for Halloween by Day by Day in Our World
- Halloween Movie Quotes by Style on Main
- Halloween Movies that aren’t Gory by How Was Your Day?
- Video Game Costumes by Gaggle of Gamers
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