84+ Haunting Books About Halloween

Searching for a list of the best kids books for Halloween?

The leaves are colorful, the air is crisp, and the moon is eerily full and bright. It’s Halloween! Time for costumes, trick-or-treating, and maybe some spooky stories? We’re not big fans of anything too awfully scary around here, so Halloween children’s books are just our thing. We love celebrating the season and focusing on the fun, festive aspects, so we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about Halloween.

Halloween is a fun holiday for children’s literature, and this list covers all the variety. There are classic Halloween books on the list. There are some favorite Halloween stories from the 1980s and the 1990s that you’re sure to recognize (think The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything and Big Pumpkin). And there are some recent additions to kid Halloween stories that are sure to become favorites. With all the titles on our list, you’re sure to find titles that catch pique your interest.

Plus, our list includes three book types: board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board and picture books are great if you’re looking for a Halloween book for adults to read to children. If you’re looking, say, for a Halloween book for 10 year olds, check out the chapter books on the list—they’re great for elementary age kids through early middle school tween readers.

Find some good books, pour some cider, and enjoy reading by the flickering lights of jack-o-lanterns. Let us know what books you would add to the list!

Top 10 Books About Halloween

Frankenstein book
#1
Frankenstein
Written by Jennifer Adams and illustrated by Alison Oliver
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4
Thoughts from Readerly Mom

I think this might be the chef d’oeuvre of the whole BabyLit series. As a fan of Mary Shelley’s original novel, I think this take on it is clever and hilarious. To my kids, it’s a cute book about body parts, made extra fun by featuring a funny-looking monster. It’s a win all around!

BabyLit® is a fashionable way to introduce your toddler to the world of classic literature. With clever, simple text by Jennifer Adams, paired with stylish design and illustrations by Sugar’s Alison Oliver, these books are a must for every savvy parent’s nursery library.

The Widow's Broom book
#2
The Widow's Broom
Written and illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Some of Minna Shaw’s neighbors don’t trust her clever broom. “It’s dangerous,” they say. But Minna appreciates the broom’s help. She enjoys its quiet company. But one day two children get taught a well-deserved lesson by the broom. For her neighbors, this is proof of the broom’s evil spirit. Minna is obligated to give up her dear companion. Chris Van Allsburg, master of the mysterious, brings this tale to life with moody and memorable pictures that will haunt readers long after the book’s covers are closed—now in a new edition to celebrate this beloved book’s twenty-fifth anniversary.

Snowmen at Halloween book
#3
Snowmen at Halloween
Written by Caralyn Buehner and illustrated by Mark Buehner
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

The snowmen are getting their Halloween costumes ready for the latest picture book in this New York Times bestselling series. Have you ever built a snowman and discovered the next day that his grin has gotten a little crooked, or his tree-branch arms have moved? And you’ve wondered . . . what do snowmen do when we’re not watching? After an early snowfall, a few kids build some snowmen before going trick-or-treating. And when the kids go off to bed, the snowmen have their own Halloween festival! There’s candy and apple-bobbing and costume contests and all sorts of autumn activities. When the kids wake up the next morning, the snowmen are gone… but they’ve left a very special message behind.

The Witch of Blackbird Pond book
#4
The Witch of Blackbird Pond
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

Sixteen-year-old Kit Tyler is marked by suspicion and disapproval from the moment she arrives on the unfamiliar shores of colonial Connecticut in 1687. Alone and desperate, she has been forced to leave her beloved home on the island of Barbados and join a family she has never met. Torn between her quest for belonging and her desire to be true to herself, Kit struggles to survive in a hostile place. Just when it seems she must give up, she finds a kindred spirit. But Kit’s friendship with Hannah Tupper, believed by the colonists to be a witch, proves more taboo than she could have imagined and ultimately forces Kit to choose between her heart and her duty.

Elizabeth George Speare won the 1959 Newbery Medal for this portrayal of a heroine whom readers will admire for her unwavering sense of truth as well as her infinite capacity to love.

Even Monsters Need Haircuts book
#5
Even Monsters Need Haircuts
Written and illustrated by Matthew McElligott
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I love this book! It’s great for Halloween, of course, but this book is one that’s still fun to read all year long, especially if your little one is getting ready for a haircut. It’s funny and the story is great! The only thing I’d mention is spoiler that there is one monster who looks like a normal person but takes his head off, so I’d just be wary of that if your child might be sensitive to that or monsters, in general.

Just before midnight, on the night of a full moon, a young barber stays out past his bedtime to go to work. Although his customers are mostly regulars, they are anything but normal—after all, even monsters need haircuts. Business is steady all night, and this barber is prepared for anything with his scissors, rotting tonic, horn polish, and stink wax. It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to help these creatures maintain their ghoulish good looks. Perfect for Halloween, this is a hilarious story about a boy who follows in his father’s footsteps . . . in his own monstrously unique way.

The Monsters' Monster book
#6
The Monsters' Monster
Written and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I really love this book, especially for Halloween time! It’s my favorite Halloween book, and I love it every time I read it. Great for kids because it shows that monsters aren’t all scary, and promotes saying thank you! The illustrations are fun, too. :)

Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

Such a great book, especially for around Halloween time, but it’s worth reading year round! The message that being grateful is far more enjoyable than being a little monster is a great one, and the setting in this very unrealistic situation makes it enjoyable rather than overly moralizing.

Once upon a time, there were three little rascals who thought they were the BIGGEST, BADDEST monsters around. Then along came an even BIGGER monster who changed their minds. And all it took was two little words. In this playful tale from bestselling picture book author Patrick McDonnell, a very BIG monster shows three very BAD little monsters the power of boundless gratitude.

Room on the Broom book
#7
Room on the Broom
Written and illustrated by Julia Donaldson
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5
Thoughts from Grammy

This might seem like a Halloween book but its message is a good one year round. The rhyming text is consistent and clever and the colorful and humorous illustrations are sure to delight. The generous witch earns some loyalty from her new-found friends who return the favor in an unexpected way leading to a clever turn of events at the end. It is long for young listeners, but worth the time if they have the attention span for a longer read.

The New York Times bestselling Halloween picture book is now a full-size board book, perfect for sharing with little ones! This rollicking, rhyming tale from master storyteller Julia Donaldson is the perfect Halloween read-aloud for the youngest listeners. A friendly witch, hungry dragon, and muddy monster learn about friendship, and readers will delight in the surprising (and not too scary) ending.

Seeking a Witch book
#8
Seeking a Witch
Written by Angela DiTerlizzi and illustrated by Allie Smith
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This is one of my very favorite Halloween board books, complete with snazzy rhymes and brightly colored illustrations featuring all of your favorite Halloween creatures from goblins to vampires that still manage to look as cute as ghouls can be. My toddler asks for this one again and again, even when it’s not Halloween… although I personally think it’s better come October.

From bestselling author Angela DiTerlizzi comes a lighthearted and spooky Halloween board book perfect for little trick-or-treaters!

We’re seeking a witch And everyone knows Your skin must be green A wart on your nose

Should travel by broom. Wear a tall pointy hat Love eye of newt Adore your black cat

Join two trick-or-treaters on Halloween night as they go on a haunted adventure to find the perfect witch.

Monster & Son book
#9
Monster & Son
Written by David LaRochelle and illustrated by Joey Chou
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6
Thoughts from Mr. Staccato

Despite having monsters in the title, this is a rather gentle going to bed book. I enjoyed the author’s incorporation of language such as “chase you into bed” and “gobbled down a snack” that shows a tender side of fatherhood while still reminding you of their monster side.

Romp along with parent and child yetis, werewolves, giant lizards, and more as they stir up some monster-sized fun! Readers big and small, young and old, wild and tame, will roar with laughter and take this book by the horns, teeth, and fur…discovering that monsters and humans aren’t so different—especially in the ways they love each other.

Boo-La-La Witch Spa book
#10
Boo-La-La Witch Spa
Written by Samantha Berger and illustrated by Isabel Roxas
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

Such a fun combination of spooky witch and spa elements with adorable illustrations that ramp up the cute factor on all of the witchy elements (hags, spiders, werewolves, toadstools, etc.). The off-the-tongue-tripping rhymes are fun and add silliness and humor that ensures this is a fully light-hearted book.

Spooky meets silly in this unique Halloween story about a witch’s night out at the fa-BOO Witch Spa!

Halloween is the most important day of the year for any witch. So when the holiday ends and the witches are tired from tricking and treating, they all head to the fa-boo Witch Spa. Here they indulge in Bat-Whisker Tea, Broom Bristle Facials, and other spooky spa goodies. A trip to the Witch Spa is sure to make any witch or warlock feel refreshed, revived, and positively revolting. Charming illustrations, clever rhymes, and silly spa treatments make this a fun Halloween book with mega mom appeal.

Table of Contents
Jump to books about Halloween and...

Books About Halloween and Monsters

Frankenstein book
#1
Frankenstein
Written by Jennifer Adams and illustrated by Alison Oliver
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4
Thoughts from Readerly Mom

I think this might be the chef d’oeuvre of the whole BabyLit series. As a fan of Mary Shelley’s original novel, I think this take on it is clever and hilarious. To my kids, it’s a cute book about body parts, made extra fun by featuring a funny-looking monster. It’s a win all around!

BabyLit® is a fashionable way to introduce your toddler to the world of classic literature. With clever, simple text by Jennifer Adams, paired with stylish design and illustrations by Sugar’s Alison Oliver, these books are a must for every savvy parent’s nursery library.

Even Monsters Need Haircuts book
#2
Even Monsters Need Haircuts
Written and illustrated by Matthew McElligott
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I love this book! It’s great for Halloween, of course, but this book is one that’s still fun to read all year long, especially if your little one is getting ready for a haircut. It’s funny and the story is great! The only thing I’d mention is spoiler that there is one monster who looks like a normal person but takes his head off, so I’d just be wary of that if your child might be sensitive to that or monsters, in general.

Just before midnight, on the night of a full moon, a young barber stays out past his bedtime to go to work. Although his customers are mostly regulars, they are anything but normal—after all, even monsters need haircuts. Business is steady all night, and this barber is prepared for anything with his scissors, rotting tonic, horn polish, and stink wax. It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to help these creatures maintain their ghoulish good looks. Perfect for Halloween, this is a hilarious story about a boy who follows in his father’s footsteps . . . in his own monstrously unique way.

The Monsters' Monster book
#3
The Monsters' Monster
Written and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I really love this book, especially for Halloween time! It’s my favorite Halloween book, and I love it every time I read it. Great for kids because it shows that monsters aren’t all scary, and promotes saying thank you! The illustrations are fun, too. :)

Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

Such a great book, especially for around Halloween time, but it’s worth reading year round! The message that being grateful is far more enjoyable than being a little monster is a great one, and the setting in this very unrealistic situation makes it enjoyable rather than overly moralizing.

Once upon a time, there were three little rascals who thought they were the BIGGEST, BADDEST monsters around. Then along came an even BIGGER monster who changed their minds. And all it took was two little words. In this playful tale from bestselling picture book author Patrick McDonnell, a very BIG monster shows three very BAD little monsters the power of boundless gratitude.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Monster & Son - Mr. Staccato - Despite having monsters in the title, this is a rather gentle going to bed book. I enjoyed the author’s incorporation of language such as “chase you into bed” and “gobbled down a snack” that shows a tender side of fatherhood while still reminding you of their monster side.

  2. Ten Little Monsters - Ten little monsters set off in search of adventure. But what will the ten little monsters do when they meet a howling werewolf, a giant spider and other scaries in the night? A monster stomp of a book with lots of things to spot and count on every page, this noisy rhyming story from the creators of the bestselling Ten Little Pirates is perfect for sharing again and again - at Halloween, or indeed at any time of the year! Now in a chunky board book format, perfect for little hands to hold. Praise for Ten Little Pirates: ‘A rollicking read with an easy rhythm and jaunty illustrations . . . an excellent addition to books that help with counting.’ Guardian ‘Ties together its counting lessons and bobbing rhymes with intricate neatness . . . Lots of humorous details to discover on every page.’ Time Out ‘Hilarious. Will have both child and reader laughing out loud.’ Angels & Urchins ‘This book is wonderful.’ Child-Led Chaos

  3. Where's the Witch? - Five stylishly illustrated spreads show a series of gently spooky creatures hiding behind bright felt flaps in this Halloween offering. A mirror on the final spread makes for a satisfying ending to the book’s search-and-find inquiries. A perfect book to share with very little ones.

  4. A Mischief of Monsters - A Mischief of Monsters is this latest title in the innovative Picture Fit series. On every spread, a little monster and a big monster make different sounds or actions for children and parents to copy—from munching and crunching, roaring and snoring to squelching and belching! Each little monster is also raised so it fits neatly into the recessed scene on the opposite page. With humorous illustrations, clever novelties, and a stand-out neon cover, this cased board book is fun to share together this Halloween.

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Books About Halloween and Witches

Seeking a Witch book
#1
Seeking a Witch
Written by Angela DiTerlizzi and illustrated by Allie Smith
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This is one of my very favorite Halloween board books, complete with snazzy rhymes and brightly colored illustrations featuring all of your favorite Halloween creatures from goblins to vampires that still manage to look as cute as ghouls can be. My toddler asks for this one again and again, even when it’s not Halloween… although I personally think it’s better come October.

From bestselling author Angela DiTerlizzi comes a lighthearted and spooky Halloween board book perfect for little trick-or-treaters!

We’re seeking a witch And everyone knows Your skin must be green A wart on your nose

Should travel by broom. Wear a tall pointy hat Love eye of newt Adore your black cat

Join two trick-or-treaters on Halloween night as they go on a haunted adventure to find the perfect witch.

Boo-La-La Witch Spa book
#2
Boo-La-La Witch Spa
Written by Samantha Berger and illustrated by Isabel Roxas
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

Such a fun combination of spooky witch and spa elements with adorable illustrations that ramp up the cute factor on all of the witchy elements (hags, spiders, werewolves, toadstools, etc.). The off-the-tongue-tripping rhymes are fun and add silliness and humor that ensures this is a fully light-hearted book.

Spooky meets silly in this unique Halloween story about a witch’s night out at the fa-BOO Witch Spa!

Halloween is the most important day of the year for any witch. So when the holiday ends and the witches are tired from tricking and treating, they all head to the fa-boo Witch Spa. Here they indulge in Bat-Whisker Tea, Broom Bristle Facials, and other spooky spa goodies. A trip to the Witch Spa is sure to make any witch or warlock feel refreshed, revived, and positively revolting. Charming illustrations, clever rhymes, and silly spa treatments make this a fun Halloween book with mega mom appeal.

The Witches book
#3
The Witches
Written by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

From the bestselling author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG!

This is not a fairy tale. This is about real witches.

Grandmamma loves to tell about witches. Real witches are the most dangerous of all living creatures on earth. There’s nothing they hate so much as children, and they work all kinds of terrifying spells to get rid of them. Her grandson listens closely to Grandmamma’s stories—but nothing can prepare him for the day he comes face-to-face with The Grand High Witch herself!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Skeleton for Dinner - Big Witch and Little Witch have made stew, and now they want to have their friends for dinner! But when Skeleton mistakes the guest list for a menu, he takes off running, and soon Ghost and Ghoul join him too! But poor Little Witch has no idea there’s a misunderstanding. Luckily there’s one creature in the haunted forest who can help everyone figure it all out. This spooky and silly read-aloud is just right for Halloween.

  2. A Very Brave Witch - On the far side of town, in a big, dark, house, lives a brave little witch. She has heard lots and lots about those scary humans and a holiday they call Halloween, but she has never even seen Halloween for herself. Until one very special Halloween comes along… Perfect for trick-or-treaters of all ages, A Very Brave Witch makes for a playful read-aloud that takes the scariness out of the holiday.

  3. The Witch Family - Old Witch, Little Witch Girl, Weeny Witch, and two real girls in a fantasy that blends the worlds of reality and imagination. A Halloween classic about the power of make-believe.

  4. The Littlest Witch (A Littlest Book) - From the New York Times bestselling author who brought us The Littlest Elf comes a sweet new Halloween story filled with gentle spooky fun and one adorable little witch friend! In this companion to The Littlest Mummy, Mae the Mummy’s friend Wilma is the littlest witch in the Spooky Woods. She may be little, but Wilma knows this is the year she’ll be able to fly with her family in the big broom-flying demonstration! But even though she knows the flying routine by heart, Wilma just isn’t able to fly yet. Will Wilma be able to find a way to participate in the broom-flying fun, or is the littlest witch still too little? With adorable Halloween stickers!

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Books About Halloween and Friendship

Room on the Broom book
#1
Room on the Broom
Written and illustrated by Julia Donaldson
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5
Thoughts from Grammy

This might seem like a Halloween book but its message is a good one year round. The rhyming text is consistent and clever and the colorful and humorous illustrations are sure to delight. The generous witch earns some loyalty from her new-found friends who return the favor in an unexpected way leading to a clever turn of events at the end. It is long for young listeners, but worth the time if they have the attention span for a longer read.

The New York Times bestselling Halloween picture book is now a full-size board book, perfect for sharing with little ones! This rollicking, rhyming tale from master storyteller Julia Donaldson is the perfect Halloween read-aloud for the youngest listeners. A friendly witch, hungry dragon, and muddy monster learn about friendship, and readers will delight in the surprising (and not too scary) ending.

Scary Stories for Young Foxes book
#2
Scary Stories for Young Foxes
Written by Christian McKay Heidicker and illustrated by Junyi Wu
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Christian McKay Heidicker draws inspiration from Bram Stoker, H. P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe for his debut middle-grade novel, a thrilling portrait of survival and an unforgettable tale of friendship. The haunted season has arrived in the Antler Wood. No fox kit is safe. When Mia and Uly are separated from their litters, they discover a dangerous world full of monsters. In order to find a den to call home, they must venture through field and forest, facing unspeakable things that dwell in the darkness: a zombie who hungers for their flesh, a witch who tries to steal their skins, a ghost who hunts them through the snow . . . and other things too scary to mention. Featuring eight interconnected stories and sixteen hauntingly beautiful illustrations, Scary Stories for Young Foxes contains the kinds of adventures and thrills you love to listen to beside a campfire in the dark of night. Fans of Neil Gaiman, Jonathan Auxier, and R. L. Stine have found their next favorite book.

Peep  and  Egg:  I'm  Not  Trick-or-Treating book
#3
Peep and Egg: I'm Not Trick-or-Treating
Written by Laura Gehl and illustrated by Joyce Wan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Peep is so excited to go trick-or-treating with her friend Egg. She wants to visit the duck pond and the cow pasture to get treats. But Egg thinks Halloween is too scary, with frightening monsters possibly lurking everywhere! Peep tells her jokes because laughing helps you feel less scared. Egg is still not cracking. But soon Egg learns that maybe trick-or-treating is not so scary after all when you have a friend to hold on to.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Super Spooked - Although she has battled supervillains, Ellie has recently become scared of the dark, so when she is invited to a Halloween sleepover at her best friend’s house she is apprehensive—but when the villainous Fairy Frightmare sprinkles the girls with bad dream dust, trapping them all inside their nightmares, Ellie must squash her own fears to rescue her friends.

  2. Honey Moon Shiver - B is for Bookworm - This was a fun, magical book about honesty, friendship, and forgiveness. I also think the hint of Halloween as they live in the town of Sleepy Hollow is a great addition to the book, which makes it a fun read for fall or any time of the year! When Honey gets caught in a tangle of lies, she learns that telling the truth is always the best policy, and she also learns to forgive her friend.

  3. Trick Or Treat on My Street - Come with me and trick-or-treat from house to house along my street! Head down the block with a group of kids as they get ready to go trick-or-treating on Halloween night! This cute, fun board book features tabs so you can flip right to your favorite monster, hero, or creature. With bright, fun illustrations and bouncy, rhyming text, Trick or Treat on My Street is perfect for little monsters everywhere!

  4. Halloween Is Here, Corduroy! - Corduroy and his friends love to trick-or-treat, and they are excited for Halloween! His friends all have the perfect costumes in mind, but Corduroy can?t decide what to be. With a little help from his friends, though, Corduroy will have the best Halloween ever!

Want to see more children's books about friendship?

Books About Halloween and Costumes

Spooky Pookie book
#1
Spooky Pookie
Written and illustrated by Sandra Boynton
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-5

Pookie gets dressed up for Halloween in this silly board book from beloved and bestselling author and illustrator Sandra Boynton. It’s Halloween! What will little Pookie decide to be this year? Pookie tries on costumes one by one, but somehow can’t find just the right thing. The resolution to Pookie’s dilemma will delight toddlers and their caregivers alike. Told and illustrated with Sandra Boynton’s celebrated charm and pizzazz, Spooky Pookie has all the makings of a beloved Halloween classic. Boo!

Eek! Halloween! book
#2
Eek! Halloween!
Written and illustrated by Sandra Boynton
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

Boynton celebrates Halloween!

A new addition to the Boynton on Board series, with over 21 million copies sold, Eek! Halloween! is all treat and no tricks, a journey with Boynton and her nutty characters through the tradition of Halloween.

It starts with an uh-oh—the chickens are nervous! Strange things are happening. One chicken saw a pumpkin with flickering eyes, another spied a mouse of enormous size. They all saw a wizard and a witch, and a spooky robot. “WHAT’S GOING ON HERE? WHAT DOES IT MEAN? / Relax, silly chickens! It’s HALLOWEEN!”

Five Little Monkeys Trick-Or-Treat book
#3
Five Little Monkeys Trick-Or-Treat
Written and illustrated by Eileen Christelow
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

In another adorable story starring Eileen Christelow’s mischievous and beloved monkeys, these five silly monkeys go trick-or-treating and fun chaos ensues! Now in paperback. “Another winner.” —School Library Journal Five little monkeys dress up for Halloween. They’re going trick-or-treating with their favorite babysitter, Lulu. Mama reminds her, “Don’t lose the rascals!” But soon those mischievous monkeys meet other costumed friends and decide to try “the best Halloween trick ever!” Will Lulu be fooled? Or will the five little rascals get tricked by their own monkey business? Vibrant, silly, and perfect for reading aloud, this non-scary Halloween story will delight fans of this best-selling series. Includes recipes for “eyeballs” and “worm juice” for kids to try at home.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Halloween Trick or Treat: A Colors Book - A red crayon, an orange pumpkin, a purple cat, a black vampire, a white ghost and more are included in this adorable Halloween colors book for toddlers. With Lydia Nichols’s fresh yet retro style illustrations and spot glitter making the cover extra festive, this board book is sure to be the perfect gift for young trick-or-treaters at Halloween.

  2. Ladybug Girl and the Dress-Up Dilemma - Ladybug Girl gets dressed up for Halloween in the newest hardcover addition to the New York Times bestselling series. It is Halloween and Lulu must decide on a costume. Should she be Ladybug Girl or something new? She tries many different costumes, but nothing seems right. Maybe she’ll think of the perfect costume as she enjoys the autumn day with her family by pumpkin picking and going on a hayride. But it isn’t until Lulu and Bingo help a little girl who is lost that Lulu discovers who she was meant to be for Halloween–Ladybug Girl, of course! After all, she is Ladybug Girl and it is important to be true to yourself.

  3. Pout-Pout Fish: Haunted House - It’s time for Halloween, and Mr. Fish is nervous about visiting a haunted house with his friends—but he just may be surprised that it’s not all so scary! At an affordable price point, and with two pages of stickers, this new format is fun and accessible for Mr. Fish’s fans and newcomers alike.

  4. On a Windy Night - On a windy Halloween night, as a little boy makes his way home after trick-or-treating, he hears a voice: “Cracklety-clack, bones in a sack. They could be yours—if you look back.” As his heart flip-flops with fear, the boy dashes through woods and fields that seem full of haunting shapes—owls, ghosts, skeletons, and more. The detailed illustrations are packed with visual tricks for children to discover. Are those skeletons or cornstalks? Ghostly hands or tree branches? The playful tone of the text makes this a perfect, not-too-scary read-aloud, with an enjoyable surprise ending.

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Books About Halloween and Ghosts

The Itsy Bitsy Pumpkin book
#1
The Itsy Bitsy Pumpkin
Written by Sonali Fry and illustrated by Sanja Rescek
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

This gently spooky twist on “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” makes a favorite nursery rhyme just perfect for Halloween! The itsy bitsy pumpkin rolled down the spooky street. He passed a ghoulish ghost and some stinky goblin’s feet. A little pumpkin is trying to find his way back home! And with a little help from a friendly witch, he is soon safe and sound, back on his porch—where there are no spiders to be seen! Little ones will love this fresh fall spin on a classic nursery rhyme!

Magic for Sale book
#2
Magic for Sale
Written by Carrie Clickard and illustrated by John Shelley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

On the corner of Hemlock and Blight, the magic shop of Miss Pustula Night is open for business.

Creepy curiosities and endless enchantments fill the shelves, but it’s the rumor of a shop ghost that really has kids excited. Brave Georgie McQuist has been double-dared to find the phantom, and he’s up to the task— but he never expected that he’d give the ghost a fright!

Together, boy and ghost take on the task of cataloging every last treasure in Miss Pustula’s crowded and cavernous cellar, down to the last spell and skeleton— but what will the witch do when she catches them there?

The deliciously spooky, tongue-twistingly clever rhymes in this story are illustrated in lavish detail— each creep and kraken crawls across the pages, and Miss Night’s shelves are crowded with pickled elves and dusty potions.

From the first friendly fright to the last lurking ghoul, this adventure is perfect for Halloween. . . and beyond.

Ghost in the House book
#3
Ghost in the House
Written by Ammi-Joan Paquette and illustrated by Adam Record
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Boo! Watch out for this rollicking, cumulative counting book for a Halloween treat that’s more playful than scary. There’s a ghost in the house, In the creepy haunted house, On this dark spooky night all alone. When a little ghost goes slip-sliding down the hallway, he suddenly hears…a groan! Turns out it’s only a friendly mummy, who shuffles along with the ghost, until they encounter…a monster! As the cautious explorers continue, they find a surprise at every turn — and add another adorably ghoulish friend to the count. But you’ll never guess who is the scariest creature in the house!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Boo Crew (Nancy Drew Clue Book) - Help Nancy and her friends find the truth behind a haunted theater in the tenth book in the interactive Nancy Drew Clue Book mystery series. The hit TV show Twinkle Little Stars is coming to River Heights to audition contestants for their upcoming Halloween show. They’ll choose talented kids from all over the country to compete for prizes. Nancy, Bess, and George are dressing up as witches and are planning to create a special potion onstage for the judges. The recently renovated Heights Theatre has opened its doors for the auditions. The old theatre had been abandoned for fifty years but is now restored to its original beauty. But on the day of the auditions, everything seems to go wrong; the girls’ cauldron over bubbles, a werewolf mask makes its owner sneeze, spider webs fall on the dancers. That’s when the clue crew learns the Heights Theatre is rumored to be haunted—people say ghosts are the reason it stayed empty for so long. But Nancy knows better than to believe in ghosts. She’s sure that the culprit is of the human variety. Then Bess sees monsters dancing around a piano playing on its own—the keys moving but no is playing it. Could the rumors be true? Is the Heights Theatre really haunted? It’s up to the clue crew—and you—to find out!

  2. The Haunted House Next Door - Meet Desmond Cole! A fearless eight-year-old who runs his own ghost patrol, looking for ghosts, monsters, and mischief makers everywhere. Oh, and he just so happens to be my new best friend…and thank goodness! Because I’m afraid of everything. Welcome to Kersville, a town with a spooky history and a collection of ghosts and spirits who are major mischief-makers. Most kids spend their days without ever seeing or dealing with a ghost, but some kids get stuck with a haunt. When that happens, they call Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol. Desmond is the hall monitor of ghosts and monsters. There’s no job too spooky, icky, or risky for Desmond. I’m not like that at all. My name’s Andres Miedoso. I’m Desmond’s best friend. We do everything together…including catch ghosts. Seems cool, right? There’s only one problem: I’m afraid of everything. With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol chapter books are perfect for emerging readers.

  3. Five Silly Ghosts - “Five silly ghosts floating by a gate. The first one said, ‘Oh my, it’s getting late.’” This board book features a classic rhyming read-aloud text with the five silly glittery ghosts in Halloween costumes as they peer through a die-cut cover. Each page turn provides a playfully ghoulish reveal. Join five silly ghosts in this fun counting caper!

  4. Zip! Zoom! On a Broom - “One goes zip.Two go zoom.Three witches glide from room to room.” ​So begins this witchy counting story. Count up from one to ten and back down again, when you join ten very feisty witches — and one little kitten — on their journey through a haunted graveyard, a scary forest, a spooky castle, and more in this adorably eerie tale. This book hits the mash-up sweet spot between an important concept and Halloween fun!

Want to see more children's books about ghosts?

Epilogue

29 books that are just too good to leave off of our Halloween list.

  1. The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything - ‘A clever reworking of a classic story. The little old lady’s fearless attitude and her clever solution as to what to do with the lively shoes, pants, shirt and pumpkin head that are chasing her will enchant young audiences. With brilliantly colored, detailed folk art illustrations. A great purchase.’ —SLJ. Children’s Choices for 1987 (IRA/CBC) Notable 1986 Children’s Trade Books in Social Studies (NCSS/CBC) Children’s Books of 1986 (Library of Congress) 1988 Keystone to Reading Book Award (Pennsylvania Reading Association)

  2. Stumpkin - Stumpkin is the most handsome pumpkin on the block. He’s as orange as a traffic cone! Twice as round as a basketball! He has no bad side! He’s the perfect choice for a Halloween jack-o-lantern. There’s just one problem—Stumpkin has a stump, not a stem. And no one seems to want a stemless jack-o-lantern for their window. As Halloween night approaches, more and more of his fellow pumpkins leave, but poor Stumpkin remains. Will anyone give Stumpkin his chance to shine?

  3. Herbert's First Halloween - Herbert is deeply doubtful about his first Halloween—but with a little help from his dad and a special tiger costume, Herbert might just find confidence on Halloween night. Together, father and son practice roaring, carve a pumpkin, and venture out in search of candy. And by the end of the night, Herbert finds his doubts have melted away. A sweet introduction to Halloween and to being brave, this book is sure to delight the youngest of trick-or-treaters.

  4. Big Pumpkin - The witch has grown the biggest pumpkin ever, and now she wants to make herself a pumpkin pie for Halloween. But the pumpkin is so big she can’t get it off the vine. It’s so big the ghost can’t move it, either. Neither can the vampire, nor the mummy. It looks as if there’ll be no pumpkin pie for Halloween, until along comes the bat with an idea to save the day. How can the tiny bat succeed where bigger and strong spooky creatures have failed? You’ll be surprised!

  1. Just Say Boo! - The Book Snob Mom - The watercolor illustrations in this book are gorgeous, and it gives kids a coping mechanism for what to do if they’re scared on Halloween… just say “Boo!” I like that the illustrations switch back and forth between the scarier version of the children’s first perception and what they discover the reality to be as they face their fears and that the siblings all stick together and help each other out.

  2. Dracula - The Book Snob Mom - The illustrations for BabyLit books are oh-so-cute always and this one is no exception. I haven’t read the classic Dracula, so this one doesn’t draw me in as much as the classics I’m familiar with (Pride & Prejudice, I’m looking at you), but it’s the perfect book for Halloween.

  3. Out to Get You - Thirteen ordinary kids. Thirteen ordinary towns. Danger lurks around every corner! “Wonderful and weird, compelling and unsettling.” - Gary Schmidt, two-time Newbery Honor author Get ready for a collection of thirteen short stories that will chill your bones, tingle your spine, and scare your pants off. Debut author Josh Allen masterfully concocts horror in the most innocent places, like R.L. Stine meets a modern Edgar Allan Poe. A stray kitten turns into a threatening follower. The street sign down the block starts taunting you. Even your own shadow is out to get you! Spooky things love hiding in plain sight. The everyday world is full of sinister secrets and these page-turning stories show that there’s darkness even where you least expect it. Readers will sleep with one eye open. . . . A glow-in-the-dark cover and thirteen eerie full-page illustrations by award-winning artist Sarah J. Coleman accompany the tales in this frightful mashup that reads like a contemporary Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.

  4. Where's Boo? - Grammy - This is a sweet book for the 2-3 year-old set. Halloween themed, it is a good exercise in predictability and expectation featuring a cute cat and her friends.

  1. 5 Very Little Pumpkins - Five very little pumpkins are all heading out to play. It’s October 31st—every pumpkin’s favorite day! In this Halloween story, join five adorable animals dressed as little pumpkins as they trick or treat through their neighborhood, celebrating all that is fun about Halloween: great friends, costumes, neighbors, and treats!

  2. Monster Museum - Come in—if you dare—and meet the werewolf, Count Dracula, the mummy, and some of their slimy, screaming, slithering friends. They’re just dying to show you a good time!

  3. Click, Clack, Boo! - Will the barnyard animals trick—or treat—Farmer Brown? Find out in this Halloween tale from the #1 New York Times bestselling creators of Click, Clack, Moo. Farmer Brown does not like Halloween. So he draws the shades, puts on his footy pajamas, and climbs into bed. But do you think the barnyard animals have any respect for a man in footy pajamas? No, they do not. For them, the Halloween party has just begun. And we all know these critters far prefer tricks over treats. There are big surprises in store for Farmer Brown!

  4. Monsters Come Out Tonight! - Trick-or-treat! Open the doors to find monsters getting ready for a night of Halloween fun All of the monsters are getting ready for the big Halloween bash in this rhyming board book. Lift the flaps to reveal Dracula brushing his fangs, witches combing their hair, and more silly surprises! Quirky illustrations hold plenty of details that will be sure to tickle readers’ funny bones and get them in the Halloween spirit.

  1. The Halloween Kid - From the illustrator of the Melvin Beederman, SUPERHERO series comes a story about a masked hero and his trusty steed. Together they save Halloween from ruthless toilet paper–tossing mummies and pumpkin-sucking vampires. No siree, Halloween won’t be canceled anytime soon, not while the Halloween Kid’s around. With a rootin’ tootin’ Halloween monster–shootin’ text and retro-modern illustrations, The Halloween Kid will lasso in readers both young and old. Because who doesn’t love a hero who defends the right to trick or treat? Yee-Ha-lloween!

  2. The House in Poplar Wood - Haunted Mansion meets Stranger Things ★ “A smart, thrilling mystery” -Publishers Weekly, starred review ★ “Magical elements, evocative, intelligent writing, and ever-ratcheting suspense.”-Kirkus Reviews, starred review “The foreboding atmosphere perfectly matches the dark mystery and high stakes confronting the middle-schoolers.” –Booklist For as long as the Vickery twins can remember, Lee and his mother have served Memory, while Felix and his father assist Death. This is the Agreement. But one Halloween, Gretchen Whipple smashes her way into their lives. Her bargain is simple: If the twins help her solve the murder of local girl Essie Hasting, she’ll help them break the Agreement. The more the three investigate, however, the more they realize that something’s gone terribly wrong in their town. Death is on the loose, and if history repeats itself, Essie’s might not be the last murder in Poplar Wood. Simultaneously heartwarming and delightfully spooky, The House in Poplar Wood is a story about a boy’s desire to be free, a girl’s desire to make a difference, and a family’s desire to be together again.

  3. Jigsaw Jones: The Case of the Haunted Scarecrow - Featuring friendship, school, family, and a diverse community, these early illustrated chapter books from James Preller have it all. Jigsaw Jones and Mila Yeh have solved many cases involving stolen or missing items. But when the search for Kim’s necklace turns up more than they bargained for, Jigsaw can’t trust his eyes. Did the scarecrow on Ms. Rigby’s lawn just . . . move? Find out more in The Case of the Haunted Scarecrow. James Preller’s wry, witty, Jigsaw Jones books are once again available to inspire the next generation of young readers, featuring both new titles and classroom classics!

  4. 10 Trick-or-Treaters - 10 trick-or-treaters on a dark and spooky night out to get some candy or give someone a fright. Little do these ten trick-or-treaters know that they are the ones who will be frightened on Halloween night when a toad hops near, a skeleton tries to join their dance party, and a monster asks to share their candy.

  1. Boo at the Zoo - Get ready for a costume party at the zoo with this Halloween lift-the-flap adventure featuring your favorite animals all dressed up to trick-or-treat! Welcome to BOO AT THE ZOO! Where the animals wear Halloween costumes, too! It’s Halloween at the zoo, and the animals don’t know what to wear! Lift the flaps to discover costume tricks and treats that lead to a big BOO AT THE ZOO! From Giraffenstein to Flaminghosts to Vamtigers and more, little ones will love lifting the sturdy flaps to reveal the silly Halloween costumes hidden underneath.

  2. Dem Bones - In this Halloween story, a collection of dancing animals dressed in their scary skeleton costumes, jump jive and dance to this fun adaptation of the song ‘Dem Bones’. The repetitive rhyming text inspires children to join in and shake along.

  3. Piggie Pie! - Gritch the Witch is grouchy, grumpy, and very hungry. The only thing that could make her happy is something extra special for lunch, and that is: Piggie Pie! Gritch zooms off on her broomstick to find eight plump piggies — where else? — on Old MacDonald’s Farm. Cleverly disguised pigs impersonate ducks, chickens, a cow, and Old MacDonald himself, as this uproarious, quick-paced story builds to an ironically surprising conclusion. Wacky, hip, and illustrated with bold, bright paintings, “Piggie Pie” adds a new twist to an old fairy-tale scene.

  4. Pumpkins - Watch all kinds of pumpkins grow in this simple introduction to autumn’s favorite vegetable. This simple board book is ideal for Halloween party favors or parents who want a gift for toddlers. It features basic information on how pumpkins grow, talks about different types of pumpkins, and shows how pumpkins are enjoyed at Thanksgiving and Halloween—ending with a glowing row of jack-o-lanterns.

  1. Pick a Pumpkin - The creators of Pick a Pine Tree are back with a joyful, energetic celebration of a Halloween tradition. Pick a pumpkin from the patch. Tall and lean or short and fat. Vivid orange, ghostly white, or speckled green, might be just right. Pairing a wonderfully rhythmic read-aloud text with expressive retro illustrations, author Patricia Toht and illustrator Jarvis capture all the excitement and familial feeling of a favorite holiday tradition. Readers will be happy to follow along with each step, from picking out the perfect specimen at the pumpkin patch (be sure to stop for cider and toffee apples) to carting it home, scooping out the insides, carving a scary face, and finally lighting a candle inside — savoring the familiar ritual of transforming an ordinary pumpkin into a one-of-a-kind glowing jack-o’-lantern.

  2. My Pet Giraffe - Giraffes make the best pets! Follow a little girl and boy and their pet giraffe as they spy, dress up for Halloween, and play hide-and-seek!

  3. Boo! Scared You! - Get ready to be scared! Stick your tongue out at the dragon. Oh no, what will happen? Open the big flap . . . waah! The dragon is breathing fire! Tickle the mean looking ogre. Uh oh, will he get mad? Open the big flap . . . the ogre is laughing! In this frighteningly funny book, kids are encouraged to be as brave as they can be to tickle, howl, or shout at fearful creatures-a different action on each spread-then lift the big flaps to reveal the unexpected results! A joke book for very young children focusing on physical humor, it is sure to make them roll with laughter.

  4. If You're Scary and You Know It! - If you’re scary and you know it, moan and groan . . . Set to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It,” this festive holiday book is perfect for all of the boys and gouls roaming around on Halloween night! Ghosts moan and groan, while pirates yo ho! If You’re Scary And You Know It! is sure to be a Halloween hit!

  1. Little Pumpkin's Halloween - Come along with Little Pumpkin and his friends on a trick-or-treat romp through a not-so-spooky old house to find a fun Halloween party! Where are the treats in the spooky house? Could they be behind the swishy, swooshy curtains? Or on the creaky stairs? Little Pumpkin is looking everywhere, and one by one, his friends join the search—including Little Franken, Little Bat, Little Ghost, and a little black cat too. With its irresistibly cute illustrations and sweet story, this is the perfect Halloween book for younger children.

  2. Mission Super Halloween - Beatrice “Bumble B.” Flinn has announced her Halloween costume, and it’s perfect for her. She is going to be a Super Bee! But when her cape causes issues, B. feels less than super. She is on a mission to find her superpower, with or without her pesky cape! The Bumble B. early chapter book series will inspire young readers to never give up. Easy-to-read text, short chapters, fun illustrations, a glossary, discussion questions, and writing prompts complete the book. The Capstone Interactive edition comes with simultaneous access for every student in your school and includes read aloud audio recorded by professional voice over artists.

  3. Rita and the Haunted House - On Hallowe’en Rita plans to go Trick or Treating with her brothers and sister but they think it is too scary for her. Little do they know that when she becomes the Rescuer she will do battle with real ghosts, monsters and even a witch on a broomstick!

  4. Five Little Ghosts - Little learners will love wiggling the little ghost puppet while enjoying the spooky retelling of the classic “Five Little Monkeys” rhyme. With cute illustrations throughout, plus plenty of opportunities to sing along, this title makes an ideal choice for parents wanting to encourage the development of fine motor skills in their little ones, and it’s perfect for Halloween reading fun.

  1. 10 Busy Brooms - “Ten little witches combine a lesson in counting with colorful Halloween fun. “ - Seira Wilson, Amazon Editor Celebrate Halloween with this fun and festive counting board book, perfect for fans of Room on the Broom! Young readers will want to fly the night sky with the ten little witches in this bright and adventurous Halloween story. Whether zooming past rattling skeletons, buzzing by pie-stealing mummies, or soaring over a werewolf with bad breath, this exciting group of witches and their high-flying Halloween adventures will have readers cheering! Plus, play a game of I Spy and find the cat and owl on every page! “An enjoyable celebration of witchy sisterhood.”—Publisher’s Weekly “Bright and cheerful.”—School Library Journal

Did you enjoy our Halloween book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

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