Halloween Treats: Top Picks for Children’s Halloween Books

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I used to be a school librarian in a k-8 school before staying home with Noodle.  Believe it or not, school librarianship is about SO much more than books.  Someone once commented that it must be nice that I get to sit and read books all day.  Once I picked my jaw off the floor I was so speechless I didn’t know what to say!  Because the only time I ever got to actually read to myself was after midnight at home.  Which of course I did, because I do love to read and wanted to stay up on the newest books. So it brings me great pleasure to spend a few minutes thinking about books, specifically October ones, and come up with a bibliography of a few favorites.

I hope you’ll indulge me a few moments as I delve into my former life and bring to you my Top Halloween-ish Children’s Books!

Bunnicula by Deborah and James Howe

I read this to my second graders one year and they enjoyed it but didn’t really get the jokes.  I think this would be better for older elementary students who would understand the humor and plot a bit more than my second graders did!  It’s especially timely now that vampires are in vogue right now {go, Team Jacob!}

Arthur’s Halloween by Marc Brown

There’s an Arthur book for just about every major holiday, and I always enjoyed reading Arthur’s Halloween to my kiddos!  In this book, Arthur is scared of everything (including his sister’s Halloween costume).  How will he survive this oh-so-scary night?

Go Away, Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberly

This book was so popular in my library that it spent most of it’s time in the “book hospital” due to all the love.  With each turn of the page, a new feature of the monster is revealed until you see the whole monster.  By turning additional pages, you make the monster disappear feature-by-feature again.  Fun!

There’s a Monster at the End of this Book by Jon Stone

Good old Grover is scared by the fact that this book has a monster at the end of it.  He tries to keep you from turning the pages by begging, gluing, hammering, tying– of course, none of the tricks work and you DO find a monster at the end of the book.  Can you guess which lovable little guy it might be??!!

It’s Halloween by Jack Prelutsky

I love Jack Prelutsky.  He’s a fun author to meet– when he signs books, he even draws a little cartoon with your name!  As for this book, it has 13 Halloween themed poems perfect for sharing.

Dem Bones by Bob Barner

This lively read-aloud will have you singing all day!  Goes through the skeletal system in a fun and engaging way.  “Toe bone connected to the foot bone…  Foot bone connected to the ankle bone…”  Along with the song lyrics it explains each of the bones in the song, making this book informative AND fun!

Skeleton Hiccups by Margery Cuyler

A non-threatening skeleton has a case of the hiccups, and doesn’t know how to cure them until his friend the ghost comes up with a great idea.  Pair this story with this fun Q-tip skeleton activity.

The Little Old Lady Who Wasn’t Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams

CLOMP, CLOMP, SHAKE, SHAKE, CLAP, CLAP… this book has lots of opportunities for reading with expression!  Children love all the sounds as they see what gives the little old lady who wasn’t afraid of anything a BIG scare!

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

This one is all over the news this month because of the movie, but let’s not forget the sweet beginning this story had– a boy, a wild rumpus, and a bunch of monsters discovering that love endures even when we let our emotions get the best of us.  Groundbreaking because it was one of the first children’s stories to address the dark side of our emotions, there is good reason it has stuck around for the past 40 years.

Stellaluna by Janell Cannon

While this isn’t a Halloween book, it does have a little bat that fits with the “night” theme.  Stellaluna is an adorable little bat who is raised as a bird after being knocked out of her nest.  Don’t worry, she rediscovers her roots but the story of her adventure is a sweet one.  There are notes about bats at the end of the book for budding scientists.

Skippyjon Jones in Mummy Trouble by Judy Schachner

This little kitty wants to be a chihuahua, and comes up with an alter-ego (El Skippito) to live out many adventures.  Books in the Skippyjon series are hilarious read-alouds, as the words roll of your tongue and make you smile.  The mummy in the title qualifies it as a “Halloween” book, right?

You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You: Very Short Scary Tales to Read Together 
by Mary Ann Hoberman

This has to be one of my favorite series for beginning readers.  The text in the book is higlighted in two different colors for two different voices.  The rhymes are easy to read and really flow, especially when read together.  Snuggle up with your little one and enjoy this one together!

That’s a few of my favorites.  I’m sure I’ll think of more as soon as I hit the “publish” button!  Which ones am I missing?  Do you have any Halloween or scary books to add?
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4 Comments

  1. I just put a bunch of these on hold at the library – thanks for the great list!! hmmm….will this continue for Thanksgiving and Christmas books!? I LOVE knowing a librarian! 😉

  2. What an AWESOME list!!! I recognized more than I thought I would! I LOVE “Monster At The End of This Book” and “The Little Old Lady Who Not Afraid of Anything”! Thanks for sharing… it’s always great to find new favorites!!!

  3. That’s a great list! Our librarian read Goodnight Goon which was so fun for the kids.

    Thanks for the shout out about my costume. I’m flattered that I nearly took someone’s breath away!

  4. Gosh we used to love Arthur books and of course the show. Those were fun ages. Thanks for sharing those book picks!

    Stopping by from the SITS Halloween Parade :o)

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