Chilling Children’s Books to Read on Halloween
The spooky season is upon us once again, a month of breathless anticipation when creepy-crawlies own the night and your broomstick lies in wait for a midnight joyride. There’s nothing better this time of year than a mini-cauldron of steaming cocoa, a cozy blanket, and a story to warm you and your little ones up at bedtime. Below, a few of our picks of the trickiest Halloween books out this fall—read them all if you dare, each is a guaranteed treat!
The Ghosts Go Haunting, by Helen Ketteman and Adam Record (Illustrator)
With vexing verse written to the tune of “The Ants Go Marching,” The Ghosts go Haunting is a perfect read-aloud during this spooky season. Depicted through Record’s wonderfully imaginative illustrations, the ghosts and ghouls march through the school; the teachers may be scared, but the kids know it’s all fun with this Halloween parade.
Shivery Shades of Halloween, by Mary McKenna Siddals and Jimmy Pickering (Illustrator)
What color is Halloween? Through moonlit forests, halls, and halloween parties—with an adorable creature as your guide—you’re sure to find out! Shivery Shades is a frightfully fun story that highlights all the vivid hues of Halloween, rendering it spooky fun for all ages, and especially perfect for your little presghoulers.
The Monsterator, by Keith Graves
“Enter the monsterator if you dare. Put a coin in the slot…but beware!” In Graves’ richly imagined costume emporium, under the grime and cobwebs, there is a machine that transforms ordinary people into monsters. How could this story be anything but an absolute blast? You and your child will enjoy both the hauntingly zany prose and your personal Monsterator at the end.
At the Old Haunted House, by Helen Ketteman and Nate Wragg (Illustrator)
The seams are bursting at the old haunted house, where Ma monster, Pa Goblin, and a hairy mom bat and all their wee ones are busy preparing for the Halloween Fright. With verses written in the familiar rhythm of “Over in the Meadow,” Ketteman creates an engaging count-along story for your favorite little ghosts.
Bats in the Band, by Brian Lies
Lies’ latest Bat Book deftly demonstrates the power of the music of the night, complete with bat ballads, bat-a-tat drums, and even a bat singing the blues. As always, Lies’ wonderfully imagined world is topsy-turvy, with fun at every turn. Celebrate Halloween with these crooning bats tonight!
I am a Witch’s Cat, by Harriet Muncaster
Brought to life through Muncaster’s whimsical prose and mixed-media illustrations, I am a Witch’s Cat is the delightful tale of a little girl who, based on some very concrete evidence, believes her mother to be a good witch—and herself to be a cat! With a cauldronful of potions, spells, and other magical hijinx, this heartwarming story is sure to become a favorite for Halloweens to come.
Ready, Steady, Ghost, by Elizabeth Baguley and Marion Lindsay (Illustrator)
Gilbert, a very small ghost who wants to scare like the big ghosts, haunts the pages of this adorable page-turner. Spooky creatures abound in the big dark forest, but brave little Gilbert is determined to find his way. Accompany him on his mystical, magical learning adventure, and watch your little ghost squeal in delight!
Little Boo, by Stephen Wunderll and Tim Zeltner (Illustrator)
The leaves are falling, the wind is blowing, and one little pumpkin seed wants to change right along with the season: he wants to be scary! With evocative prose matched by captivating illustrations, Little Boo features an impatient little pumpkin seed who’s in a hurry to grow up. Not only is this seed an engaging character for readers of all ages, but his heartwarming tale reminds us how hard it can be to wait: an important lesson for all seasons.
Bramble and Maggie Spooky Season, by Jessie Haas and Allison Friend (Illustrator)
Bramble, an affable, spirited horse, and Maggie, her steadfast owner, are the best of friends, and Spooky Season is their third adventure together. Fall is full of fun, but there are also some frights! Will they be able to work together to trick-or-treat safely through the night? Bramble and Maggie’s is a warm and wonderful tale of teamwork and courage.
Nightmares!, by Jason Segal and Kirsten Miller
With equal amounts of fun and fright, Jason Segal, multitalented actor and writer, has brought your middle-graders an absolute treat this Halloween. Nightmares are becoming reality for Charlie Laird, who has some grave suspicions about some seriously scary people in his town. Together with his friends, Charlie must own up to his fears in order to save his town. The first book in a trilogy, Nightmares! is an unforgettable treat for your favorite elementary sghouler.
What frightfully fun books are you reading this month?