Confession: I think I love Halloween picture books just as much as Christmas ones! I never really did as a child though because a have a strong aversion to all things that are too creepy or gory and I never really took to scary stories or even just a lot of Halloween in general. However, I am a mom now and I am determined to really make each and every holiday magical. This has led me on a hunt for all things “Halloween” that are celebratory and true to the holiday, but not too spooky and cute for my kids. (And, admittedly, for me as well.)
To my surprise, I have found that there are so many adorable and fun Halloween picture books to celebrate this exciting holiday with my children. How had I passed by/missed so many of them as a child? Now I love Halloween more than I ever have before and each Halloween season in our home is filled with reading our favorite Halloween books over and over again (Seriously though, we have “Halloween story time” at least once a day!). Below we are sharing some of them with you. Be sure to check back to this list from time to time as I do plan to add to it as we discover new favorites. (Hence the “ultimate” in the title of this post.)
“The Ghosts go Haunting” by Helen Ketteman and Adam Record. This one is so adorable! The text is done to the tune of “The Ants go Marching One By One” so it is book that can even be sung and used as a Hallween song if desired. (We totally sing along!) It is about a bunch of halloween spooks such as black cats, ghosts and bats haunting a school. It is especially cute because the faculty are the ones who are “spooked” while the children are enjoying the festivities. In the end adults and children alike join in a party with their new Halloween friends.
“Pig and Pug Trick-or-Treat” by Sue Lowell Gallion and Joyce Wan- Pig and pug are ready to go Halloween day with their costumes. However, there is one problem: Pug hates his costume. In the end he finds a way to solve his dilemma and accompany Pig through all the fun Halloween activities. Pig and Pug are darling characters and this story is a delightful one full of Halloween goodness and friendship.
“Hugo Makes a Change” by Scott Emmons and Mauro Gatti- This is a beautifully designed book and a sweet story all about the world’s cutest (in my opinion) little vampire, Hugo. Hugo is a huge meat lover, however he has grown tired of always eating the same hamburgers and sausages and decides to head out to search for something new. On his quest he discovers the wonderfulness of fruits and vegetables. This one makes for a fun read and a playful way to try and convince picky eaters that fruits and vegetables really are fantastic. (Which we need over here! haha)
“I Want to be in a Scary Story” by Sean Taylor and Jean Jullien- This one is a huge favorite over here! In it you get to read the voice of the narrator as it talks to the main character of the book (a little monster) who insists that he wants to be part of a scary story. However, he is spooked more easily than he thought he would be and in the end he changes the story and surprises you, as the reader and narrator, by doing a little “spooking” of his own. Love it!
“Hedgehugs: Autumn Hide-and-Squeak” by Steve Wilson and Lucy Tapper- We are thrilled to see our favorite Hedgehug couple return in this autumn delight. It brings forward all the expected cuteness of a book in this series and introduces a new bat friend for the Horace and Hattie to play with. Absolutely darling!
“It’s Halloween, Chloe Zoe!” by Jane Smith- Chloe Zoe is back in this Halloween book. As she is celebrating Halloween with her friends the festivities climax to good ‘old trick-or-treating. However, they come across a house that is altogether too spooky looking for Chloe. With a little help from her friends and dad she gathers the courage to go and ring the doorbell and in the end discovers that everything may not be as scary as it seems on Halloween.
“Fright Club” by Ethan Long-Fright club is an organization for all of the scary monsters in town to get together to prepare for the biggest scaring day of the year: Halloween. However, when some cute woodland animals want to join, will the monsters deem them scary enough to participate? Such a fun story with a great message on inclusion and not judging based on appearance.
“Herbert’s First Halloween” by Cynthia Rylant and Steven Henry- Herbert is having his first Halloween and he is a little nervous. This story walks through his preparations for the big day and his first experience trick-or-treating. The story is extra sweet and my kids really enjoy this one.
“Monster Trucks” by Joy Keller and Misa Saburi- Monsters love haunting during the Halloween season, but what do they do when Halloween is over and before it comes back around again? They drive “monster trucks” of course! My little guy who loves all things with wheels finds this book particularly wonderful. It features Halloween monsters on different vehicles/pieces of equipment it’s fantastic.
“Zombelina” by Kristyn Crow and Molly Idle- Zombelina is a zombie who happens to love to dance. However, when her parents sign her up for dance class her classmates think her differences aren’t quite comparable. In the end, Zombelina proves that different is good and that there is more than one way to truly be a star. Such a great message and such clever illustrations.
“Creepy Pair of Underwear” by Aaron Reynolds and Peter Brown- This book is hilarious! Seriously though, I get the biggest kick out of it. It is about a little bunny who purchases a pair of glow in the dark underwear that is simply creepy. He tries everything he can think of to get rid of it, but in the end decides that he likes it because the glow works as a night lift in his room at bedtime. Written like an old black-and-white horror film, but with all the fun you’d expect in a children’s book, this one is fantastic!
“Little Blue Truck’s Halloween” by Alice Schertle and Jill McElmwvy– This book is also a lift-the-flap book where you can peek at Little Blue’s animal friends who are underneath their costumes. (It is perfect for reluctant trick-or-treaters who may be afraid of costumes). Plus, its Little Blue! How can you go wrong?! The book ends in a Halloween party with Little Blue and all his farmyard friends and the illustrations are absolutely adorable.
“Frankenstein: A BabyLit Anatomy Primer” by Jennifer Adams and Alison Oliver- This primer introduces parts of the body to the youngest of trick-or-treaters and has the most adorable illustrations of Frankenstein throughout. I love how one side of the page spreads show a progressing chart of body parts while the other side shows a cute illustration of Frankenstein highlighting it.
“Five Black Cats” by Patricia Hegarty- This is a board book that I love just as much as my kids and is one of the most asked for books at Halloween. It follows five cats on their journey to and through a haunted house and ends with a big Halloween party. The illustrations are charming and the building suspense is a real treat.
“Eek! Halloween!” by Sandra Boynton- Everything Sandra does seems to be amazing and this book is no exception. It is a blast to read and is sure to have little ones in giggles over the silly chickens who are totally spooked by all the signs of Halloween that they are seeing all around. Silly chickens, there’s no need to be afraid, it’s just Halloween.
“Dracula: A BabyLit Counting Primer” by Jennifer Adams and Alison Oliver- This baby primer takes different iconic items from the classic story of Dracula and highlights them in counting format. The design is everything you would expect for BabyLit and more and is positively fun.
“Little Witch’s Zoomin’ Broom” by Rosa Von Feder and Anoosha Syed- I am definitely drawn to darling witch books and this is one that was “love at first sight” with me. When I saw the retro styled witches and read the sweet story about the littlest witch who is worried she might be too little to fly on a broom, I couldn’t wait to introduce it to my daughter. It is now one of her favorite Halloween books and I am so pleased.
“Peep and Egg: I’m NOT Trick-or-Treating” by Laura Gehl and Joyce Wan- I was thrilled when I saw that “Peep and Egg” had a Halloween book! In this tale Egg is afraid of Halloween costumes and hesitant to go trick-or-treating. In the end, Peep convinces Egg that it is nothing to be afraid of and off they go. I also have to mention that the illustrations of animals in costumes are completely adorable.
“If Your Spooky and You Know It” by Aly Fronis and Jannie Ho- This book is heaps of fun because the words can be sung to the tune of “If Your Happy and You Know It”. We ALWAYS sing it and my kiddos like to get up and do all of the actions. It’s like having our own little Halloween party!
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