13 Books to Get Your Child in a Spooktacular Mood this Halloween
In the month of October, we celebrate Halloween, and in what better way to celebrate it with your kids than to read a story filled with witches, pumpkins, ghosts, and creatures of the night. Have your family enjoy the thrill of being scared, or not, this Halloween with one of these child-friendly spooky stories.
1. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown by Charles M. Schulz
If you can write a letter to Santa Claus for Christmas, why not write the Great Pumpkin for Halloween? While Charlie Brown and the rest of the gang are making preparations for trick-or-treating, Linus writes his annual letter to the magical pumpkin in hopes to catch a glimpse of it flying through the air with its bag of toys on Halloween night.
2. The Berenstain Bears Trick or Treat by Stan & Jan Berenstain
It’s the cubs first time trick-or-treating, and they are scared to visit the elderly Miz McGrizz’s house because they think she’s a witch. However, when they end up there, trying to start trouble, the cubs discover that appearances can be deceiving. This is a great book to read before taking a child out trick-or-treating.
3. Mollywitch Does Magic Tricks by Nick Sharratt
Mollywitch loves to make magic with colorful results. For examples, she turns a blue chair into a yellow one patterned with stars and her friend’s face blue with spots. Luckily, her magic only lasts until dark. This “pull tab” book is adorable for very young children developing their motor skills or learning their colors, and it’s an easy book to follow for Halloween reading.
4. Goodnight Goon: A Petrifying Parody by Michael Rex
In this alternative to Goodnight Moon, which is written by Kathleen Whalin, a little monster says goodnight to his surroundings. While not too scary for little children, it is a choice story to read before bedtime throughout the Halloween month.
5. In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz and illustrated by Dirk Zimmer
Gather family and friends together to read these spooky stories aloud, which are packed with spine-tingling imagery. Will you be horrified by the end of “The Green Ribbon” or will you be scared to death reading “In the Graveyard?” I recommend this one for older children who’ve outgrown the tamer tales in this review and want to be truly frightened this Halloween.
6. The Berenstain Bears Go on a Ghost Walk by Stan & Jan Berenstain
Papa Bear is put in charge of the Bear Country School’s Ghost Walk and has everything he needs to make the night scary. But, will Papa Bear’s ideas be too spooky for the little bears?
7. Haunted Castle on Hallow’s Eve (Magic Tree House, 30) by Mary Pope Osborne and illustrated by Sal Murdocca
Jack and Annie travel back in time to Camelot and are sent on a mission by Merlin to solve the mystery of a haunted castle. Will they be brave enough to enter its creepy halls? This book is filled with history, magic and adventure and is another book perfect for older children to read this Halloween.
8. Happy Haunting, Amelia Bedelia (I Can Read Book 2) by Herman Parish and illustrated by Lynn Sweat
Be careful what you say to this maid who takes everything literally. Amelia’s amusing antics while she decorates the Rogers’s house for a costume party will have your child laughing, not screaming. Add it to your child’s bag of treats this Halloween.
9. The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams and illustrated by Megan Lloyd
Nothing scares this old lady. Making her way home through a spooky forest, she comes across a pair of shoes walking by themselves, followed by a shirt, a pair of pants, gloves, a hat, and, finally, a huge pumpkin head. The repetitive sounds made by each of the old woman’s pursuers and her solution for the enchanted objects will delight young audiences.
10. The Best Halloween Ever by Barbara Robinson
Principal Crabtree is holding a Halloween celebration at Woodrow Wilson School in hopes of avoiding the Herdmans’ antics and the students are disappointed that there will be no trick-or-treating this year. However, the Herdmans’ aren’t going to allow the adults to interfere with their Halloween fun. Based on Robinson’s The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, this book is funny and clever and a terrific read for the best Halloween ever.
11. I Spy a Pumpkin by Jean Marzolla and photographed by Walter Wick
Solve the spooky riddles by finding objects in the spooky photos. This is a wonderful level 1 reader to sit down with your child with and discover Halloween.
12. Ghosts in the House by Kazuno Kohara
In this simple Halloween story, a little witch moves into a house haunted by ghosts. Instead of being afraid, though, the little witch traps each ghost and puts them to better use – as curtains, tablecloths, and bedsheets!
13. The Halloween Party from the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler and illustrated by Jared Lee
The scariest Halloween party is being held, and Hubie doesn’t have a costume! In this quirky Halloween tale, Hubie needs to find a costume quick for a party that will be brimming with monsters. Will he be a scarier site than the ghouls from the Black Lagoon?