It’s time for a comprehensive, big ol’ list of all my favorite Halloween picture books for your kids to read. From not scary to a bit spooky, this list has something for every age and stage. This list represents the best of the books I’ve reviewed over the last 11 years.
My All-Time Favorite Halloween Books for Kids
B is for Boo: A Halloween Alphabet (Babylit) by Greg Paprocki (board book)
The vintage (retro) artwork and style of this Halloween alphabet book feel cozy, not scary with pages filled with treats, costumes, and other Halloween words. Absolutely lovely.
Eek! Halloween! by Sandra Boynton (board book)
Sandra Boynton’s board books are GENIUS and kids love them. The rhymes, perfect. The stories, hilarious. This new book about Halloween is no different. The chickens are nervous at all the strange things they see — a pumpkin, a wizard, a robot. So what do they do? Hide their eyes. Until someone explains what’s going on. . .
Spookie Pookie by Sandra Boynton (board book)
Don’t you just love Sandra Boynton board books? My kids ADORED her writing and illustrations when they were littler. This cute Halloween book shows how Pookie makes a decision about what to wear as a Halloween costume. You’ll love it.
The I’m Not Scared Book by Todd Parr (board book)
This book talks about what things are scary and when those same things are not — “Sometimes I’m scared of dogs // I’m not scared when they give me kisses.” Parr makes it okay to feel scared then shifts the perspective to see those things in a new way. Read this book about emotions anytime of the year.
AlphaOops: H is for Halloween by Alethea Kontis, illustrated by Bob Kolar
Hilarious – one of our favorite Halloween stories!
Bad Kitty Scaredy Cat by Nick Bruel
Bad Kitty didn’t use to be such a scaredy kitty but when one night frightening creatures appear (An Awful Alien, A Bizarre Bigfoot, A Creepy Clown, . . . ) she becomes very, very scared. But when Kitty sees the candy: Apples, Bubblegum, Candy Corn, Dried Fruit, . . ., her fears go away. Now she’s motivated to Attack the Alien, Batter Bigfoot, Clobber the Clown, and get all the candy for herself. Another favorite for the fantastic alphabetic fun!
A Teeny Tiny Halloween by Lauren L. Wohl, illustrated by Henry Cole
Fall is coming and the teeny tiny woman’s house is a bit scary when covered with so many leaves. So, she decides not to be afraid and bakes chocolate chip cookies. Outside, three costumed children play in the leaves then discover the house. Together they eat the cookies inside the warm, cozy house.
Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler
This is a popular and classic Halloween picture book of friendship! Your kids will love this story.
I Want to Be in a Scary Story by Sean Taylor, illustrated by Jean Jullien
This Book is Full of Monsters by Guido Van Genechten
Herbert’s First Halloween by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Steven Henry
Little Herbert is unsure about this whole Halloween thing. So his dad gently introduces him to the idea. After making him a tiger costume, the two make their own carved pumpkin. Trick or Treating goes so well, Herbert is excited about next year. It’s a quiet celebration that will help children feel more comfortable about the holiday.
Creepy Pair of Underwear! by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Peter Brown
Jasper’s mom to buy him a pair of big boy underwear. But the underwear are CREEPY. They glow in the dark. So Jasper (who isn’t scared at all!) tries and tries to get rid of them. But no matter what he does, they come right back! Finally, he’s successful after burying them on a hill. That’s when he realizes he misses his creepy underwear and wants them back. A clever combination of silly and creepy both in this story for all year round.
The Pomegranate Witch by Denise Doyen, illustrated by Eliza Wheeler
The Wompananny Witches Make One Mean Pizza by Jennie Palmer
The Wompananny Witches love cooking but are terrified by children. They accidentally put their feelings of fear and terror into a pizza; a pizza that escapes and wreaks havoc on the neighborhood. The witches must face their fears (children) and help the children stop the Mean Pizza. You’ll love the humor and sweet message of courage and friendship. This is another book that works year round, not just on Halloween.
MORE Best Halloween Picture Books for Kids
Ten Orange Pumpkins A Counting Book by Stephen Savage
A bold, graphic illustrations accompany rhyming text that counts down from 10 to 1. Well-done, not scary.
Halloween Night by Marjorie Dennis Murray, illustrations by Brandon Dorman
Using the familiar Night Before Christmas rhyme, this Halloween version describes zombies, ghosts and witches scaring trick-or-treaters.
A Halloween Drawing Spooktacular! by Jennifer Besel
If you have kids who like step by step drawing books, they’ll like this new Halloween-themed book. Fun things to draw such as a mummy, Frakenstein, and a dancing skeleton.
Gracie Meets a Ghost by Keiko Sena
Gracie’s about to go to bed when she realizes she doesn’t have her glasses. So, she goes outside to search — there she meets a ghost who wants to scare her but since she can’t see him, he doesn’t. The ghost looks everywhere for Gracie’s glasses so he can scare her. Ironically, Gracie thinks he’s so nice and doesn’t realize he’s not, but we the readers know.
Boo Who?by Ben Clanton
Who can’t relate to being new and feeling invisible? Boo is new and literally invisible. Not only that, he has trouble playing most games — because of being invisible. Tag doesn’t work. Neither does basketball. But he’s happy to learn that Hide-and-Seek works perfectly! Muted colors show expressive characters pairing perfectly with this sweet story about fitting in. A picture book for any time of year, not just Halloween season.
Grimelda and the Spooktacular Pet Show by Diana Murray, illustrated by Heather Ross
To win the pet show, Grimelda must make her pet spooktacular. Of course, first she must find her spell book. And then the right pet. But, things go wonky at the pet show and Grimelda turns her cat into an even cuter cat. Whoops. Now what will happen!?
Bonaparte Falls Apart by Margery Cuyler, illustrations by Will Terry
Bonaparte is losing all his bones. (Get it? He’s a bone-losing skeleton!) His friends, Franky Stein, Blacky Widow, and Mummicula try to help him but their glue, web, and bandages don’t help. When they see a dog with a bone, the friends realize that the bone loving dog is just what Bonaparte needs. Now he can go to school with confidence.
The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda D. Williams, illustrated by Megan Lloyd
Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman, illustrated by S.D. Schindler
How do you get the biggest pumpkin off the vine? You’ll be surprised!
Halloween ABC by Jannie Ho
For those of you Halloween aficionados (you know who you are), share your enthusiasm with your kids starting young. This book will help. H for haunted house, M for mummy, R is for run, and T for trick or treat. Bright colors and clean illustrations.
Boo! Haiku by Deanna Caswell, illustrated by Bob Shea
Simple haikus will get you thinking and guessing these Halloween things — a bat, a skeleton, a black cat.
Peep and Egg I’m Not Trick-or-Treating by Laura Gehl, illustrated by Joyce Wan
If you love these two friends, you’ll like this new, funny story about Halloween. Peep does an admirable job trying to entice Egg into being brave for trick-or-treating by sharing jokes, planning out the night, and talking about costumes. But Egg just won’t. (Yet.)
It’s Raining Bats and Frogsby Rebecca Colby
Oh, dear. It’s raining on the Witch Parade. Delia wants to help so she changes the rain to cats and dogs. But that’s too cray so Delia tries again with hats and clogs instead. But the witches fight over the shoes so how about bats and frogs instead? Disaster after silly disaster make rain look good. After all a little rain never hurt anyone. Cute and not scary at all.
Even Monsters Say Good Nightby Doreen Mulryan Marts
Avery doesn’t want to go to bed. She’s worried about the monsters under her bed and in the closet, too. Until her mom explains that monsters sleep in their own beds in their own houses. And Avery isn’t scared anymore. What a great way to help calm children’s nighttime fears, don’t you think?
Ghosts In the House a Lift-the-Flap Book by Ammi-Joan Paquette, illustrated by Adam Record
This clever, funny Halloween counting book starts with one ghost. The ghost discovers (lift-the-flap) a skeleton in the closet and now there are two. Soon there are a total of five monsters prowling through the house. That is until they see a little boy. Yikes! Frightened, the monsters run for their lives. 🙂
Happy Halloween Witch’s Cat! by Harriet Muncaster
What should the Witch’s Cat girl dress up as for Halloween? She and her mom, the good witch, visit a store to find a costume. But nothing seems right until she realizes she could just go as a witch’s cat. Gorgeous illustrative photos of three-dimensional scenes make this extra intriguing.
Fright Clubby Ethan Long
Fright Club has one last meeting before Halloween and Operation Kiddie Scare. But there’s a problem — cute creatures including a bunny want to join the Fright Club! What will the Fright Club do? We love this funny new Halloween book.
Boo-La-La Witch Spa by Samantha Berger, illustrated by Isabel Roxas
After the big day, Halloween, tired witches visit the fab-BOO Witch Spa to drink Bat-Whisker Tea and get spooky spa treatments.
Ava the Monster Slayer by Lisa Maggiore, illustrated by Ross Felten
We think Ava rocks – she’s the fierce monster slayer (and quite cute) who braves monsters in her basement to rescue stuffed Piggy. She is awesome, don’t you think?
Even Monsters Need Haircutsby Matthew McElligott
Wow, I had no idea that monsters needed haircuts. Now I know. And this boy barber, inspired by his barber dad, spends one night a month giving monsters haircuts –no matter who shows up or what they need! (Think Cyclops, Medusa, and Frankenstein.) Fantastic!
Peanut Butter & Brains: A Zombie Culinary Tale by Joe McGee, illustrated by Charles Santoso
Reginald loves peanut butter and jelly sandwiches — and hopes to convince his fellow zombies that eating pb&j is so much better than brains. Not totally a Halloween book per say but good for any zombie lover.
Have You Seen My Monster? by Steve Light
Help this little girl search for her monster at the fair. Her monster loves the fun house, the slide, and bumper cars. The illustrations are black and white except for the geometric shape featured on each page — octagon, rectangle, decagon, etc. This is a delightful search and find book for all year around.
Mind Your Monsters by Catherine Balley, illustrated by Oriol Vidal
Monsters invaded Wally’s small town, scaring kids, smelling like rotten eggs, and causing big messes. Wally tries everything to get the monsters to stop. Finally he says the right word: PLEASE. And that works! (Of course.)
Troll and the Oliverby Adam Stower
Everyday Troll tries to eat the Oliver but the Oliver always manages to escape. Sad, hungry, and grumpy Troll almost decides to stop chasing the Oliver. But he does catch the Oliver and eats him only to discover that an Oliver tastes revolting. The two become friends and learn that trolls love cake best of all! We love the silliness of this monster story.
Monster Trouble!by Lane Fredrickson, illustrated by Michael Robertson
Winifred isn’t scared of the monsters who visit her bedroom. She loves them and thinks they’re cute. But they are annoying — they interrupt her sleeping and are smelly. She tries everything to get rid of them until she stumbles on the perfect solution — kisses! Monsters hate kisses. Funny!! I like that the main characters is of color, too.
Dining with Monsters! A Disgusting Way to Count to 10! by Agnese Baruzzi
Turn the book sideways to read and lift-the-flaps to see what these horrible monsters eat — 1 spider, 2 frogs, 3 whales. Awesome bold graphic illustrations!
There Was an Old Mummy Who Swallowed a Spider by Jennifer Ward, illustrated by Steve Gray
You know the drill. There was an old ____ who swallowed a _____. This updated monster version leads up to a knock on the door and trick or treating.
Enzo’s Very Scary Halloween by Garth Stein, illustrated by R. W. Alley
Enzo isn’t sure about Halloween until he learns that it’s just pretend. Phew!
Grimelda The Very Messy Witch by Diana Murray, illustrated by Heather Ross
She needs pickle root but must clean her entire house before she can find it. Silly and fun — no scary stuff here.
Monster Trucks by Anika Denise, illustrated by Nate Wragg
Loud, frightening monster trucks clang, boom, bang before the big race but what a surprise! It’s the Little Blue Bus who beats them all.
Goblin Hood by Sue Fliess, illustrated by Piper Thibodeau
When a witch steals all the Halloween candy, Robin Hood steals it back. And her wand, too.
Who’s Who in the Woods? A Pop-Up Mystery by Eryl Norris and Andy Mansfield
Just who do the eyes belong to? Black and white pop-up creatures, that’s who.