Which of these popular monster books will your kids love and want to read over and over again?
Monsters can be sweet, giggly, stinky, scary, or creepy.
Which kind of monsters do your kids prefer? (I prefer cute and cuddly!)
Below, you’ll find picture books and chapter and middle grade books (scroll down for those) filled with monsters that boogie, won’t go to sleep, need haircuts, want to make friends, attack villages, and more.
Get ready for your next favorite monster story…
Monsters in Picture Books
Fingers For Lunch by Brandt Lewis, illustrated by Cori Dornfeld
Little hands wiggle through the die-cut holes while the grown-up “monsters” read and “eat” yummy fingers. How fun!
The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone, illustrated by Michael Smollin
This is SUCH a funny book that you’ll read multiple times through and laugh every time. Grover tries EVERYTHING to stop you from turning the page — because of the monster at the end of the book. Are you getting nervous? You’ll be surprised when you meet the “monster.” (Don’t worry, parents, there is nothing scary at the end — it was Grover all along.)
Nibbles The Monster Hunt by Emma Yarlett
Nibbles is a book monster who makes a monstrous mess in the boy’s books. First, the boy chases Nibbles, but then he joins Nibbles. Read the mini-books about colors and numbers and peek through the holes.
Creature vs. Teacher A Book of Rhyme by T. Nat Fuller, illustrated by Alex Eben Meyer
Exuberant illustrations show a monster creature and a teacher. The creature tries to get the teacher’s attention. When he does, it’s fun and giggles!
Ten Creepy Monsters by Carey F. Armstrong-Ellis
Count down from 10 creepy monsters to 0 in this creepy rhyming book with ghoulish illustrations. Clever and entertaining with scary-ish Halloween illustrations.
Have You Seen My Monster? by Steve Light
Help this little girl search for her monster at the fair. Her monster loves the funhouse, 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.
Monster Boogie by Laurie Berkner, illustrated by Ben Clanton
This big, purple monster with yellow eyes and green teeth likes to do the monster boogie! And you can, too! Happy kids and their monster friend boogie and wiggle together. This picture book invites you to join in the playful dancing with a not-too-scary monster. Clanton’s vibrant illustrations with brightly textured backgrounds capture the fun of this Laurie Berkner song. Listen to the song here.
Looking for a Jumbie by Tracey Baptiste, illustrated by Amber Ren
Naya is a brave girl who goes out into the dark to search for a jumbie…even though her Mama says that jumbies are only in stories. “I’m looking for a jumbie. I’m going to find a scary one.” Naya searches in the dark in a beautiful turquoise woods where she meets other mythological monstrous creatures. She compares each creature to a jumbie (thick fur and big mouths) then invites them to join her search. At the end of the night, Naya and her new friends arrive back at her little house.
This Book is Full of Monsters by Guido Van Genechten
How to Talk Monster by Lynn Plourde, illustrated by Mike Lowery
A Little Monster startles Little Boy as he’s sleeping but what is he saying? And why does he keep trying to talk to Little Boy? At first, Little Boy is scared but then he helps Little Monster when he gets hurt and they become friends, playing together all night long.
Even Monsters Need Haircuts by 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!
Alfred’s Book of Monsters by Sam Streed
Alfred loves monsters spending time reading his monster book — pages which we can read, too. However, his aunt does not approve of his interest in monsters. Equally, Alfred does not enjoy teatime with his Aunty. So, after a few really borings tea times, Alfred has a brilliant idea…he’ll invite monsters from the graveyard to tea. And when they come, they all have a terrible (=wonderful) time (except for Aunty). The pages are dark brown with mostly black, white, and yellow colored illustrations creating a dramatic ambiance.
Dragons Eat Noodles on Tuesdays by Jon Stahl, illustrated by Tadgh Bentley
The big blue monster begins a story with “once upon a time” only to immediately add, “the end.” Little by little, his yellow monster friend helps the blue monster improve his story so that there is a dragon, a knight, a super-smart damsel, and …a plot!! Which makes the story much better. But wait! The dragon from the story arrives in real life. Yikes. Luckily for the monsters, they remember from the story’s details that dragons only eat noodles on Tuesdays. Hooray! Except– it’s Wednesday! Ut-oh! This unexpected ending will totally crack you up.
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!!
Boo Stew by Donna L. Washington, illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler
A clever and brave heroine named Curly Locks saves the town with her unusual cooking! When Mr. Mayor’s house is overrun with Scares from the Toadsuck Swamp, the townspeople try to help. But every attempt just makes more Scares appear. Until Curly Locks wonders if violence isn’t the answer — but making them food might be the trick. And sure enough, Curly Locks give them a taste of her famous Boo Stew, makes them clean up, and gets them to agree to a trade: they’ll stay in the swamp if she cooks for them.
El Chupacabras by Adam Rubin, illustrated by Chas McCreery
Wacky and fun, written in sentences that mix English and Spanish and Spanish and English, this modern folk story explores the chupacabra in a way that isn’t scary but more light-hearted. A farmer and daughter discover the goatsucker (chupacabra) has sucked one of their precious goats. So, the father asks the flower seller for help. She gives him magic powder which, when overused, makes a herd of gigantic goats! Now, they need the chupacabra’s help to suck out some of the air! Beautiful, earthy illustrations. “Hector had to fix everything, pero la dama de las floras lo ayudo.”
Tickle Monster by Josie Bissett, illustrated by Kevan Atteberry
This picture book and tickle mitts arrive in a beautiful box. A monster arrives from Planet Tickle to bring joy and happiness to Earth. How? By tickling kids readers of this book! Cute, huh?
The Color Monster: A Pop-Up Book of Feelings by Anna Llenas
Monster’s colors are all scribbly and mixed-up which means his emotions are, too. The little girl helps Monster separate his feelings on each page with fantastic pop-ups. I love the green calm page showing Monster in a hammock. The next-to-last page has fun pull-up tabs so kids can see inside each of the feelings jars. And the last page is the best surprise…
Pirates vs. Monsters by David Crosby, illustrated by Lee Cosgrove
Silly, rhyming pirates tell tall tales about brave feats defeating monsters. “The Crunk,” she spat, “was a two-headed beast. While one head would sleep, the other would feast. How did I beat it? With my sneaking skills. I sprinkled its grub, with crushed sleeping pills.” But when the monsters arrive, they all run away. Now it’s the monsters turn to tell tales that aren’t lies, about scaring pirates. Jaunty and funny!
Spike the Mixed-up Monster by Susan Hood, illustrated by Melissa Sweet
Kids will adore the surprises in this book about a monster (an axolotl) named Spike who is no bigger than a lily pad. But, when a very scary Gila monster, el monstruo, arrives, all the other pond animals run away. But not Spike. See what happens when Spike meets el monstruo.
Go to Sleep, Monster by Kevin Cornell
George can’t sleep because he’s scared of the monster under his bed. His sister, Anna, gives the monster a stern talking to and learns that gasp! the under-the-bed-monster is scared of the monster who lives under the floor who, in turn, is scared of the monster under the room who is scared of . . . well, you get the idea. The monsters and human kids learn that they can all be friends which helps everyone sleep.
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.)
My Teacher is a Monster! (No, I Am Not) by Peter Brown
Bobby’s teacher (Ms. Kirby) is a scary monster who yells and keeps kids in at recess. You know the type. But one day Bobby sees his monstrous teacher at the park and Bobby helps her rescue her runaway hat. Together they feed the ducks and fly paper airplanes. And something really strange happens to Ms. Kirby. She doesn’t seem like a monster anymore. At least not until Bobby gets back to school…
Eat Pete! by Michael Rex
I Will Fight Monsters for You by Santi Balmes, illustrates by Lyona
This is a parallel story picture book of a young girl and a young monster who are both frightened about sleeping because of fears about each other. Can the little girl and monster come together and see each other as something not scary?
What Makes a Monster? Discovering the World’s Scariest Creatures by Jess Keating, illustrations by David DeGrand
Monsters — real animal monsters — is a topic that kids will love reading about. Keating writes in a way that gives kids lots of information in a readable, engaging way. I love the design, too –it’s a mix of photographs, illustrations, cool fonts, and bright colors. What Makes a Monster is a must-read picture book filled with unexpected information about fascinating, dangerous animals. Are they real monsters?
Hattie & Hudson by Chris Van Dusen
Hattie’s sweet singing draws a large green “monster” reminiscent of the Loch Ness Monster out of the lake’s depths. The two become good friends. Unfortunately, the lake’s other residents are terrified of the supposedly dangerous monster who Hattie has named Hudson. Hudson comes up with a brilliant idea to show the townspeople what they can’t yet see — his kind heart.
Dining with Monsters! A Disgusting Way to Count to 10! by Agnese Baruzzi
Turn this picture 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!
Monster School First Day Frights by Dave Keane
Norm’s new school is full of hairy, scary, Larry monsters. But, Norm feels different because he’s not a monster. But, he can turn green like Hilda when she takes him for a wild broom ride. Kids love this hilarious, not-at-all-scary I Can Read easy reader book about monsters.
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 Say Good Night by 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?
Monsters in Chapter Books
Monster Juice by M.D. Payne
Here’s another chapter book series that’s entertaining and funny – perfect for anyone who likes anything gross and with monsters. I read Fear the Barfitron and thought it was great.
Notebook of Doom by Troy Cummings
(ages 6 – 10)
Alexander discovers his new town is FILLED WITH MONSTERS! And, he’s right in the middle of everything especially after he finds an old notebook of drawings and facts about monsters. Fun with an edge of scary. These easy chapter books are hard to put down.
Ghoulia: Making New Friends Can Be Scary by Barbara Cantini
(ages 6 – 9)
Ghoulia wants to make friends. But, she’s a zombie so she’s forbidden to befriend village children or else their family will be cast out of the village. When she overhears the children talking about Halloween, Ghoulia realizes she can join in with the celebrations, too. The children are impressed by her costume until Ghoulia pulls off her head. Shocked, all they can do is stare. And stare. Until they shot with joy — they love it and promise to keep her family’s secret. Full-color, charming illustrations give this story tons of personality.
Carlton Crumple Creature Catcher by David Fremont
ages 8 – 12
Super fun and funny, this is a story about a naive kid named Carlton who decides to fight monsters who are actually his older brother. Nevertheless, Carlton learns how to fight monsters — and this knowledge comes in handy when he needs to save humanity from the monsters who will do anything for fast food burgers.
The Curse of the Were-Hyena (A Monstertown Mystery) by Bruce Hale
(ages 8 – 12)
Your kids will love this new action-packed fantasy adventure series from the talented Bruce Hale. In this first book, Carlos and Benny notice strange behaviors from their favorite teacher. They’re convinced he is changing into a were-something-or-other. Using their comic book store owner friend, brains, and courage to save their teacher, they must stop the original were-hyena from making more, before it’s too late. Absolutely fantastic and funny, this is a new must-read book.
The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo by Drew Weing
(ages 8 – 12)
The Beast and the Bethany by Jack Meggitt-Phillips, illustrated by Isabelle Follath
If your 8-year-old girl likes snarky humor with illustrations, don’t miss this entertaining fantasy book. Ebenezer, a man over 500 years old, is kept alive by a monstrous Beast who gives him youth cream in return for exotic foods…and now the horrible Beast wants to eat a child. Ebenezer adopts the rudest girl at a local orphanage to fatten her up for the Beast. Bethany is horrid but she changes…and Ebenezer feels terrible about his evil plan. Together, find a solution to get rid of the Beast and get a happy ending! (Or do they?)
My Monster Bubble Writer by Linda Scott
(ages 8 – 12)
Get your writers psyched about writing in cool letter styles with this fun new book of monster handwriting fun!
The Last Kids on Earth by Max Brallier, illustrated by Douglas Colgate
(ages 8 – 12)
Based on this book, you’d think the zombie apocalypse was totally fun. At least that’s how Jack approaches life and zombie fights. He and his best friend, Quint, live in an upgraded, well-defended treehouse where they plan for rescuing his crush June (she doesn’t need rescuing being quite capable) and fighting zombies and monsters. Illustrations throughout make this even more appealing to read and imagine. Delightful. Who would have thought?!
The Adventurers Guild by Zach Loran Clark and Nick Eliopulos
(ages 8 – 12)
(ages 8 – 12)
Set in Victorian London, this is a beautiful, bittersweet story about a plucky girl and her protector golem. Young Nan’s Sweep father-figure is gone; she still dreams of his kindness and their life before he left. To survive, she works for a cruel chimney sweep. When another child sweep tries to burn Nan alive, a charcoal golem who was a piece of charcoal left to her by Sweep emerges to save her. She and her growing protector golem, Char, find a new, safer place to live but must stay vigilant so her old master doesn’t find them. On their own, they are helped by a street boy and a kind Jewish teacher. Sweep is an irresistible story that will expand your heart…and your definition of what makes a monster.
The Monster Missions by Laura Martin
Adventure, fast-paced action, cool world-building, and heroic kids! In a post-apocalyptic world covered by water, Berkley lives with her family on a boat where she works as a scavenger. When she and her friend Garth uncover a blood-red, dangerous hydra, it attacks their ship, and only their quick thinking saves their lives and those on the ship. Unfortunately, because sea monsters are a secret from most humans, the friends are sent to a prison ship. Luckily, a mysterious submarine arrives just before the kids are sent off and offers them an alternative — live on the submarine and hunt sea monsters. They accept quickly. Their new life means a different kind of work including learning about monsters, escaping when they get swallowed by one, and protecting ships from monsters. Berkley loves everything about her new life–until pirates hijack them. Hiding out with her friends in a storage area, she figures that the only way to defeat so many armed adults is to use the creatures in the aquarium tanks. In particular, the brilliant and mischievous– an octopus named Elmer.
Scarlett Hart Monster Hunter by Marcus Sedgwick and Thomas Taylor
(ages 8 – 12)
Scarlett is determined to follow her deceased monster-hunter parent’s path– even though she’s not old enough to do it legally. That’s where her devoted butler, Napoleon come in. He helps her, turning in her kills as his own. But the nefarious Count Stankovic wants Scarlett stopped. Not only that, he may be the reason for the influx of murderous, out-of-control monsters. My 13-year-old daughter enjoyed this graphic novel more than I did.
The Big Book of Monsters: The Creepiest Creatures from Classic Literature by Hal Johnson, illustrated by Tim Sievert
We all know Frankenstein’s Monster but maybe not The Horla or Beatrice Rappaccini, just two of the scary monsters from literature illuminated fully in this book. Packed full of information, The Big Book of Monsters features 25 monsters from many cultures, some as ancient as you can imagine starting with Apep who comes from The Book of the Dead, 16th Century BC. Like all the monsters in this book, you’ll read who he is (Yikes!) then supporting information in a “Beyond the Book” section which in this case is about translating the hieroglyphics and Egyptian short stories. Goulish illustrations and plenty of fear-inducing creatures fill the pages. Maybe don’t read this right before bed!
Jack Templar Monster Hunter: The Templar Chronicles: Book One by Jeff Guns
(ages 10 – 15)
I liked this first book of the series. When he’s repeatedly attacked by monsters, Jack learns he’s a Monster Hunter and fair game to be hunted. It’s not as scary as it sounds but is more of an adventure with monsters which happens to include zombies.
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