My top thirteen books for Halloween, from board to young adult.

Five Little Pumpkins

Board

Ages birth to 3

By Dan Yaccarino

16 pages

HarperFestival

1998

Dan Yaccarino’s art is bright and bold and features expressive pumpkins, a ghost, a witch and a black cat. Based on the popular rhyme and finger play, this book offers a great opportunity to learn about colors, expressions and counting to five.

 

One, Two Boo

Board/ Lift-the-Flap

Ages 18 months to 3 years

by Kristen L. Depken

Illustrated by Claudine Gevry

12 pages

Golden Books

2009

Meet a ghost, a cat and other traditional Halloween characters as you count your way through this lift-the-flap haunted house.

 

Spooky ABC

(Originally published as Halloween ABC in 1987)

Picture Book

Ages 3-6

By Eve Mirriam

Illustrated by Lane Smith

32 pages

Simon and Schuster

2002

This Halloween themed alphabet book features a varied array of spooky items and creatures. F is for fiend, N is for nightmare, and X is for a xylophone made of bones. They’re all creepily and perfectly illustrated by the unmistakably talented Lane Smith.

 

Dem Bones

Picture Book

Ages 2-6

By Bob Barner

32 pages

Chronicle Books

1996

White skeletons, set against bright backgrounds, play instruments while teaching young listeners how all our bones connect. This picture book version of the Bones song features additional information about each of the bones as well.

 

Georgie

Picture Book

Ages 2-7

By Robert Bright

48 pages

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

1999

Originally published in 1944, Georgie is not strictly a Halloween book, but it is a great story about a ghost. Every house has a ghost. Georgie loves his house, all its squeaks and its owners. So when some of the squeaks and creaks get fixed, Georgie decides its time to find another house. After searching and searching, Georgie soon realizes he loves his house best.

 

Hallo-weiner

Picture Book

Ages 3-7

By Dav Pilkey

32 pages

Scholastic

1999

This is one of my favorite Halloween books. Dav Pilkey’s story is sweet and hilarious; his illustrations are colorful, and cartoon-y. The other dogs laugh at Oscar, a dachshund, because he’s so short and long. The teasing gets worse when Oscar’s mother dresses him as a hotdog for Halloween. But it’s Oscar that saves the night after the other dogs are chased into a lake by two mean cats.

 

The Halloween Play

(Originally published as The Halloween Performance in 1990)

Picture Book

Ages 3-8

By Felicia Bond

32 pages

HarperCollins

2008

Roger has a small and very important part in the school’s Halloween play. This adorable book follows all the pre-show jitters and anticipation through to the performance and post show excitement. Using warm colors to depict tiny Halloween characters, this book could easily become a year-round favorite.

 

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything

Picture Book

Ages 4 to 8

By Linda Williams

Illustrated by Megan Lloyd

32 pages

HarperCollins

1988

When the little old lady is followed home by an empty pair of shoes, she tells them, “I’m not afraid of you!” Soon a pair of pants, then a shirt, and a pumpkin head joins them, and they’re all following her! The little old lady is still not afraid, and after rounding them all up, she has a lovely scarecrow for her garden. Lloyd’s bright, colorful folk art is a perfect complement to this spooky story with a funny ending.

 

Dragon’s Halloween

Early Reader

Ages 4-8

By Dav Pilkey

48 pages

Scholastic

1995

This is another one of my favorite Halloween books. It contains three tales about Dragon and his Halloween adventures: “Six Small Pumpkins,” “The Costume Party” and “The Deep Dark Woods.” Dragon is one of my favorite early reader characters. He’s sweet, funny, adorable and endearing. The stories are wonderful and the art is irresistibly delightful.

 

Ed Emberly’s Drawing Book of Halloween

Activity Book

Ages 6 to 12

By Ed Emberly

32 pages

LB Kids

2006

Ed Emberly leads young and aspiring artists, shape by shape, through the steps to drawing spooky characters and scenes. A great book for the family to share.

 

Little Monsters Cookbook

Activity Book

Ages 6-12

By Zac Williams

64 pages

Gibs Smith

2010

Features thirty recipes for Halloween, or anytime kids want a spooky snack. Some of the recipes are simple and others more complicated to accommodate a range of ages. Large colorful photographs accompany all the recipes in this spiral-bound (genius!) cookbook.

 

The House with a Clock in its Walls

Middle Reader

Ages 8-13

By John Bellairs

179 pages

Puffin

2004

(Originally published in 1973)

John Bellairs (1938-1991) was an amazing storyteller who wrote adventurous tales of terror. This is the first book in the Lewis Barnavelt series. After Lewis’s parents die, he goes to live with his uncle in an old, large mansion full of secret passageways. The previous owner of the house was an evil wizard who planted a clock inside its walls, counting down to the end of the world. When Lewis accidentally awakens the dead on Halloween night, the clock begins ticking even faster.

 

Halloween Tree

Young Adult

Ages 10 to 16

By Ray Bradbury

160 pages

Yearling

1999

(Originally published in 1972)

In this eerie tale set on Halloween, eight costumed boys are lead through time and space by Mr. Moundshroud. While searching for their friend Pipkin, who was swept up by a dark something, the boys get a glimpse of how other, sometimes ancient, cultures celebrated this time of year.

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9 Responses so far

  1. 1

    We liked the Little Old Lady book and would add The Ghost-Eye Tree by Bill Martin. For scary, The Tailypo by Joanne Galdone and Half-a-Moon Inn by Paul Fleischman

  2. 2

    Lisa said,

    I love David Pilkey’s Dragon series! Have you read any of the other ones?

  3. 4

    betronica said,

    Great site! My best friend just had a baby so I’ll be passing it along to her for future reading ideas!

  4. 6

    I’m proud to say I own a few of these books, and now my kindergarteners each own a copy of The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything, thanks to Scholastic offering the book for $1!

  5. 8

    Dan Finn said,

    By Edna Mitchell Preston

  6. 9

    Dan Finn said,

    One Dark Night….classic from the late 60′s


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