I have a confession to make: we love Halloween books so much that many are out all year in our home. And it is possible- just possible- that I started doing monster-themed story times in early September at the local library. Halloween can’t be confined to October when there are too many great Halloween books!!! Without further ado, some of my picks for best Halloween books for Toddlers through Early Readers! Happy Haunting!
Best Halloween Books for Toddlers
If You’re A Monster and You Know It by Ed and Rebecca Emberley
Creative guru Ed Emberley and his daughter have turned an old childhood classic – If You’re Happy And You Know it- into a fun and monsterly new song. Stomp, growl and snort your way into a fit of giggles. This is one of the silliest toddler Halloween books!
Tickle Monster by Edouard Manceau
I LOVE this book. Let your child show their courage as they tickle the scariness out of the monster. In a creative twist, each of the monster’s body part turns into something new. The horns turn into a moon, the arms into trees, and so on until you have a charming homey scene. My story time kids cannot get enough of tickling this adorable new friend.
Mouse’s First Halloween by Lauren Thompson
Little mouse is out on a dark night and spooked by the sounds he hears. But he’s only scared until he realizes that they are just the fun and exciting sounds of Trick Or Treating! Sweet illustrations and just a touch of anticipation- the perfect combo for your little one. It’s also a great way to prep your child for the sensory overload that can accompany Halloween.
A Happy Haunter’s Halloween Trick-or-Treat by Debbie Leppanen
This book is actually a collection of short poems about Halloween. Your family will love the humorous poems mixed with bold and whimsical illustrations! I’m a big fan of poetry with young children as they can learn and recite them on their own. Halloween books for toddlers like these help bring the fun off the pages into their lives.
Best Halloween Books for Preschoolers
The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams
This classic from the 80s follows a brave lady walking home in the dark. Along the road she hears noises rapidly approaching behind her: clomp clomp, shake shake, clap clap! Perfectly balanced spookiness and bold illustrations. Your kids will love getting involved in this one each year.
Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems
(Yes, that Mo Willems of Elephant and Piggie, Pigeon, and Knuffle Bunny fame). Leonardo is terrible at scaring people! So, he desperately searches for that one child he can frighten the tuna salad out of. When he finally finds a child who bursts into tears, Leonardo realizes that being a really good friend may be even better than being a terrible monster. While it’s technically about October 31st, this is a one of the best Halloween books for preschoolers.
Go To Sleep, Monster by Kevin Cornell
This one came a cross our shelf just a few weeks ago. A humorously illustrated story about the monster under the monster under your bed. And the one under that. And the one under that…. Kevin Cornell is a master illustrator and this will be a family favorite, for sure!
Monster Needs A Costume Paul Czajak
Does anyone else have that child who decides what they will wear for Halloween but then changes her mind a million times? Right up until the minute you head out for trick-or-treating? If so, then you’ll have a very warm spot in your heart for this monster who loves to dress up but just can’t commit. One of the most relatable preschool Halloween books, to be sure.
Stumpkin Lucy Cummins
Stumpkin watches her friends at the pumpkin stand be carried off one by one to be turned into Jack-o-lanterns. Truly she’s happy for them but she’s also sad to be overlooked simply because she doesn’t have a stem. On Halloween Eve when she’s the last pumpkin left, she gets a heart warming surprise. This is one of those Halloween books that’s sweet to the core.
Halloween Books for New Readers & Beginning Chapter Books
Mouse and Mole A Perfect Halloween by Wong Herbert Yee
Mouse and Mole are two of my favorites. I love that they have this Halloween book for new reader friends. Mouse loves Halloween and Mole is terrified of it. As the two best friends go out to pick a pumpkin for the jack-o-lantern contest, they are in for a whole host of adventures your family will enjoy.
Bunnicula Early Readers by James Howe
A vampire rabbit that sucks the juice out vegetables? Yes, please! Based off of the original chapter book characters from the 1979 classic, your early readers will love meeting the semi-spooky, fully hilarious and charming characters of Bunnicula and his new animal family.
Oliver Moon Series by Sue Mongredien
Oliver Moon is a young wizard heading off to wizarding school. Sound familiar? I recommend this one a lot for kids who are not quite ready for the Harry Potter series but are excited for Wizardly adventures. Age-appropriate hijinks make this one a good Halloween book for earlier readers or as a younger family read-aloud.
Eerie Elementary Series by Jack Chabert
For those early readers who want a little bit more spookiness– try this series. When Sam shows up at school on the first day he discovers that his school is alive and evil. Soon he’s learning more than math facts- he’s learning how to defend himself and his classmates from the evil of Eerie Elementary!
The Notebook of Doom Series by Troy Cummings
Alexander moves to a new town and finds a notebook with DOOM written across the cover. Inside he finds secrets and tricks for dealing with all sorts of monsters. Quickly he realizes that what he thought was a joke is actually an essential handbook for surviving the monsters in his new town! Humorous and spooky- one of the best Halloween books for early readers.
Halloween can be so much fun for kids of all ages. It can be creative, silly or spooky and there are endless choices of the best Halloween books. What are some of your family favorites? Need suggestions for your older readers? Ask a librarian at your local Seacoast library or drop me a message!