Children love Halloween; trick or treating, carving Jack O’ Lanterns, candy, costumes, and stories. My children and grandchildren had and have some favorite Halloween books and I’d like to share a few with you. I have arranged them in age appropriate order as best as I could but we know our own children. What amuses one child might frighten another so check them out before sharing them with your little ones.
- Halloween Hustle by Charlotte Gunnufson (Author), Kevan J. Atteberry (Illustrator) (Ages 3-7)
There can be very little doubt that children love rhyming and this book provides great illustrations to accompany a story with a good beat. BLURB: In the dark, a funky beat. Something white with bony feet. Skeleton dancing up the street, Doing the Halloween Hustle. Skeleton is dancing his way to a Halloween party—but as he grooves across town, he keeps stumbling, tumbling, and falling apart! Can Skeleton stay in one piece long enough to make it to the party?
- The Berenstain Bears Trick Treat by Stan Berenstain(Author), Jan Berenstain (Author) (Ages 4-8) The Berenstain Bears have been around since my youngest was in diapers. As with many of the little bear’s adventures there’s a lesson to be learned in this book. BLURB: Come for a visit in Bear Country with this classic First Time Book® from Stan and Jan Berenstain. It’s Halloween and Brother and Sister can’t wait to go trick-or-treating with all of their friends, but when someone in the group encourages the kids to play a trick, things don’t go as planned. This beloved story is a perfect way to celebrate Halloween, all the while teaching children about the difference between right and wrong.
- Clifford’s Halloween by Norman Bridwell(Author, Illustrator) (Ages 3-5)
The Big Red Dog was one of my son’s favorites and he has passed that love on to his daughter. Clifford is always a winner and wondering what costume he will choose is fun. BLURB: Out of all the holidays, Emily Elizabeth and Clifford like Halloween the most. They play games, trick-or-treat in the neighborhood, and tell ghost stories. Best of all, they can wear costumes! Clown, witch, knight, or ghost–what will Clifford decide to dress up as this year?
Peppa Pig, a British import to the states, became popular in our home when my granddaughter discovered her on television. Soon we were all invested in Peppa’s adventures with Brother George, Mummy and Daddy Pig, and her assortment of animal friends. Peppa has a fun Halloween with her family and friends doing all the traditional fell holiday things. BLURB: It is the spookiest time of year! Peppa and her family play outside in the leaves, carve pumpkins, and dress up in costumes for a Halloween party with all of their friends!
- The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams (Author), Megan Lloyd (Illustrator) (Ages 4-8)
This is one of my granddaughter’s favorite books as she loves echoing the little lady telling various objects she is not afraid of them. Easy to read even for pre-schoolers it’s a neat way to help little ones overcome their fears. BLURB: Once upon a time, there was a little old lady who was not afraid of anything! But one autumn night, while walking in the woods, the little old lady heard . . . clomp, clomp, shake, shake, clap, clap. And the little old lady who was not afraid of anything had the scare of her life!
- The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by by Washington Irving(Author), Robert Van Nutt (Illustrator) (Ages 6+)
No Halloween would be complete without Washington Irving’s classic The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. A little history and a lot of suspense make this an exciting tale for older children. I love the illustrations in this adaptation. BLURB: Washington Irving’s eerie tale of romantic rivalry along the Hudson pits the new schoolmaster Ichabod Crane against the local hero and bully, Brom Bones, for the hand of Katrina Van Tassel. This haunting drama climaxes with the appearance of one of the great, legendary ghosts of all time: the headless horseman. This spirited adaptation reflects all the wit, fun and drama of the early American classic.
7) Mr. Boggarty: The Halloween Grump by Tevin Hansen (Author) (Ages 8-13)
Designed for slightly older children this is one of those books that has a lesson to be learned. I enjoy the way the characters are introduced. BLURB: Mr. Boggarty is the neighborhood’s grumpy old man. He doesn’t even hand out Halloween Candy. Trixie Cole and her friends are determined to teach Mr. Boggarty a lesson in Halloween etiquette. Little did they know that it would be them learning the true meaning of Halloween.
8) Scary Stories to Tell In the Dark by Alvin Schwartz (Author) (Ages depends on the child)
This has been a favorite in our family since the ‘90’s. Unfortunately it is currently out of print and can only be obtained from third party sellers. My six-year old granddaughter has been reading it since she was four. If you can find a copy with original illustrations by Steven Gammel-Grab it! BLURB: This spooky addition to Alvin Schwartz’s popular books on American folklore is filled with tales of eerie horror and dark revenge that will make you jump with fright. There is a story here for everyone — skeletons with torn and tangled flesh who roam the earth; a ghost who takes revenge on her murderer; and a haunted house where every night a bloody head falls down the chimney. Stephen Gammell’s splendidly creepy drawings perfectly capture the mood of more than two dozen scary stories — and even scary songs — all just right for reading alone or for telling aloud in the dark.
9) Grimm House by Karen McQuestion (Author) (Ages 7-11)
A thriller for kids but so much more. Replete with witches, suspense, and a heroine who must deal with unexpected loss you will love the story. It’s a great little book and an easy read. BLURB: For fans of Coraline and A Series of Unfortunate Events “A very gripping and haunting tale.”–Molly’s Book Nook “If you’re looking for a great story to read with the lights on this is the one for you.”– The Book Whisperers
10) The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury (Author), Gris Grimly (Illustrator) (Ages 8-12)
This is another family favorite. One of the few books Bradbury wrote for children and my personal favorite. This is an inspiring if sometimes terrifying tale of eight boys who will do anything to save their friend. The writing is beautiful and it is a joy to share it with your child because the magic knows no age limit. BLURB: “A fast-moving, eerie…tale set on Halloween night. Eight costumed boys running to meet their friend Pipkin at the haunted house outside town encounter instead the huge and cadaverous Mr. Moundshroud. As Pipkin scrambles to join them, he is swept away by a dark Something, and Moundshroud leads the boys on the tail of a kite through time and space to search the past for their friend and the meaning of Halloween. After witnessing a funeral procession in ancient Egypt, cavemen discovering fire, Druid rites, the persecution of witches in the Dark Ages, and the gargoyles of Notre Dame, they catch up with the elusive Pipkin in the catacombs of Mexico, where each boy gives one year from the end of his life to save Pipkin’s. Enhanced by appropriately haunting black-and-white drawings.”—Booklist
I hope you’ll check out some, if not all, of these books for your children. Educators recommend reading to your child twenty minutes day. That isn’t a lot of time. It’s less time that you spend on your e-mail, watching a television show, or getting your nails done or your oil changed. And the results are so rewarding. Read to them or with them, and talk about what you’ve read.