October is just about here and that means it is time to break out those frightful, ghoulish and ghastly stories. Keep the excitement alive and the spooks fresh throughout the month with our list of 31 Halloween books!
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Boris and Bella by Carolyn Crimi
Bella Legrossi is the messiest monster in Booville. Her neighbor, Boris Kleanitoff, is the neatest monster in Booville. Will these neighbors ever learn to be friends? A Halloween party just might do the trick!
Zombelina by Kirstyn Crow
Zombelina absolutely loves to dance, especially for her family. Her mother enrolls her in a dance class for real girls, and while her teacher thinks she is superb, the other students aren’t quite so sure about their green classmate who sometimes loses limbs. On the night of the big recital, Zombelina is overcome with stage fright. All she can do is stand there with her arms out and make a few moans. The audience begins to shout “Zombie!” and runs away, but the seats quickly fill with her family and friends and she gives her best performance ever!
*Look for Zombelina’s other stories: Zombelina Dances the Nutcracker and Zombelina School Days
Cinderella Skeleton by Robert D. San Souci
This is a ghoulish spin on the traditional Cinderella story. Cinderella Skeleton wishes to go to Prince Charnel's Halloween ball, but her wicked stepmother says the young skeleton must stay at home and work. With the help of a witch Cinderella Skeleton's dreams come true and she rests in peace forever after.
Llama Llama Trick-or-Treat by Anna Dewdney
In this short, rhyming board book, Llama Llama is preparing for Halloween by choosing a costume, carving pumpkins and getting candy ready to pass out.
By the Light of the Halloween Moon by Caroline Stutson
By the silvery light of the Halloween moon, a young girl sits at the edge of a pier tapping out a tune with her toes. As the story progresses, all of the Halloween creatures living under the pier come out to see the ten toes tapping, “by the silvery light of the Halloween moon.”
The Itsy Bitsy Pumpkin by Sonali Fry
This variation on the popular children’s song The Itsy Bitsy Spider follows a pumpkin as it rolls down a spooky street and eventually makes his way home.
Eek! Halloween! by Sandra Boynton
Eek! The chickens are nervous, strange things are happening. What could be going on? “Relax, silly chickens! It’s HALLOWEEN!”
*Also look for Boynton's Spooky Pookie: Pookie needs to decide what he is going to be for
Halloween. After trying on several costumes, he finally finds one just right for him.
Little Blue Truck’s Halloween by Alice Schertle
Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are going to a costume party and on the way they meet several of their barnyard friends all dressed up. Who could be hiding under the mask? Lift the flaps to find out which animal it is!
Monster Needs a Costume by Paul Czajak
It’s almost Halloween and Monster needs to decide what he is going to be, but there are just too many options. How will he ever deicde? With a bit of creativity, Monster dares to be different with a unique costume of his own.
Five Little Pumpkins by Dan Yaccarino
"Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate. The first one said, "Oh my it's getting late." The classic nursery rhyme about five little pumpkins sitting on a gate in board book format!
*If you and your little bookworm are fans of the popular Pete the Cat series, check out James
Dean's Pete the Cat: Five Little Pumpkins.
Arthur’s Halloween by Marc Brown
Arthur and his little sister D.W. are out trick-or-treating, when suddenly D.W. walks into the scariest house on the street. Arthur must summon his courage and go rescue his little sister before it’s too late!
Monster Mash by David Catrow
The classic Halloween song by Bobby “Boris” Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers in picture book form!
*Extended Activity: Listen to the original song with your little bookworm, get groovy
and dance the monster mash!
Halloween Night by Arden Druce
Find out which spooky creatures are out and about on the night of Halloween in this rhyming story.
In the Haunted House by Eve Bunting
Two pairs of sneakers, one big and one small, are walking through an old, haunted house where they see all sorts of spooky sights. A newer edition of the book has lift-the-flap elements that the scary spooks are hiding behind.
Goodnight Goon: A Petrifying Parody by Michael Rex
For those who adore Margaret Wise Brown’s Goodnight Moon, this will surely become a Halloween favorite as it has the same tone and rhythm as the original.
Click, Clack, Boo!: A Tricky Treat by Doreen Cronin
Farmer Brown does not like Halloween, but that doesn’t stop the animals from having a big Halloween party in the barn and enjoying treats…and tricks!
Froggy’s Halloween by Jonathan London
As with Pookie and Monster, Froggy has to decide what he is going to be for Halloween. After going through several options, Froggy finally decides on the perfect costume for him. But is it really as perfect as he thinks or is it going to lead to his scariest Halloween ever?
The 13 Nights of Halloween by Guy Vasilovich
"On the first night of Halloween my mummy gave to me: a bright shiny skeleton key." A Halloween twist is given to the well-known 12 Days of Christmas holiday carol.
The Thirteen Days of Halloween by Carol Greene
"On the first day of Halloween my good friend gave to me: a vulture in a dead tree." Another example of a ghoulish rendition of the 12 Days of Christmas.
10 Trick-or-Treaters: A Halloween Counting Book by Janet Schulman
This is a Halloween twist on the well-known rhyme that ends “And then there were none.” Ten trick-or-treaters go out, but as the story progresses each one is frightened off until there are none left.
Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds
Jasper Rabbit loves carrots and the carrots that grow in Crackenhopper Field are the best! He stops for a snack on his way to school, going to little league and on his way home. Then one day the carrots start following him home…or are they?
*Extended Activity: Cut out carrots from orange construction paper and decorate them with
whatever art/craft supplies you have on hand. Also, look for Jasper Rabbit's latest story:
Creepy Pair of Underwear.
Happy Halloween, Little Critter! By Mercer Mayer
Little Critter and Little Sister are going to a costume party. Lift the flaps to reveal the monsters, mummies and skeletons they meet lurking in the house.
Ten Creepy Monsters Carey F. Armstrong-Ellis
This is another version of the “and then there were none” countdown rhyme. Ten creepy monsters gather on Halloween night, but one by one they slowly disappear. Who will be left?
Miss Fiona’s Stupendous Pumpkin Pie by Mark Kimball Moulton
Although she lives in an old, rundown house and may seem like a scary witch, Miss Fiona is actually a kind old woman who makes her secret recipe pumpkin pie for all of the trick-or-treaters every Halloween.
A Halloween Scare in Michigan by Eric James
It’s Halloween night in Michigan and there’s a large assortment of ghastly creatures gathering outside the door. What do they want? Are they looking for you??
*Note: This is the title specific to Michigan, but Eric James has versions available for
just about every state!
The Spooky Express Michigan: A Halloween Thrill Ride by Eric James
What happens aboard the Spooky Express as it travels all around Michigan on Halloween night? Are there spooky creatures on board?
*As with Eric James’s other books, this is the title specific to Michigan, but there are
others for each state.
AlphaOops!: H is for Halloween by Alethea Kontis
A is not quite ready to take the stage and Halloween starts with H anyway, so it only makes sense that H goes first, right? All of the letters make their out-of-order appearance dressed up as the Halloween thing they represent (Z is for Zombie, P is for Pirate, etc).
*Extended Activity: This story is perfect to use for a readers theatre performance! Also,
look for the original story AlphaOops!: The Day Z Went First.
The Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton
Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, is bored of the same old scares, terror and frights and longs to be more than “something that goes bump in the night.” He decides to kidnap Santa Claus and deliver his own Christmas joy, but things do not go according to plan.
*Extended Activity: After reading the book, watch the movie! Were there any major
Shivery Shades of Halloween: A Spooky Book of Colors by Mary McKenna Siddals
What color is Halloween? Is it green as an “eerie glow, evil grin, vile brew, clammy skin”? Or is it white as “cobwebs clinging, a misty trail, a skull, a spook, a face gone pale . . .”? The answer is yes! Yes to both and so many more!
The Night Before Halloween by Natasha Wing
It is the night before Halloween and all of the monsters are getting ready for “the trick-or-treaters who soon would be there.” This story follows the same rhyme as Clement C. Moore’s classic A Visit from St. Nicholas (The Night Before Christmas).
Halloween Night by Marjorie Dennis Murray
This is another adaptation of A Visit from St. Nicholas, but this time it is now Halloween night and all of the creatures are stirring, including the mouse, and are preparing for a night of scaring!
Do you and your little bookworm have a favorite Halloween story not listed here? Share it with us in the comments below!
We are mom Sandra and daughters Amanda and Kate, all with backgrounds in literacy and education, who want to share our philosophy of taking the basics of life; books, simple toys that encourage play, imagination and creativity, and using cooking and baking to teach math and real life skills to raise happy, inquisitive children. Join us in exploring the old and the new and sifting through the myriad of research to consider what is best for our children.