Halloween is just around the corner, and my kids are so excited. Reading books is a perfect way to teach kids about upcoming holidays and events. To get ready, we are reading lots of books about Halloween for kids this month. I also want my kids to be knowledgeable about some of the scarier aspects of Halloween so they will not be alarmed if they see costumes involving skeletons or vampires or things like that.
Below are reviews of 11 Halloween books for kids that we are reading this month!
Little Monsters by Jan Pienkowski
The youngest readers will get a kick out this book featuring a variety of pop-up monsters doing silly things described in rhyming text. For example, the first little monster plays with his food, and the pop-up image shows a monster with several pink and white striped worms dangling from his open beak. On the second spread, a very rude little monster sticks his 3-D tongue out. The last spread includes mirrored glasses that kids look into so that they, too, can become one of the monsters in the book.
The Night before Halloween by Natasha Wing
Starting with “‘Twas the night before Halloween, and all through the house, All the creatures were stirring, except for the mouse. . . ” this story is told from the monsters’ perspective as they prepare for Halloween night and the arrival of human trick-or-treaters at their door. The monsters in this story are illustrated as friendly and cheerful creatures rather than as scary or spooky monsters, making this book appropriate for even very young children who might otherwise be easily frightened.
Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson
A witch and her cat are flying on a broomstick, but the strong wind blows the witch’s hat, bow, and wand to the ground in turn. Each time the witch and cat land their broomstick to search for their missing object, an animal asks for a ride on their broom. As each successive animal hops on board, the broomstick becomes more and more crowded as they work to find “room on the broom.” But when the witch confronts a dragon, the animals that have joined the ride come up with a clever scheme to scare it off.
Mouse’s First Halloween by Lauren Thompson
In this rhyming books geared toward toddlers and preschoolers, it’s Halloween night and Mouse hears a variety of sounds that scare him. But each time he discovers the source of the sound he realizes there was nothing to be scared of after all. This book would be a great read for kids who are easily scared, since parents and children can discuss the fact that many of the things that frighten us aren’t really all that scary after all.
Halloween Hustle by Charlotte Gunnufson
With jaunty, rhyming, text and fun, whimsical, illustrations, this book will have young readers tapping their toes and itching to do their own “Halloween Hustle.” Children will take delight in Skeleton’s adventures as he dances his way to a Halloween party. Along the way, he continually trips, stumbles, and otherwise falls apart. But somehow he always manages to put himself back together – even using tape and rubber bands when necessary!
Where’s My Mummy? by Carolyn Crimi
It’s bedtime, but Little Baby Mummy doesn’t want to go to sleep. Instead he asks Big Mama Mummy to play one more game of hide-and-shriek with him. However, when Little Baby Mummy runs out to play, Big Mama Mummy does not join in. Realizing his Big Mama Mummy is not around, Little Baby Mummy sets out to find her. Several of friendly creatures, including a skeleton and a vampire, greet Little Baby Mummy in the woods and encourage him to go to bed. In a fun twist, Little Baby Mummy shows no fear of these creatures, but gets scared when he hears a mouse! Fortunately, Big Mama Mummy arrives at that point to comfort her scared child.
Halloween Hoots and Howls by Joan Horton
This book of Halloween poems is beautifully illustrated with bright, not-too-scary and sometimes amusing images. Each page features one or more high quality poems for kids. The poems feature ghosts, witches, skeletons, pumpkins, and more! Whether you are looking to introduce your kids to poetry or have a budding poet on your hands, this book will surely delight young kids who enjoy Halloween. And you may even inspire older kids to write their own Halloween poetry!
Pumpkin Eye by Denise Fleming
This book uses very simple and concise text to describe all sorts of Halloween figures and happenings. From swooping bats and hissing cats to clacking bones and muffled moans, this book covers just about all of the typical Halloween images. Although the simple text implies the book is geared toward young children, the images – despite being striking in color and scale – have a somewhat frightening tone to them that may be a bit intense for children who are easily scared.
Vera’s Halloween by Vera Rosenberry
Vera is so excited because she is finally old enough to go trick-or-treating after dark. She puts on her mummy costume and joins her father and older sisters for an evening of trick-or-treating. However, when she stops to adjust her costume, she loses track of her family. Eventually, scared and alone, she stumbles into the home of one of her friends. After her friend’s dad makes a phone call to Vera’s home, Vera is reunited with her father. Set against a backdrop of Halloween night, this story deals with themes of getting lost and being reunited that are at the heart of many children’s worries.
The Hallo-wiener by Dav Pilkey
Oscar the dog is “half-a-dog tall and one-and-a-half dogs long,” and the other dogs make fun of him by calling out “Wiener Dog!” whenever they see him. When Halloween comes around, his mother has bought him a hot dog costume! Although Oscar does not want to wear it, he puts it on because he does not want to hurt his mother’s feelings. The other dogs, of course, mock him for his costume and leave him to trick-or-treat by himself. Later, the group of other dogs runs into a monster at the graveyard. But Oscar, being smaller than the others, discovers what the monster really is and saves the other dogs.
Tucker’s Spooky Halloween by Leslie McGuirk
Now that Tucker the dog is all grown up, he doesn’t want to be something cute for Halloween. He wants to be something spooky. His owner suggests several costumes, but none of them are spooky enough. Eventually he dresses as a spooky mummy, but when the kids come to trick-or-treat at his door they get scared and run off! Unfortunately that was where the storyline broke down for me, since Tucker’s owner seemed happy that he had scared off the trick-or-treaters, which seemed an odd lesson to teach.
More Halloween resources
More Halloween posts from Gift of Curiosity:
- Mason jar jack-o-lantern
- Halloween sensory bin
- Candy experiments
- Halloween Montessori activities
- Ghost bubbles
- Toilet paper mummies
- Pumpkin decomposition experiment
- Describe a pumpkin using all five senses
- Drip painted pumpkins
- Halloween Printables Pack
- Jack-o-lantern Printables Pack
- Halloween Bingo
- Halloween do-a-dot printables
- Halloween Sudoku
- Pumpkin outlines