Whether it’s carving pumpkins, visiting haunted houses or planning your costume, the month of October is stuffed full of Halloween. Kids and adults alike get excited to dress up for trick or treating, parades and parties. In fact, Halloween is turning into a month-long celebration of everything spooky, creepy and fun.
Here are five picture books we’ve found to celebrate Halloween with your little one. What I love most about Halloween picture books is how they empower children to take charge of the scary things in their world. In this round-up you’ll discover:
- a little werewolf who sends the monsters in his room packing,
- a rabbit who conquers his fear of creepy carrots,
- a collection of poems that brings humor to the macabre,
- a problem-solving skeleton and his friend a ghost,
- and a wiener-dog who doesn’t let the other dogs’ taunts keep him from saving the day.
Five Picture Books That Go Bump in the Night
Written and Illustrated By: Michael Rex
There was a period of time when this was my son’s favorite goodnight book. In this “petrifying parody,” a little werewolf tries to go to sleep while a silly goon wreaks havoc. In the end, the little werewolf sends the goon under the bed and they go to sleep.
What I love about this book is that while it’s a little more scary than the classic Goodnight Moon, it depicts a child who takes charge of the monsters instead of letting them take charge of him. For my son it has become a bedtime routine to read this book, then send all the monsters under the bed where they stay for the rest of the night. If, like me, you were sick of reading and re-reading Goodnight Moon every single night to your child, this is a great alternative that is entertaining for both parents and kids.
Written by: Aaron Reynolds
Illustrated by: Peter Brown
I discovered this book at Book Expo a few years ago and it is now one of my son’s favorites. In this story, a young rabbit thinks that creepy carrots are following him every where he goes. He finally takes charge by building a fence around the carrot garden, trapping the carrots inside. Little did he know that this was the carrots’ plan all along: so they’d be safe inside the fence from rabbits that might try to eat them. I love the black-and-white illustrations offset by the bright orange carrots.
Written By: J. Patrick Lewis and Jane Yolen
Illustrated By: Jeffery Stewart Timmins
The short poems in this book recount the lives of animals who passed on to the other side. While a bit macabre for the very young set, older kids will enjoy hearing about the cat that was just a little too curious, the chicken who never quite made it across the road, and many others animals who saw a bitter end.
On a side note: Jane Yolen, who co-authors this book, is a wonderful speaker as well as a writer and we’ll be featuring her in a podcast interview next week!
Written by: Margery Cuyler
Illustrated by: S.D. Schindler
In this sweet story, a skeleton gets the hiccups and it’s up to his friend Ghost to help him get rid of them–but none of the traditional remedies like drinking water or eating sugar help much when you’re a skeleton. This adorable picture book is perfect for a little one who might be a little scared of all the spooky Halloween decorations!
By: Dav Pilkey
This story is about Oscar, a dachshund who is “…half-a-dog tall and one-and-a-half dogs long.” All the other dogs make fun of him, until one Halloween a pair of mean cats scar the other dogs into the lake and Oscar comes to the rescue. This is a hilarious Halloween-themed picture book and many kids will relate to the little dog who never quite seems to fit in with the others.
There you have it: five spooky stories that are sure to entertain readers both young and young-at-heart. Now I’d love to hear from you: which Halloween-themed books do you love? Please share in the comments below.