Monday, October 15, 2012

17 Spooktacular Halloween Picture Books

I have a confession... I am a real, live Librarian. After earning my Master's Degree I worked for several years at the local university library. Now that I have three little munchkins, I only work one night a week at the children's section of a the public library. It goes without saying that I LOVE books, especially children's picture books!

I figured it was high time I started posting about books on this blog. I originally planned to write an entire blog about books, but that fell by the wayside since I never had time to write many posts. Recently I had an epiphany; just because I can't do an entire blog about books doesn't mean I can't write posts on THIS blog about books. Duh!

So even though it is already pretty close to Halloween, I thought I would still share our favorite Halloween picture books.

There are lots of Halloween books out there, but many of them are poorly written and just plain awful. These picture books are the ones that my kids love to read over and over. They are in no particular order (aka. the order I photographed them in).

Ghosts in the House! by Kazuno Kohara
This story is simple and adorable! A little girl moves into a splendid house, but it turns out the house is haunted. Good thing the girl is actually a witch who is not at all afraid of ghosts and knows just what to do with them. I love the illustrations in this book, which are all black, orange and white. My son laughed out loud at what the clever witch does with the ghosts.

Scaredy-Cat, Splat! by Rob Scotton 
We love Splat the Cat! Scotton's stories are hilarious and the pictures are awesome! Of course this book finds Splat on Halloween, and he is determined to be the scariest cat in the class. While Splat is more scared than scary, he end up spooking his whole class and sending them into fits of laughter when his jack-o-lantern lands on his head. This is a hilarious read-aloud for all ages.

Two Little Witches: A Halloween Counting Story by Harriet Ziefert
This counting book follows a growing crowd of trick-or-treaters through the "dark on Halloween night." Two witches meet up and are soon joined by a small clown, a tall skeleton, a striped cat, a fuzzy bunny, an orange pumpkin, a friendly pirate, a big astronaut, and a pink princess. When they break up, however, one is different from the others and departs in an unusual manner. The bold illustrations by Sims Taback make this a terrific story for younger readers.

The Runaway Pumpkin by Kevin Lewis
 My kids love this book so much that I practically have it memorized! When the Baxter children roll an enormous pumpkin down a hill it takes the wits of the whole family to stop that runaway pumpkin and turn it into a Halloween feast. This is a great rhyming story with fun illustrations

Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson
This is another Halloween favorite at my house. Room on the Broom tells the story of a kind-hearted witch and her cat flying through some windy weather. The wind blows away the witch's hat, then her bow, and then her wand!  Luckily, three helpful animals find the missing items and all they want in return is a ride on the broom.  But is there room on the broom for so many friends?  And when disaster strikes, will they be able to save the witch from a hungry dragon? This is a great read-aloud and I love that the witch is pleasant and kind rather than nasty and evil.

Minerva Louise on Halloween by Janet Morgan Stoeke
Minerva Louise, the befuddled and clueless chicken, celebrates Halloween by misinterpreting everything she sees in absurdly cute manner. My boys thought it was fun to read this book and laugh at all the ways Minerva Louise misunderstands Halloween. This book would be an excellent non-scary Halloween choice for preschoolers and other young readers.

Zoom Broom by Margie Palatini
Gritch the witch has a serious problem! Her broom breaks down so she visits a foxy salesman in search of a new Zoom Broom. A hilarious exchange ensues with a play on the words "which" and "witch" as a fast talking salesman tries to sell Gritch a new broom. This story includes several references to familiar fairy tales and the humor seems to be written for a slightly older audience, though younger kids will still enjoy the story. 

One Halloween Night by Mark Teague
Wendell knows things are off to a bad start when his mad-scientist costume turns pink in the wash. Then he and his friends go trick-or-treating. They endure the taunts of four witchy girls, but the joke is on the witches when the underdogs mysteriously acquire magic powers. This is a fun Halloween story and the illustrations are spectacular.

Porkenstein by Kathryn Lasky
Dr. Smart Pig is lonely on Halloween because his brothers were eaten by the big bad wolf. So he decides to INVENT a friend; a pig who is bigger and better and absolutely wolf-proof! But things don't turn out quite as expected, and soon Dr. Pig realizes he's created a monster- Porkenstein! My boys loved this funny book about friendship and I loved that the illustrations really bring out the humor of the story.

The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything by Linda D. Williams
This book is a Halloween classic! As a little old lady makes her way home through a dark and scary forest, she comes across a pair of old shoes that walk all by themselves. Assuring the shoes that she is not afraid of them, she next comes across a floating pair of pants. A shirt follows the pants, gloves and hat follow the shirt, and finally a huge scary pumpkin head follows them all. In the end the brave little old lady finds a use for the floating objects and the story ends happily.

The Costume Copycat by Maryann Macdonald
Every year, Angela is jealous of her older sister Bernadette's Halloween costume. So she wears the costume the following year, but with a very different result! Finally she decides to user her imagination to create her own costume and is happy with her choice. This is  a good book about being yourself and I loved the sweet ending.

Halloween Night by Elizabeth Hatch
This fun, colorful story is a “House That Jack Built” tale for Halloween. This book is great read for preschoolers and early elementary students. Pickering’s eye-popping illustrations are the real magic that makes this book work so well

Skeleton Hiccups by Margery Cuyler
Hic, hic, hic! Poor Skeleton has the hiccups! He tries to carry on his day as usual but his hiccups make it difficult. Skeleton's friend Ghost helps him try different remedies to get rid of the hiccups, but in the end Skeleton finds the cure all on his own. This is a great read aloud with awesome illustrations that make the story even better.

Mouse's First Halloween by Lauren Thompson
Mouse celebrates his first Halloween and discovers things that at first seem scary, but turning the page reveals that they are "not so scary after all". Great read-aloud for toddlers and young children who might have some Halloween fears.

The Night Before Halloween by Natasha Wing
This book follows the pattern of the poem "The Night before Christmas". Of course in this book though it is the night before Halloween. All the creatures are stirring and setting up their Halloween party. My sons really enjoyed this book. The illustrations are very cute and child friendly.

Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman
The witch has grown the biggest pumpkin ever, and now she wants to make herself a pumpkin pie for Halloween. But the pumpkin is so big she can't get it off the vine and neither can the ghost, the vampire, nor the mummy. It looks as if there will be no pumpkin pie for Halloween, until along comes the bat with an idea to save the day. The story exemplifies all the great things that can happen when everyone works together.

Three Bears' Halloween by Kathy Duvall
This is an entertaining Halloween story about Goldilocks and the Three Bears, but in this version it is the bears causing a ruckus in Goldilocks' House. The narrative is entertaining and the illustrations make the book even more fun. There are a lot of details to point out and lots of suspenseful scenes that can lead the reader to a false conclusion. This is a fun story to read aloud. 

There is a book on this list for nearly everyone and I own several of these myself. Did I miss one of your favorites? Let me know!

Honey Mommy is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to But I promise that I will still love these books whether you buy them or not!


  1. I learned something new about you today! These look so fun!

  2. Thanks for the book recommendations, so cute!

  3. Great Halloween books, what a fun way to spend time with with your kids.

  4. We just read one called Haunted Party by Iza Trapani (something like that). Super cute! We also love "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!"

    1. I read Haunted Party, and I thought it was ok. I wasn't sure I liked the ending though. But it is a fun Halloween counting book!

      I haven't read any Charlie Brown books in a long time. I will have to check it out and see if my kids enjoy it.