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Our Favorite Halloween Children's Books

Updated: Nov 6, 2023

At our house, we read A LOT of children's books, and we want to share some of our favorites with you! In this post, we've included our favorite Halloween or monster-related board books and picture books. (*Note: We aren't big fans of scary books, so the titles listed here are G-rated!) Feel free to skim the list and see if any appeal to your family. We hope you enjoy!





Board Books



Don't Push The Button! A Halloween Treat By: Bill Cotter Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky (2018)

Don't Push The Button! A Halloween Treat

By: Bill Cotter

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky (2018)

Recommended Ages: 2+


Book Description: Everyone knows that trick-or-treating is the best part of Halloween. But one house looks kind of scary...wait, why are you walking toward the creepy house?! Whatever you do, do NOT ring that doorbell!


Why We Love It

  • Uses reverse psychology to keep kids curious

  • Interactive

  • Fun and festive ending!




Go Away, Big Green Monster! By: Ed Emberley

Go Away, Big Green Monster!

By: Ed Emberley

Publisher: Little, Brown and Co. (1993)

Recommended Ages: 1+


Book Description: As kids turn the die-cut pages of this vibrantly illustrated book, they'll watch the Big Green Monster grow before their very eyes. Then, when they're ready to show him who's in charge, they'll turn the remaining pages and watch him disappear!


Why We Love It

  • Simple yet brilliant concept

  • Bright, bold illustrations and die-cut pages keep kids interested

  • Teaches kids colors and facial body parts

  • Puts the reader in charge of the monster!




Hoot Howl Halloween Written By: Becky Wilson Illustrated By: Samantha Meredith Publisher: Cottage Door Press (2018)

Hoot Howl Halloween

Written By: Becky Wilson

Illustrated By: Samantha Meredith

Publisher: Cottage Door Press (2018)

Recommended Ages: 0+


Book Description: On Halloween, the moon shines bright, and SPOOKY noises fill the night...Hoot Howl Halloween is a fun sound book with 10 scary sounds! Explore the haunted house and press the buttons to hear ghosts wailing, witches cackling, bats flapping, and bones jangling. Enter if you dare!


Why We Love It

  • Minimal rhyming text

  • Cute characters and illustrations

  • Fun spooky sounds

  • My 2-year-old son Nolan often requests this book 3+ times in a row!




Boo! A Book of Spooky Surprises Written By: Jonathan Litton Illustrated By: Fhiona Galloway  Publisher: Tiger Tales (2015)

Boo! A Book of Spooky Surprises

Written By: Jonathan Litton

Illustrated By: Fhiona Galloway

Publisher: Tiger Tales (2015)

Recommended Ages: 1+


Book Description: Join Pumpkin in this fun game as he tries to figure out who said BOO! Was it Night Owl, Black Cat, Little Witch, Spider, or Wizard? Concentric circles, bright artwork, finger-holes, and a cheerful rhyming story make learning come alive and add to the Halloween fun!


Why We Love It

  • Repetitive text that kids can pick-up quickly

  • Concentric circles provide interest and finger holes for kids to explore

  • Introduces kids to common Halloween characters in a not-so-spooky way




Pop-up Peekaboo! Pumpkin Written By: Clare Lloyd Illustrated By: Victoria Harvey Publisher: DK Publishing (2016)

Pop-up Peekaboo! Pumpkin

Written By: Clare Lloyd

Illustrated By: Victoria Harvey

Publisher: DK Publishing (2016)

Recommended Ages: 0+


Book Description: An interactive pop-up book that inspires hands-on learning. Tactile elements and delightful imagery will encourage the development of motor skills and early learning. Bold, brightly colored pictures, lift-the-flap pages and entertaining rhymes. Pop up Peekaboo: Pumpkin provides slots of opportunities for parent-and-child interaction and hours of Halloween fun!


Why We Love It

  • Irresistible flaps and moving pieces keep kids' interest

  • Both of my kids love the last flap where a cat peeks out of a jack-o-lantern!





Little Blue Truck's Halloween Written By: Alice Schertle Illustrated By: Jill McElmurry Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2016)

Little Blue Truck's Halloween

Written By: Alice Schertle

Illustrated By: Jill McElmurry

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2016)

Recommended Ages: 1+


Book Description: Beep! Beep! It’s Halloween! Little Blue Truck is picking up his animal friends for a costume party. Lift the flaps in this large, sturdy board book to find out who’s dressed up in each costume! Will Blue wear a costume too?


Why We Love It

  • Cute story and illustrations; adore the color palette and characters' costumes

  • Fun flaps on each page

  • Love the ending!




I love you, little pumpkin By: Sandra Magsamen Publisher: Cartwheel Books (2010)

I love you, little pumpkin

By: Sandra Magsamen

Publisher: Cartwheel Books (2010)

Recommended Ages: 0+


Book Description: Can you guess who loves you, little pumpkin? A refreshed edition of this bestselling Halloween classic.


Whose smiling face is this,

so sweet and true?

It's my little pumpkin,

and I love YOU!


With brand-new updated art, this bestselling interactive novelty format with a plush pumpkin on the cover and sturdy flaps on each spread blends Sandra Magsamen's signature heartfelt messages with a Halloween holiday theme! Little ones will giggle at all the adorable costumes and squeal with delight when a surprise mirror reveals which little pumpkin is loved most of all!


Why We Love It

  • Cute story and illustrations

  • Large flaps that are perfect for babies and toddlers

  • Plush pumpkin on the cover and mirror on the last page




Spooky Pookie By: Sandra Boynton Publisher: Little Simon (2015)

Spooky Pookie

By: Sandra Boynton

Publisher: Little Simon (2015)

Recommended Ages: 0+


Book Description: What will little Pookie decide to be for Halloween this year? Pookie tries on costumes one by one but somehow can’t find the right thing. The resolution to Pookie’s dilemma will delight toddlers and their caregivers alike.


Why We Love It

  • Cute rhyming text

  • Small board book perfect for little hands

  • Adorable ending!




Picture Books




Pumpkin Trouble By: Jan Thomas Publisher: HarperCollins (2011)

Pumpkin Trouble

By: Jan Thomas

Publisher: HarperCollins (2011)

Recommended Ages: 2+


Book Description: Did that pumpkin just quack?


Why We Love It

  • Bright bold illustrations

  • Funny!

  • Fitting ending!






How To Haunt A House Written By: Carolyn Crimi Illustrated By: Edward Miller Publisher: Albert Whitman & Co. (2021)

How To Haunt A House

Written By: Carolyn Crimi

Illustrated By: Edward Miller

Publisher: Albert Whitman & Co. (2021)

Recommended Ages: 3+


Book Description: Groana, Moana, and Shrieky are three little ghosties learning the tricks to giving a good scare. They stomp around, spook family pets, and slam toilet seats. They're all set to pass their Halloween test, until they find a family that doesn't scare easily. In fact, they LOVE everything the ghosties send their way―especially the bats and rats! What does it take to horrify a household like this one? Sometimes you have to think outside the box to find a way around a problem.


Why We Love It

  • Cute rhyming text and illustrations

  • Clever twist at the end

  • Encourages kids to think outside the box to solve a problem





What's Under The Bed, Ted? Written By: Rosie Greening Illustrated By: Stuart Lynch  Publisher: Make Believe Ideas (2018)

What's Under The Bed, Ted?

Written By: Rosie Greening

Illustrated By: Stuart Lynch

Publisher: Make Believe Ideas (2018)

Recommended Ages: 3+


Book Description: A sweet, rhyming bedtime story with hidden ink surprises. Use your silicone flashlight to reveal hidden artwork and see what’s hiding under Ted’s bed on every page! This adorable story will help reassure children that the dark isn’t as scary as it seems.


Why We Love It:

  • Charming rhyming text

  • Hidden artwork on every page that becomes visible using the included flashlight

  • Reassures kids who are scared of the dark




Horton Hears A Boo! Written By: Wade Bradford Illustrated By: Tom Brannon Publisher: Random House (2023)

Horton Hears A Boo!

Written By: Wade Bradford

Illustrated By: Tom Brannon

Publisher: Random House (2023)

Recommended Ages: 3+


Book Description:

In the Jungle of Nool,

near the Glowbug Lagoon,

In the hush of the night,

'neath the October moon,

He was counting the stars

(there were more than a few),

When Horton the elephant

heard a strange . . .BOO!


Join Dr. Seuss's beloved character Horton the elephant and friends on a Halloween adventure as they try to overcome their fears and find the source of a spooky sound.


Why We Love It:

  • Classic Dr. Seuss-style rhyming text and silliness

  • Familiar characters

  • Teaches kids that facing their fears can often help overcome them




Snowmen At Halloween Written By: Caralyn Buehner Illustrated By: Mark Buehner Publisher: Dial Books For Young Readers (2019)

Snowmen At Halloween

Written By: Caralyn Buehner

Illustrated By: Mark Buehner

Publisher: Dial Books For Young Readers (2019)

Recommended Ages: 2+


Book Description: Have you ever built a snowman and discovered the next day that his grin has gotten a little crooked, or his tree-branch arms have moved? And you've wondered . . . what do snowmen do when we're not watching?


After an early snowfall, a few kids build some snowmen before going trick-or-treating. And when the kids go off to bed, the snowmen have their own Halloween festival! There's candy and apple-bobbing and costume contests and all sorts of autumn activities. When the kids wake up the next morning, the snowmen are gone... but they've left a very special message behind.


Why We Love It:

  • Impeccable rhyming text

  • Beautiful illustrations

  • Hidden pictures on every page

  • Perfect ending!

  • Nostalgia factor for those of use who've experienced a snowy Halloween or two ☃️😊




The Spooky Wheels on the Bus Written By: J. Elizabeth Mills Illustrated By: Ben Mantle Publisher: Cartwheel Books (2010)

The Spooky Wheels on the Bus

Written By: J. Elizabeth Mills

Illustrated By: Ben Mantle

Publisher: Cartwheel Books (2010)

Recommended Ages: 1+


Book Description: It's Halloween night! Celebrate and sing along with this bestselling, spooky twist on the classic Wheels on the Bus song!


One spooky bus goes RATTLE and SHAKE,

RATTLE and SHAKE,

RATTLE and SHAKE.

One spooky bus goes RATTLE and SHAKE,

All through the town.


Count from One Spooky Bus up to Ten Goofy Ghosts as this Halloween ride races through town picking up a few unsuspecting passengers along the way! Eye-catching art and a bouncy, countdown rhyme is sure to make this a read-aloud favorite!


Why We Love It:

  • Can be read or sung (if you're brave)!

  • Familiar song is a favorite at our house!

  • Love the illustrations!




Pete the Cat Trick or Pete By: James Dean Publisher: Harper Festival (2017)

Pete the Cat Trick or Pete

By: James Dean

Publisher: Harper Festival (2017)

Recommended Ages: 2+


Book Description: Follow Pete as he goes trick-or-treating from house to house and discovers what is waiting behind each door.

Lift the flaps to reveal fun spooky surprises.


Why We Love It:

  • Flaps add spooky suspense- but not too spooky! 😉

  • Familiar characters

  • Reassuring read for young trick-or-treaters!





Halloween Hustle Written By: Charlotte Gunnufson Illustrated By: Kevan J. Atteberry Publisher: Two Lions (2013)

Halloween Hustle

Written By: Charlotte Gunnufson

Illustrated By: Kevan J. Atteberry

Publisher: Two Lions (2013)

Recommended Ages: 2+


Book Description:

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?


Why We Love It:

  • Great upbeat rhythm and rhyme

  • Charming, kid-friendly illustrations

  • Cute ending!




Ten Little Pumpkins Written By: Rosie Greening Illustrated By: Lara Ede Publisher: Make Believe Ideas (2018)

Ten Little Pumpkins

Written By: Rosie Greening

Illustrated By: Lara Ede

Publisher: Make Believe Ideas (2018)

Recommended Ages: 1+


Book Description: With rhymes on each page to be completed by the reader counting the pumpkins, this book offers educational and fun reading for parents and children to enjoy together.


Why We Love It:

  • Familiar storyline with a fall twist

  • Uses rhymes to teach children to count backward from 10

  • Includes a practice page at the end showing the numbers 1-10 in order

  • Interactive cover: brush the shiny pumpkin to change its smile to a BOO!





Sesame Street Happy Halloween! Written By: Lillian Jaine Illustrated By: Ernie Kwiat  Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky (2014)

Sesame Street Happy Halloween!

Written By: Lillian Jaine

Illustrated By: Ernie Kwiat

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky (2014)

Recommended Ages: 2+


Book Description: It's Halloween night, and Count von Count is dozing off in front of his fireplace. Suddenly, he hears someone knocking at his castle door, but when he goes to open the door, nobody's there! Is something spooky going on? A monster, a pumpkin, a ghost, and a cat. Pirates, a robot, a witch in a hat! Based loosely on a beloved Edgar Allen Poe classic, kids never know who will show up next or say "BOO!" in this festive Elmo book!


Why We Love It:

  • Familiar characters introduce young kids to Halloween

  • Adorable illustrations; each Sesame Street character dresses up in a different (and very appropriate) Halloween costume

  • At the end, the characters invite the reader to join them at a Halloween party!




The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything Written By: Linda Williams Illustrated By: Megan Lloyd Publisher: HarperCollins (1986)

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything

Written By: Linda Williams

Illustrated By: Megan Lloyd

Publisher: HarperCollins (1986)

Recommended Ages: 3+


Book Description: 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! With bouncy refrains and classic art, this timeless Halloween story is perfect for reading aloud.


Why We Love It:

  • Interactive story; easy actions that kids can do as they follow along

  • Perfect book for read-aloud story times

  • Great ending!




Pick a Pumpkin Written By: Patricia Toht Illustrated By: Jarvis  Publisher: Candlewick Press (2019)

Pick a Pumpkin

Written By: Patricia Toht

Illustrated By: Jarvis

Publisher: Candlewick Press (2019)

Recommended Ages: 3+


Book Description:

Pick a pumpkin from the patch-

Tall and lean or short and fat.

Vivid orange, ghostly white,

or speckled green might be just right.


Readers will be happy to follow along with each step, from picking out the perfect specimen at the pumpkin patch (be sure to stop for cider and toffee apples) to carting it home, scooping out the insides, carving a scary face, and finally lighting a candle inside — savoring the familiar ritual of transforming an ordinary pumpkin into a one-of-a-kind glowing jack-o’-lantern.


Why We Love It:

  • Beautiful rhythmic text

  • Gorgeous illustrations

  • A book that we look forward to reading every Halloween!




Over in the Hollow Written By: Rebecca Dickinson Illustrated By: Stephan Britt Publisher: Chronicle Books (2009))

Over in the Hollow

Written By: Rebecca Dickinson

Illustrated By: Stephan Britt

Publisher: Chronicle Books (2009)

Recommended Ages: 3+


Book Description:

Over in the hollow,

where the cobwebs are spun,

Live a giant mother spider

and her little spidey one.


Who else lives over in the hollow? A papa mummy and his little mummies two, a mama owl and her little owlets three...and more! And they all have something to say, whether it's to hoot, to howl, to hiss, or to yowl. Inspired by Olive A. Wadsworth's classic counting rhyme, "Over in the Meadow," Over in the Hollow is a spooky take on the popular Appalachian poem. A wonderful read-aloud, the playful rhyme and repetition will delight readers of all ages who enjoy a fun (not scary) approach to the world of ghosts, werewolves, and the like.


Why We Love It:

  • Repetitive rhyming format that makes it memorable for kids

  • Crisp, colorful illustrations

  • Teaches kids numbers 1-13

  • I've read many books based on "Over in the Meadow," and this one is especially well-done!





The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin Written By: Joe Troiano Illustrated By: Susan Banta Publisher: Holiday Hill Enterprises (2001)

The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin

Written By: Joe Troiano

Illustrated By: Susan Banta

Publisher: Holiday Hill Enterprises (2001)

Recommended Ages: 3+


Book Description: One day in the pumpkin patch the strangest little pumpkin hatched.... Spookley the Square Pumpkin was different. All the other pumpkins teased him, until Spookley proved that being different can save the day! "The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin" is a perennial fall-favorite children's book that is the inspiration for the animated hit, "Spookley the Square Pumpkin," that airs on Disney Junior and Netflix. It delivers a special message of tolerance and kindness in a fun, accessible format for early learners.


Why We Love It:

  • Great message about how being different can be a good thing!




Room on the Broom Written By: Julia Donaldson Illustrated By: Axel Scheffler Publisher: Puffin Books (2001)

Room on the Broom

Written By: Julia Donaldson

Illustrated By: Axel Scheffler

Publisher: Puffin Books (2001)

Recommended Ages: 2+


Book Description: The witch and her cat are happily flying through the sky on a broomstick when the wind picks up and 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?


Why We Love It:

  • Impeccable rhyming text

  • Eye-catching illustrations

  • Great ending!




Where Do Diggers Trick-or-Treat? Written By: Brianna Caplan Sayres Illustrated By: Christian Slade Publisher: Dragonfly Books (2021)

Where Do Diggers Trick-or-Treat?

Written By: Brianna Caplan Sayres

Illustrated By: Christian Slade

Publisher: Dragonfly Books (2021)

Recommended Ages: 2+


Book Description: Candy, costumes, and jack-o-lanterns meet diggers, tractors, flat bed trucks, and--of course, monster trucks!--in this rhyming book about Halloween night. Where do road rollers trick or treat after helping make roads wider? Where do cranes trick or treat after hoisting things up high? Children who can't get enough of trucks will love this companion to the bestselling Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night and its holiday sequel, Where Do Diggers Celebrate Christmas!


Why We Love It:

  • Fun rhyming text that ties each vehicle to an appropriate Halloween task

  • Eye-catching illustrations

  • Great for vehicle lovers!




Dino-Halloween Written By: Lisa Wheeler Illustrated By: Barry Gott Publisher: Carolrhoda Books (2019)

Dino-Halloween

Written By: Lisa Wheeler

Illustrated By: Barry Gott

Publisher: Carolrhoda Books (2019)

Recommended Ages: 3+


Book Description:

Come October, nights are longer.

Moon looms bigger, winds blow stronger. Air is crisper, leaves are falling...

Dino-Halloween is calling!

Trick or treat! Join your favorite dinosaurs as they visit a haunted house, carve pumpkins, make costumes, do the monster mash, and more! Lisa Wheeler and Barry Gott, creators of the enormously popular Dino-Sports series, come together again to show how these fun-loving dinos celebrate Halloween.

Why We Love It:

  • We LOVE dinos! 😊

  • Fun rhyming text that touches on many favorite Halloween traditions

  • Cute ending!




Mr. Pumpkin's Tea Party  By: Erin Barker  Publisher: Blue Manatee Press (2019)

Mr. Pumpkin's Tea Party

By: Erin Barker

Publisher: Blue Manatee Press (2019)

Recommended Ages: 2+


Book Description:

There’s a party at Mr. Pumpkin’s tonight.

A banquet with friends in the autumn twilight.

And at this soiree we’ll see and we’ll find ghoulish delights of every kind.


You are cordially invited to Mr. Pumpkin’s Tea Party—a delightfully quirky twist on a counting book, incorporating gorgeous, deep-hued watercolor illustrations, as well as spooky elements and unique characters at an unexpectedly charming tea party. A perfect read for when there is a crisp chill in the air.


Why We Love It:

  • Quirky but cute characters and story

  • Fancy-spooky vibe from illustrations; very unique

  • Teaches kids numbers 1-13




The Boo Crew Needs You! Written By: Vicky Fang Illustrated By: Saoirse Lou Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky (2023)

The Boo Crew Needs You!

Written By: Vicky Fang

Illustrated By: Saoirse Lou

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky (2023)

Recommended Ages: 2+


Book Description:

Trouble's come to Monster Town,

and emergencies abound!

There's no time to wait around...

get the Boo Crew!


Get ready for a spooky interactive story experience with Luna, Bones, and Fang―a ghost, skeleton, and vampire team who need YOUR help fixing all the messes and frights of a Halloween night gone wrong! Whether it's tapping the page to mend a broken pumpkin or turning the book to set a toppling haunted house back upright, the action prompts let kids join in on the fun and save the day.



Why We Love It:

  • Fun rhyming text with a punchy refrain