Let's face it, Halloween can be a pretty scary holiday for young kids. Last year, I went for a fall walk with my toddler, and when she spotted a life-size zombie hanging from a neighbor's tree she was understandably terrified. When you stop and look at Halloween through a kid's eyes, it does indeed seem pretty frightening. Fortunately, there are some great Halloween-themed children's books that set the stage for this spooky holiday, and help turn the fright into fun.
Looking at the range of Halloween-themed children's books out there, they cover everything from ghosts and goblins to pumpkins and potions. My daughters love the book, Ladybug Girl and the Dress-up Dilemmaby Jacky Davis, ($15, Amazon) from the Ladybug Girl series. It covers a lot of key Halloween activities, like figuring out what costume to wear, a trip to the pumpkin patch and corn maize, and of, course, trick-or-treating.
This year I'm also excited to introduce my girls to Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead. For those unfamiliar with the traditional Mexican holiday, it is a celebration of life and death that is now celebrated in many countries all over Latin America, according to National Geographic. (Side note: if you haven't already seen Coco, the Dia de los Muertos-inspired animated children's film, you need to! It's so good.)
So to help you kick off your Halloween season on the right foot, here are 12 children's book all about the spooky day, in all its wonderful iterations.
If your kids love the children's classic, 'Stone Soup,' they'll love this Halloween version of it. It's all about a hungry skeleton named Finnigin and his attempt to fill up his cauldron. With ingredients like toenail clippings and eyeballs, it's a rollicking read.
This has been a beloved Halloween classic for more than two decades. The heartwarming tale centers around Rebecca Estelle, someone who hates pumpkins but finds herself with a yard full of them. What she does with them is the fun part.
With its playful rhyming cadence, this Halloween classic is a great book to read aloud. In it, a witch on her broom stick finds herself riding with some unlikely companions, and the spell she casts at the end is pretty sweet.
As you can probably guess from the title, this book is delightfully all about pumpkins. Written by Smriti Prasadam-Halls and illustrated by Lorena Alvarez, this fun read introduces different kinds of gourds on every page. If you want to get in the mood to carve a jack-o-lantern, read this book!
It wouldn't be Halloween without at least one black cat, and this children's book features an unforgettable one. "Told in rhythmic prose that almost purrs when read aloud‚ this black cat′s story enchants with a perfect blend of art and text," explained the 'School Library Journal.'
My girls love the 'Pinkalicious' series and this Halloween-inspired tale seems like another winner. Pinkalicious tries to save a cancelled Halloween and ends up bringing her town together. The book even comes with stickers!
This is one children's book about monsters that is anything but scary. In fact, it's full of giggles, tickles, and plenty of monster hugs. You'll love curling up with your little monster to read this book at bedtime.
My 20-month-old is obsessed with this Halloween-themed book we found at the library. It's full of goblins, werewolves, ghosts, witches, skeletons, and more. If you're looking for a spooky counting book, this one is ghoulishly good.
Fans of the 'Little Blue Truck' book series will love this Halloween-inspired ride. It features a lift-the-flap design, so your little one will enjoy the thrill of finding out who's dressed up in each costume.
This is a great book for introducing trick-or-treating and the festivities of Halloween night. It has a building repetition so your kids will start to finish your sentences as you near the end of the book!
This sweet read tells the tale of a little seed who tries to be scary but just can't get the job done... until something happens that makes him scary indeed! It's a heartwarming story that's actually relevant beyond just Halloween season.