Since the Munchkin was a wee one, I have always found books about upcoming holidays to be really helpful. Not only can they help make sense of what can be somewhat confusing traditions (you mean I get to knock on people’s doors and ask them for candy!!??), but they also get everybody in the mood!
I’ve compiled a list of some of the best Halloween books for the whole family to read together!
Mommy? I’ve already touted the pop-up version of this book by Maurice Sendak, so of course I heartily recommend the regular version as well. A little boy searches through a creepy mansion in search of his mom, and even though the monsters he encounters try to scare him, he quickly shows them who is boss. And on the last page, Mommy!
Leonardo, the Terrible Monster Leonardo is a monster whose misfortune it is to be not all that scary. When he decides to find the easiest kid to scare and attempts to give it all he’s got, the kid starts to cry. But, it isn’t because of Leonardo.
Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a Garden This non-fiction book tells all about the development of a pumpkin seed into a plant, then a pumpkin, carving it into a jack-o-lantern, and then back to seed again, completing the circle. This is a great book to teach your kids about that ol’ “circle of life” thing and the color photographs are stunning. The text is sort of meh, but I think it affects adults much more than the kids.
The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything Beautiful illustrations help tell the story of a woman who finds a clever way to deal with the things that are trying to scare her. A just-scary-enough book.
Big Pumpkin A green-faced witch grows a pumpkin to bake into a pie for Halloween. But the pumpkin is too big! She needs help, and she gets it from various passersby, including a ghost, vampire, mummy, and little bat. A very cute story!
Room on the Broom When a friendly witch loses her hat, she manages to pick up a lot of friends on her way to look for it! With lessons of friendship and cooperation, this modern folktale is sure to be a big hit.
Scary, Scary Halloween This book is certainly designed to give children a a bit of a scare, but in a good way! The unseen narrator (a mother cat) describes all the spooky things she sees, which just happen to be children in Halloween costumes. With some great verse and wonderful illustrations, kids of all ages will love this book.
The Night Before Halloween What do monsters and mummies do before Halloween? Using lighthearted verse inspired by “Twas the Night Before Christmas” we find out what they do to prepare for the big day when the kids will be knocking at their door.
Scratch and Sniff: Halloween There aren’t a whole lot of scratch and sniff books anymore, but kids sure do love them. There is a vile (not really!) witch’s brew, a lollipop, pumpkins, bats and ghosts featured in all their olfactory goodness. Uh, well, maybe it doesn’t really smell like a bat, but that’s probably a good thing!
The Ghost’s Dinner Read as Henry the Ghost fixes dinner for his friends, and watch as they turn the color of each dish! But then, they mysteriously disappear after dessert, and Henry must save the day.
Ghosts in the House! This visually stunning book is an unorthodox tale of a young witch who goes to live in a house. Except one thing, there is a ghost already there! But never fear, the clever witch has a plan.