Pumpkins, Ghosts, and Spiders - OH, MY!
Halloween is CREEPING up on us, making this the best time to DROOL over these Top 10 Halloween Books. But have no fear, fans of not-so-scary Halloween; while SPOOKINESS may earn a picture book extra points from me, this list is still a family-friendly list at heart. Ultimately, this is a collection of books to read with the family this OCTOBER. ORANGE you excited to fire up your kids’ CAULDRONS of imagination this Halloween? There’s room on your BROOM for SPELL-BINDING children’s books.
*Tricks and treats BOLDED in the blog - find Halloween words beyond this prologue*
The Hair Fairies Halloween
by Amy Despain
The Hair Fairies Halloween is a book for the child who loves adventure and MISCHIEVOUS behavior. It is written for LITTLE MONSTERS ages two to eight and describes the escapades of a Hair FAIRY who decides to play some Halloween TRICKS on a dark, SPOOKY night. The pictures are dazzling, and the rhyme makes this book a joy to read. Readers will learn how fairy messes are fixed, even when faced with a few Halloween CREATURES and tricks. This is such a fun read, and I can’t wait to wake up on Halloween to see what the fairies have done to my hair!
The Little Green Pumpkin
by Molly Carter
My next TREAT is a heartwarming tale of a Little Green Pumpkin who desperately wants to fit in with the rest of the PUMPKIN PATCH. Readers follow Little Green Pumpkin’s journey from a field where all pumpkins are orange to a farmer’s market where she is surrounded by a number of different kinds of PUMPKINS.
This Top 10 Halloween Book has a wonderful message about self-worth, integration, and appreciating your differences. It is also a fantastic way to discuss if a child has ever felt different than others. It’s okay to be different! We all have attributes that make us stand out. Though this may be a hard lesson to learn, through the creative writing of author Molly Carter, The Little Green Pumpkin teaches a lesson in self-acceptance. When we’re self-accepting, we embrace every part of ourselves, not just the “positive” things! Self-acceptance is unconditional—you can recognize weaknesses but still fully accept yourself. To be self-accepting is to feel satisfied with who you are, despite flaws and regardless of past choices.
Molly Carter has nothing but GOURD intentions with The Little Green Pumpkin. This is a book that will be enjoyed time and time again while assisting in building self-confidence.
The Witch’s Ball
by Lori Ries
The Witches Ball is sure to become a new family favorite. It is intended for WITCHES and WARLOCKS ages two to eight and is an exciting tale that will engage a child’s imagination, supported by detailed illustrations that will BEWITCH all FEROCIOUS readers. It is the night of The Witches Ball. Millie is invited to attend, but she has nothing to wear, so she has to race against the CHIMES to get all the things she needs before the Ball starts at 12 o’clock. Just when it looks like she is set and ready to go, her BROOM needs to be repaired …will she make it to the ball on time? This is a great book to curl up with on a cold fall evening and enjoy the DISGUISED details.
Beware Be Scared
by Lori Ries
THRILLING! BEWARE! BE SCARED! is the perfect combination of cute, scary, and comical. The young boy in this story is celebrating his first Halloween. He starts the day excited and overjoyed by the prospect of Halloween. As the day CREEPS, his apprehension grows, and the illustrations in the book get darker to symbolize his increasing FEAR. His imagination takes over: Houses look like strange creatures in disguise, leaves blowing in the wind are mistaken for bats, and dogs howling are thought to be werewolves. As the overwhelming DANGER builds, the young boy continually asks the reader, “Will you run, run, run, or hide, hide, hide? Yes or no – you must decide!”
The rhyming in this book will have your child CHANTING in delight. It is just the right level of SCARY to get excited about Halloween without it being frightening for little kids. It is also an excellent way to broach some of the scarier aspects of TRICK-OR-TREATING.
by Camille Smithson
Smithson has written a SPOOK-TACULAR book for that child who is repeatedly asking for a pet, as it asks just how far would you go to prove you are responsible for owning a CREATURE. Hayden Jones is eleven years old and is desperate to show he is responsible enough to have a pet. Now, he just has to convince his mom! The problem is that Hayden’s mom has the best memory . . . she still remembers the time he brought home a STRAY CAT who ended up shredding the curtains in their house.
This book is full of MYSTERY and adventure, making it a fun and engaging story. It CAPTURES you immediately, and the story takes you on a twisty-twirly journey of Hayden trying to prove himself, while not getting caught.
Although not an obvious Halloween book, the misadventures and DRAGONS make it SCREAM-WORTHY for this time of year. I particularly love that it is an uplifting story of how this TALE brings Hayden closer to his sister.
Art Museum Spider
by Kim Hintze
Nothing SCREAMS Halloween more than spiders and their webs. Art is a spider that gets caught in a storm and hides in a museum for shelter. Looking around, he sees masterful artwork and finds the museum cozy and safe, so he decides to call it home. The museum security guard has other ideas. He doesn’t want Art’s SPIDER WEB all over the Monet. This is an amusing adventure of HIDE AND SEEK that will appeal to younger GHOULS while being exposed to some of the world’s greatest masterpieces. I challenge you not to be SPELLBOUND with this entertaining book.
The Graveyard Book
by Neil Gaiman
For PRETERNATURAL TREATERS ten years and above, a great Halloween choice is The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. Nobody Owens is a normal boy who is being raised by GHOSTS while living in a GRAVEYARD. Although the premise of the book is a little gruesome – the night a MYSTICAL killer murders his family, a child wanders off into a graveyard, where he’s adopted by a loving, even-keeled GHOST couple – this story manages to make the ETHEREAL characters loveable.
With a character named Nobody, you know it’s going to be your BLOOD type of book, for the things that scare us aren’t impervious to our humanity. The Graveyard Book is slightly unusual in that it is episodic, for the book spans a dozen years or so. Nobody, referred to as Bod, grows from a toddler to a young man, to a teen boy of fifteen or sixteen. The overall message of this book is all about growing up. The book is an honest metaphor about children growing up, meeting different people, experiencing failures and success, and learning about the things around them until they are mature enough to start their own journeys. We witness Bod learn to walk, talk, fade, HAUNT, and dreamwalk; for growing up is about moving on, stepping out of your comfort zone, and taking risks.
This is a venture with great characters and an amazing atmosphere. The book portrays a family who may not be related by blood, but they show true and genuine love towards each other. Bod lives in a community that shares compassion with one another. In addition to an ALLURING celebratory tale, Gaiman’s writing provides a sense of serenity.
The Ghost of Sifty Sifty Sam
by Angela Shelf Medearis
Would you stay all night in a HAUNTED HOUSE for a reward? In The Ghost of Sifty Sifty Sam, you’ll read about a chef who took on that very challenge. You see . . . in the east Texas woods, a realtor offers a $5,000 reward to anyone who can rid an OLD HOUSE of the SCREECHING, WAILING, HOWLING ghost of Sifty Sifty Sam. Dan, who is a chef, decides to give it a try. He no sooner begins to cook when Sifty Sifty Sam begins his SPOOKY tricks. Fortunately, Chef Dan has what the ghost has been waiting for all these years, and the SPINE-CHILLING tale becomes a SPOOKILICIOUS one as the pair make a deal that benefits them both. You’ll get a SHIVER of a giggle CHANTING “crispy delicious batter-dipped fish” by the story’s end.
This Top 10 Halloween Book is a great resource at home or in the classroom to discuss stereotypes and how not to judge just based on appearance and what you might hear from others.
by Charlotte Gunnufson
I am MADLY in love with rhyming picture books, especially upbeat ones that are GOOEY with movement, and Halloween Hustle provokes MONSTROUS movement. This INFECTIOUS story in rhyme will get you tapping your toes.
Skeleton, who has been invited to a FA-BOO-LOUS midnight Halloween party at Ghost’s house, is the main character of the book. As Skeleton dances his way up the street, doing the Halloween Hustle, he picks up some friends along the way. FRANKENSTEIN, MUMMY, WITCH, and more join him as they all RATTLE their way to Ghost’s house for the party.
Hold onto your CAULDRONS! You know a picture book wouldn’t be a good one without a few mishaps along the way, right? The ICKY conundrum in this GHASTLY tale is that the SKELETON is having so much fun dancing that he keeps tripping and falling apart!
Thank goodness Skeleton and his FANG-TASTIC friends are quite creative in finding different ways to put him back together so he can keep on dancing. Read Halloween Hustle to find out if this BATTY bunch arrives in time for a dance contest.
You can find some great printable activities to go with this book at the author’s website here.
There you have it, my valiant VAMPIRES! From skeletons to pumpkins, we’ve BREWED up the Top 10 Halloween Books for your kids. Sure, there are ghosts and witches and monsters that will get them in the HALLOWEEN SPIRIT without any NIGHTMARES to follow. Enjoy GOBLIN up all the candy and remind everyone to brush their teeth. It’s going to be a great Halloween – I feel it in my BONES!
Dr. Shawna Della Cerra is the co-author of My Daddy Is In Heaven.