Are you ready for a book list? How about a list of fun Halloween picture books? I’ve even separated these books from the least creepy to the spookiest. Not that any of them are really that spooky, these are picture books, you know.
Not-Scary-At-All Halloween BOOks
These books are told in the setting of Halloween, but focus on the story rather than spooky elements.
The Hallo-Wiener by Dav Pilkey
If you only read ONE Halloween book this year, don’t miss this one. Seriously, I don’t care if you are accidentally reading this post months after I wrote it and it’s Valentines’ Day. Go to your library or Amazon and get a copy of this book. The Hallo-Wiener is really that funny, and everybody thinks so. In fact the librarian placed it in our hands when we went to the library, and Erica from What Do We Do All Day? was asking me if I had read it only a couple days later.
Oscar, the dachshund, gets a little tired of the other dogs at school calling him a “wiener dog”. But when his mom buys him a hot dog costume for Halloween complete with mustard, Oscar knows that he is really in trouble.
This book makes the top of my list for being laugh-out-loud funny and full of puns and including absolutely hilarious illustrations.
Pumpkin Hill by Elizabeth Spurr and illustrated by Whitney Martin
If you are looking for a Halloween book that avoids all the scarier aspects of Halloween, try Pumpkin Hill. In Pumpkin Hill, one lone pumpkin’s seed end up starting what ends up to be a massive hill full of pumpkins. These pumpkins then tumble into the town making a Halloween that no one (especially the kids) will ever forget.
I especially liked the way that the fun, lyrical language of the picture book bumps along with the pumpkins.
There came a mighty wind.
the whirly, swirly kind.
It blew the vines into a tangle
and sent the pumpkins rumble-tumble,
hurtling down the great green hill.
The Runaway Pumpkin by Kevin Lewis and illustrated by S. D. Schindler
When the Baxter boys snap the vine of the largest pumpkin they have ever found, it starts a rolling adventure that ends with a big Halloween dinner.
‘Round and ’round
across the ground
makin’ a thumpin’
round and roll-y
I confess I usually hate refrain books because reading the same words over and over makes me want to take a nap. BUT, this book is cute and it’s refrain is neither repeated too often and naturally rolls from your tongue making you want to read it aloud. The kids will be bumpin’ right along and the illustrations will add plenty of giggles.
The Perfectly Horrible Halloween by Nancy Poydar
If you are looking for a good story connected with Halloween, try The Perfectly Horrible Halloween. In this Halloween picture book, Arnold wants to win Room 13’s Halloween costume contest for Scariest Costume but finds his plans in trouble when he forgets his costume on the bus.
Albert’s Halloween: The Case of the Stolen Pumpkins perpetrated by Leslie Tryon
This Halloween seek-and-find is fun for kids, and the fact that the book is a seek-and-find is cleverly hidden until the end of the book. Note: I would probably check out this book from the library rather than purchase it since part of the fun is looking for the pumpkins, but it would make a fun gift.
Not-Very-Scary Halloween BOOks
These picture books contain more Halloween imagery and themes, but still have a happy tone.
The Witches’ Supermarket by Susan Meddaugh
The Witches’ Supermarket was one of my favorite Halloween books that we read this year. A small girl Helen and her dog Martha accidentally ends up wandering into a supermarket for witches when she tries to return a “one free broom” coupon to a passerby. While this theme might sound spooky, the book is actually quite humorous with funny illustrations and cute details.
Usually, I don’t recommend holiday books based on series, but this “Martha” books stands on its own for being original and worth reading.
Trick or Treat by Leo Landry
In Trick or Treat, a cute smiley ghost named Oliver decides to hold a party for his Halloween friends. The party is going great until two unexpected guests arrive.
“We could spook them,” whispered the ghosts, “until they go away.”
Even the bats squeaked in alarm.
“I’ve got it,” said Oliver, and he slowly flew closer to the little cow and little jack-o’-lantern . . .
“TREAT!” shouted Oliver.
“WELCOME TO MY PARTY!”
I especially liked the cute, fun illustrations in this picture book.
Over in the Hollow by Rebecca Dickinson
We loved this Halloween picture book so much last year, that I still remember it this year. In fact, my son decided to be a skeleton after reading it. With a fun little ditty the book counts to ten with various mamas and papas and their creepy kids. While the book has spiders, vampires, and skeletons as the main characters it’s definitely not too spooky as they feature rather non-scary grins.
Almost-Scary Halloween BOOks
By “almost-scary”, I don’t really mean that these books are really that scary or dark. They are just nice snuggle up and pretend to be spooked books. All feature light jovial endings. Sensitive kids may find some of the illustrations a little scary.
Halloween Forest by Marion Dane Bauer and illustrated by John Shelley
Perfect for kids who love skeletons, Halloween Forest is delightfully creepy with its illustrations of forest made of bones explored by a little girl in a skeleton costume. As you might expect, the ending is light and brings a humorous conclusion to the spooky book. My kid thinks that skeletons are the coolest thing ever (maybe he’ll be a scientist), so he was enthralled with the illustrations.
This Halloween picture book really is perfect in that both the illustrations and words are imaginative and clever.
The bare bones of trees
stand on a hill
in the chill
Beware the Brindlebeast retold and illustrated by Anita Riggio
Count on an ancient fairy tale to be delightfully spooky. Beware the Brindlebeast is perfect for older kids (5+) who like listening to longer picture books. While the story of a woman who accidentally brings home a mysterious monster might scare some kids, the ending is happy and not scary. Note: Some of the illustrations are intense and feature the scary Brindlebeast who looks like a gargoyle.
What types of Halloween books do you enjoy reading to your kids?
Hi! I’m Bethany. I’m a mom, weekly Greenville News columnist, and co-owner of Kidding Around Greenville SC. Welcome to my parenting blog No Twiddle Twaddle, all about adding a little magic to kids’ lives through play and reading. If you are new, don’t miss these other fall posts: 50+ Easy No Sew Costumes for Kids and Jack-o’-Lantern Doodle Sheets. You can join me on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest (I’m a BHG.com Pinner Pro!). Subscribe via email to get my updates straight in your inbox.