It's no secret Halloween is one of the most beloved holidays for kids. There's the fun of dressing up in a costume, trick-or-treating and other special activities. To get your kids even more excited about the holiday, we've rounded up the books below. From spooky tales and stories about preparing for and celebrating Halloween to a Frightlopedia of mythical creatures and frightening places, this collection for ages 1 to 12 offers a ton of enjoyable surprises.
Jane Foster's Halloween, by Jane Foster
Jane Foster’s clean, contemporary illustrations are now featured in a seasonal board book with Jane Foster’s Halloween. Iconic symbols of Halloween, including a witch, a bat and a haunted house, manage to appear warm and friendly without losing their style. Perfect for sharing with even the youngest trick-or-treater. Ages Baby-2 ($9, amazon.com).
Peek-a-Boooo! by Sandra Magsamen
A Halloween book for babies, Peek-a-Boooo! combines a mirror and die-cut pages so that baby can see themselves as a monkey, a bunny or an astronaut. The last image is accompanied by the reminder that whatever they decide to be will be amazing. A fun interactive book to share. Ages Baby-2 ($8, amazon.com).
Alphaprints: Boo!: Touch and Feel, by Roger Priddy
The latest in Roger Priddy's new Alphaprints board books pairs simple rhyming text with a wonderful variety of brightly colored touch and feel illustrations. The textures include foil, fabric, fur and of course, the raised ink Alphaprints for good spooky fun. Ages Baby-2 ($8, amazon.com).
How to Scare a Ghost, by Jean Reagan and Lee Wildish
From the creators of How to Babysit a Grandpa comes a playful primer on How to Scare a Ghost. This year it’s the kiddos doing the scaring, in a fun role-reversal story filled with Halloween games, tasty treats and teaching your ghost proper trick-or-treat etiquette. Silly spooky fun! Ages 4-8 ($12, amazon.com).
Stumpkin, by Lucy Ruth Cummins
A charming and unique Halloween story about a pumpkin without a stem, named Stumpkin. From his place on a store shelf, Stumpkin watches his friends go off and become jack o’ lanterns and wishes very much for a window of his own. At last it’s Halloween night, and Stumpkin is the only pumpkin left, but the wonderful lesson here is that he is already home, at the shop, with the cat, and a place of pride in the window. Ages 4-8 ($16, amazon.com).
Samurai Scarecrow: A Very Ninja Halloween (Samurai Holiday), by Rubin Pingk
Ninjas, graphic novel style illustrations, and Halloween = fun and twists in Samurai Scarecrow. Yukio’s little sister Kashi wants to do everything he does, and when it gets on his nerves he lashes out at her. Yukio feels bad about his reaction, but Kashi turns her hurt feelings into a plan that both teaches Yukio a lesson and brings brother and sister close again. A great message for siblings during a time of much activity. Ages 4-8 ($18, amazon.com).
The Frightful Ride of Michael McMichael, by Bonny Becker and Mark Fearing
A spooky story with excellent rhyming text tells the tale of Michael McMichael as he boards the number 13 bus with a particularly creepy bus driver. Things get weirder as the bus ride goes on, but just when you think the end is near for Michael McMichael, something very unexpected happens that will have readers gasping in delight. Great fun, and not Halloween specific, so a treat any time of year. Ages 4-8 ($17, amazon.com).
Dia de los Muertos (Celebrate the World), by Hannah Eliot and Jorge Gutierrez
With bright, bold illustrations the Dia de los Muertos board book teaches toddlers about the ancient traditions of Day of the Dead, including sweet treats, skeletons and decorations, all in honor of our loved ones who are no longer with us but will always be remembered in our hearts. Ages 2-4 ($9, amazon.com).
Go to Sleep, Little Creep, by David Quinn and Ashley Spires
In Go to Sleep, Little Creep mummies, ghosts, Frankenstein and his family, along with all sorts of other monster parents and children—all with smiling or sleepy faces—go through the rituals of bedtime in a sweet, rhyming story that’s a delight all year round, and perfect for Halloween. Ages 2-4 ($12, amazon.com).
Sophie's Halloween Disguise, by Rosemary Wells
Now the littlest trick-or-treaters have a chance to fall in love with the popular picture book rabbit, Sophie. In Sophie’s Halloween Disguise, Granny sews costumes for Sophie and baby sister Jane. After trick-or-treating Sophie decides to play a trick on Granny, but it’s Granny who has the last laugh in this one. Cheerful, light Halloween fun. Ages 2-4 ($7, amazon.com).
Eek! Halloween!, by Sandra Boynton
Sandra Boyton's chickens are getting nervous because strange things are happening, like flickering pumpkins and very large mice. But by the end of this rhyming board book it all makes perfect sense. Adorable illustrations and Boynton's usual charm make Eek! Halloween! a new go-to for the season. Ages 1-3 ($7, amazon.com).
Mix and Match: Halloween, by Roger Priddy
There will be giggles galore as toddlers turn the flaps of this sturdy board book to transform six different monsters into their own creations. Roger Priddy's usual bright colors and kid-friendly text add to the interactive fun of Mix and Match Halloween. Ages 1-5 ($6, amazon.com).
Peek and Egg: I'm Not Trick-or-Treating, by Laura Gehl
Peep wants to go trick-or-treating but Egg is scared and refusing to go. Even Halloween jokes can't get him to budge, but in the end he decides it might be okay after all. Peep and Egg: I'm Not Trick-or-Treating is a reassuring picture book about trying something new. Ages 2-6 ($17, amazon.com).
Little Blue Truck's Halloween, by Alice Schertle
Jill McElmurry's illustrations fill the pages of Little Blue Truck's Halloween with beautiful costumes and fun details. Toddlers and preschoolers will have a great time unmasking Little Blue's friends in this new lift-the-flap book. Ages 3-5 ($13, amazon.com).
Boo! Haiku, by Deanna Caswell
Boo! Haiku brings poetry to the spookiest day of the year. The first haiku describes a witch and asks readers to guess who, then on the next page the witch shares her own haiku describing a bat, and so on. Bob Shea adds bright and playful illustrations to this unique holiday picture book that is loads of fun. Ages 3-5 ($13, amazon.com).
Penguin and Pumpkin, by Salina Yoon
Now available as a board book for younger readers, Penguin and Pumpkin is a sweet story for younger siblings who might be feeling left out until they realize that their imagination can take them anywhere. Ages 3-6 ($8, amazon.com).
Bad Kitty Scaredy-Cat, by Nick Bruel
Bad Kitty is many things, but Bad Kitty Scaredy-Cat she is not. Until one dark night an alphabet of scary things shows up at her door. What could get Bad Kitty back to her old self? Halloween candy. Letter by letter she gets rid of every one of the frightful creatures and then Bad Kitty and her heap of candy can finally relax. Maybe… Ages 5-8 ($17, amazon.com).
The Super-Spooky Fright Night!: Hubble Bubbly, by Tracey Corderoy
The first in a new illustrated chapter book series, Hubble Bubble: The Super-Spooky Fright Night! contains three stories about Pandora's granny, a witch who causes lots of magical mischief with mixed up spells and surprises. Ages 6-9 ($7, amazon.com).
Frightlopedia: An Encyclopedia of Everything Scary, Creepy, and Spine-Chilling, from Arachnids to Zombies, by Julie Winterbottom
For older kids who want something a little more spine-tingling there's Frightlopedia. This encyclopedia of all things creepy, crawly and scary combines truth and myth in entries like how to escape from quicksand and morbid tales of mummies. Ages 8-12 ($10, amazon.com).
The Most Frightening Story Ever Told, by Philip Kerr
A frightening competition at the Haunted House of Books lures Billy Shivers into listening to the most terrifying ghost story ever written. Spooky and mysterious, The Most Frightening Story Ever Told is not only an excellent Halloween read, but also an appealing tale of friendship and courage. Ages 8-12 ($17, amazon.com).