I could not be more delighted to present this list of Halloween children’s books. You see, Halloween is my absolute favorite season (yes, season). Furthermore, books and kids are my jam. As an educator, I have told many a silly scary story and shared candy corn at my fair share of class parties. (And, yes, I’m #TeamCandyCorn.)
In my house, spooky season starts immediately after Labor Day. Yes, that means as I’m typing this (weeks before you’ll read it), my house is fully decked out. Oh yes, I’m that person. Our decorations stay up through all of September and October, before we switch to Christmas decor for November and December…and sometimes a little of January. Luckily for my neighbors, only a few decorations make their way outside — just a wreath and maybe a skeleton or two. I am NOT an inflatable yard decor person (*shudders internally*).
But, why Halloween? For me, it’s one of the only holidays I perceive as purely pleasurable. Nobody expects gifts or food or quality time from you. Everyone just wants to have a good time and be a little weird. The weather is perfect for fire pit parties or cozying up inside with a scary movie. Also, you get to be whoever you want. Who doesn’t love playing dress up?
But I digress. I could talk about Halloween all day, but you came for the books. Thus, without further ado, let’s look at 21 Halloween books that all the kids in your life can enjoy.
Halloween Children’s Books for Babies and Toddlers
Even the smallest humans can enjoy a not-so-scary story. The following books are sure to amuse and delight your babies.
My First Halloween by Olivia Nicholson
Caregivers, start baby off right by introducing spooky season early! This high-contrast board book is designed for newborns. Since their eyes are not yet developed to perceive colors, stark black and white images attract their attention. This little book will introduce them to familiar Halloween sights.
My Baby Loves Halloween by Jabari Asim and Tara Nicole Whitaker
If this ADORABLE cover isn’t enough to sell you on this book, then you must not like babies or happiness. This adorable board book follows a baby discovering all the wonders Halloween has to offer. It’s 80 degrees outside in my world, but reading along with baby I *almost* felt the crisp autumn air. The author also wrote several others featuring this baby celebrating other holidays.
One, Two…Boo! by Kristen L. Depken and Claudine Gevry
What could be more fun than a lift-the-flap book? This immediately reminded me of Popple Peeking, a silly book I carried everywhere as a child, long after the flaps had been destroyed. Your little one will have just as much fun with this spooky board book.
The Itsy Bitsy Pumpkin by Sonali Fry and Sanja Rescek
Sing along with this reimagined nursery rhyme. In this board book, a little jack-o-lantern rolls away from home and sees all sorts of Halloween things. Luckily, a kind witch helps the itsy bitsy pumpkin get back home in the end.
Spooky, Spooky, Little Bat by Rosa Von Feder and Samantha Meredith
Next, how about another nursery rhyme-inspired board book? This one is a twist on “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” but features an interactive bat puppet. Toddlers will enjoy this interactive book. Follow this cute bat all over town for a spooky good time! You or your child can wiggle the finger puppet bat and work on those fine motor skills while singing along to the familiar tune.
Biscuit Visits the Pumpkin Patch by Alyssa Satin Capucilli and Pat Schories
This one is more fall-inspired than Halloween, perhaps, but we’ve got to get pumpkins to turn into jack-o-lanterns! Who better to go with than one of children’s literature’s most popular pups. Biscuit sees pumpkins of all sizes and gets into a little mischief in this cute board book.
Llama, Llama, Trick or Treat by Anna Dewdney
Speaking of popular kids’ book characters, our favorite llama has gotten in on the Halloween action. This rhyming tale features llama’s quest for the perfect costume and all the fun of trick-or-treating with his mama and friends. This board book version is an ideal introduction to the llama-verse for younger children.
Don’t Push the Button! A Halloween Treat by Bill Cotter
Here’s another interactive read for your toddlers and preschoolers. The story follows a monster on its trick-or-treating adventure. The poor monster doesn’t want to go to the spooky house because it’s full of…monsters? Kids will get a kick out of his pleas not to ring the doorbell and all the fun waiting behind the door.
Halloween Children’s Books for Elementary Schoolers
Monster Trouble by Lane Fredrickson and Michael Robertson
Poor Winifred. Every night her room is invaded by monsters and she just can’t seem to get rid of them. She tries everything in her how-to-get-rid-of-monsters book, but they keep coming back. Finally, desperate from sleepiness, Winifred kisses the nearest monster. It does the trick! You and your kiddos will crack up at the efforts of this brave, innovative little girl.
Amara and the Bats by Emma Reynolds
Okay, so this isn’t exactly a Halloween book either. However, if you want a great message, it’s a perfect choice. Amara loves bats, but learns that due to the destruction of their habitats, bats are having to move on from her town. Amara and her friends take action in this story of environmental activism.
The Ugly Pumpkin by Dave Horowitz
If you like reimagined versions of familiar stories, this is another book you’ll enjoy. In this twist on the story of the ugly duckling, we follow an unwanted pumpkin as he tries to find his place in the world. It takes all the way until Thanksgiving, but he’s surprised to learn who he really is!
Los Gatos Black on Halloween by Marisa Montes and Yuyi Morales
This fun bilingual book centers on a Halloween party full of monsters. Zombies, skeletons, and more dance across the pages having a good time. There’s even a glossary in the back with pronunciations and definitions for readers who don’t speak Spanish.
Gus the Gassy Ghost by Humor Heals Us
This early reader is EXACTLY what you expect. It’s full of farts and funny poems that will keep kids amused indefinitely. Gus’s friends try and fail to scare kids in a haunted house. Fortunately, Gus has a special scaring technique. Yep. Farting! This absolutely silly story is perfect for engaging readers of all interests.
Carlito the Bat Learns to Trick-or-Treat by Michelle Lizet Flores and Kiara Amaris Sánchez
Halloween is meant to be fun, but for a lot of kids it can be scary. They’ll identify with this story of a child learning to face his fears. At first, Carlito is afraid to trick-or-treat, but with the help of his family and neighbors he learns a lesson about standing up to what scares us.
Frankenslime by Joy Keller and Ashley Belote
Victoria Franken is a slime scientist with a track record of creating some really cool slimes. However, this time she has outdone herself. To her surprise, her newest creation comes to life! Enjoy the twists and turns of this reimagined classic, as well as some slime recipes and other science tips.
Gustavo, the Shy Ghost by Flavia Z. Drago
As the title suggests, this book introduces Gustavo, a ghost who is good at a lot of things, but not at making friends. Gustavo is so shy, he worries that even on the Day of the Dead he won’t be noticed. This beautifully illustrated picture book will have you rooting for a ghost harder than you ever have — even if you grew up with Casper.
Vampenguin by Lucy Ruth Cummins
Do you ever wonder what life is like for the Dracula family? Oh, you weren’t aware that Dracula had a family? Neither was I, but this cute book has taught me differently. Hilariously, the family spends a day at the zoo and encounters a classic switcheroo when they visit the penguin house.
Halloween Children’s Books for Older Kids and Tweens
Scaredy Bat and The Frozen Vampires by Marina J. Bowman
Twelve-year-old vampire Scaredy Bat is a detective. Well, she loves solving mysteries. Unfortunately, she’s also scared of pretty much everything. Scaredy Bat is forced to face her fears when she attends a royal vampire wedding and all of the guests are mysteriously frozen solid. Can Scaredy Bat muster up the courage to save the day?
The Haunted House Next Door by Andres Miedoso and Victor Rivas
In the spooky town of Kersville, mischievous ghosts and oblivious humans mostly coexist. However, sometimes ghosts cross the line. Whenever that happens, the victim calls Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol. Desmond and his best friend Andres fearlessly take on the scariest jobs. At least, Desmond does. Andres, on the other hand, is afraid of everything. This illustrated early chapter book is the first in a series.
The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste
In a tale inspired by Caribbean folklore, we meet Corinne La Mer. Corinne doesn’t believe in the ghost stories adults tell kids on her island, until she meets the jumbies herself. When her home is suddenly in danger of being overrun by jumbies, it’s up to Corinne to find her magic and save the day. This is the first in a series.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
From acclaimed author Neil Gaiman comes this spooky tale of a boy raised by ghosts in a graveyard. Nobody Owens has a strange life, but it’d be less strange if it wasn’t so full of adventures and danger. Being raised by ghosts isn’t bad, but living near the gateway to a city of ghouls is. Even worse, the killer who took away Nobody’s family will be waiting for him if he ever leaves the graveyard. This one is perfect for older kids who can handle a bit of real scariness.
Have all the spooky fun reading these books with the kids in your life! If you need more scary suggestions, check out these other Book Riot posts: