Reading is a great activity that educates your children and can keep them entertained. And October is the perfect time to read scary stories with your kids! There are many enjoyable Halloween books for young kids, whether you’re looking for something a little frightful or want a more tame, festive story to read with your little ones. That’s why we’re sharing our top 40 Halloween books for children.
40 of the Best Halloween Books for Kids
Don’t just carve pumpkins this month; carve out some time with your kids to read Halloween-themed books! Here are 40 fantastic children’s books for the spooky season, including what they’re about and why we recommend them.
1. “At The Old Haunted House” by Helen Ketteman
To kick off our list, we have “At The Old Haunted House,” which features different types of monster families, such as a ma werewolf and her wee wolfies and a papa vampire and his little vamps. The story culminates in a big Halloween party, the Halloween Fright, where trick-or-treaters join the monsters for fun and games. This book is filled with bold illustrations, and the monster sounds will make it entertaining to read aloud with your kids.
2. “The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree” by Stan and Jan Berenstain
This suspenseful book with the Berenstain Bears is perfect for young kids to read on Halloween. Brother Bear, Sister Bear, and Honey Bear find an old, spooky tree with many things to explore, including twisted stairs, a moving wall with a giant key, and a creepy hall filled with armor. Although the three little bears are scared, they’re daring enough to keep exploring — until they encounter a giant sleeping bear and must scurry back home!
3. “The Berenstain Bears Trick or Treat” by Stan and Jan Berenstain
Here’s another Halloween story from the Berenstain Bears series. Brother and Sister Bear are excited (and nervous) to go trick-or-treating without their parents. While discussing their candy route, Brother says they won’t visit old Ms. McGrizz’s house because she’s a witch. But on Halloween, a gang of bears takes Brother and Sister to the woman’s home! Luckily, Ms. McGrizz turns out to be a kind, elderly bear who offers the cubs delicious candy apples. This book teaches children that appearances can be deceiving, and since it has more text than the previous one, it would be suitable for kids with a higher reading level.
4. “Big Pumpkin” by Erica Silverman
This Halloween book is an excellent, non-scary option for kids. In “Big Pumpkin,” a witch wants to bake pumpkin pie, so she decides to grow a pumpkin. The pumpkin grows and grows, but when the witch tries to take it off the vine, it won’t budge! A ghost, vampire, and mummy each try to move the pumpkin, but none are strong enough. Eventually, a bat comes along with a brilliant idea: they can work together to move the pumpkin!
5. “Bonaparte Falls Apart” by Margery Cuyler
Bonaparte is a little skeleton who’s literally falling apart! He worries that everyone will make fun of him once school starts. His friends Franky Stein, Blacky Widow, and Mummicula devise ways to keep Bonaparte’s bones together, but despite their best efforts, nothing seems to work. But Bonaparte’s friends aren’t about to give up on him! As they search for solutions, they realize that a furry, fetching companion might be just what Bonaparte needs.
6. “Bone Soup” by Cambria Evans
Finnigan, who everyone knows has a “ravenous appetite,” travels on Halloween searching for a feast. As he approaches a nearby town, Finnigan greets a witch, who abruptly flies away. The witch warns the town of Finnigan’s arrival, and the monsters quickly stash away their ingredients, afraid that “the Eater” will take all their food. After no one offers him anything to eat, Finnigan plans to make “bone soup.” This intrigues the stingy townsfolk, who learn a thing or two about sharing.
7. “Brave Little Camper Saves Halloween!” by Rosa Von Feder
On the eve of Halloween, a group of mischievous raccoons break into Farmer MacDonald’s field and steal her prize pumpkin. Who will lead the Halloween parade now? Enter one brave little camper! It’s shaped like a pumpkin, so Farmer MacDonald and her animal friends paint and decorate the little camper, turning it into a sparkly orange “pumpkin.” The little camper is the star of the parade and wins a big blue ribbon, officially saving the day.
8. “Clifford’s First Halloween” by Norman Bridwell
In this book, Clifford’s owner, Emily Elizabeth, recounts the story of her little red puppy’s first Halloween. Clifford had dressed up as a tiny ghost, and the duo completed several fun activities, like trick-or-treating and carving pumpkins. Their family had also thrown a Halloween party, which involved eating candy apples (and bathing a sticky Clifford), going through a haunted house, and Mommy telling a scary story. Small children will love this short book featuring cute pictures!
9. “Corduroy’s Best Halloween Ever!” by Don Freeman
Here’s another adorable character who’s having a Halloween party: Corduroy! In this story, it’s almost Halloween, and the stuffed bear and his friends are preparing for the big party. There’s just one thing Corduroy forgot: a costume! After trying on several options, Corduroy finds a dino mask and creates his very own costume to go with it. He’s all set for the party — until Puppy arrives with a ripped costume. Can Corduroy help his friend and find himself a new outfit in time for trick-or-treating?
10. “Creepy Carrots!” by Aaron Reynolds
A little bunny named Jasper Rabbit can’t get enough of the carrots in Crackenhopper Field. He eats them every chance he gets, before school, after baseball practice, at night, etc. One day, Jasper’s biggest love becomes his biggest fear when “creepy carrots” start to haunt him! These vegetables stalk him at every turn, scaring him in the field, bathroom, bedroom, and more. But every time Jasper cries out to his parents, they can’t find any creepy carrots. What will Jasper do to escape this madness?!
11. “Creepy Pair of Underwear!” by Aaron Reynolds
Jasper Rabbit returns in the chilling sequel, “Creepy Pair of Underwear!” While shopping with his mom, Jasper (now a big rabbit) decides he wants a pair of cool, creepy underwear. These new underpants are a good fit, but he soon discovers they have a scary green glow when the lights are out! Jasper tries to dispose of the creepy underwear, but they’re indestructible! He tries hiding them, mailing them away, and cutting them up, but they keep returning. Jasper buries the creepy underwear far down in the ground as a last resort. However, when he lies in his dark bedroom that night, Jasper realizes he may need the green glow after all.
12. “Dr. Seuss’s Spooky Things” by Dr. Seuss
Dr. Seuss’s wacky characters Thing One and Thing Two come together in this Halloween book for little kids. The book follows the inseparable duo as they try on all sorts of matching costumes — cats, bats, lions, frogs, and more! This is an easy read for small children, as it uses simple language and rhyming words to keep them engaged.
13. “Eek! Halloween!” by Sandra Boynton
It’s Halloween night, and the chickens are scared and confused about the bizarre things happening around them. They see strange creatures like a wizard, a witch, and a giant mouse and hear unfamiliar sounds like “Boo!” and “Trick or treat!” — what could be going on? You’ll have to read “Eek! Halloween!” to find out!
14. “Five Little Pumpkins on Sesame Street” by Sesame Workshop and Erin Guendelsberger
This colorful Sesame Street book adapts the popular Halloween song for kids, “Five Little Pumpkins.” In this story, Elmo, Cookie Monster, Zoe, Grover, and Abby are dressed up as pumpkins and ready to go trick-or-treating together. Along the way, they encounter a grouchy ghost, witchy twiddlebugs, and other neighbors. Suddenly, a gust of wind sends Zoe’s trick-or-treat bag rolling out of sight! Can her friends find a way to cheer her up?
15. “Goodnight Goon: A Petrifying Parody” by Michael Rex
Here’s an eye-catching Halloween book that parodies the classic bedtime story for kids, “Goodnight Moon.” Instead of a bunny preparing for bed, a little werewolf tries to get some shut-eye in his terrifying tomb. But a Goon disturbs his bedtime routine and summons many creepy creatures, including a witch, a vampire, and mummies. Finally, the old werewolf hollers “Boo!” to drive out the monsters, and the little werewolf gets the Goon under his bed so everyone can sleep peacefully.
16. “Goodnight, Little Monster” by Helen Ketteman
This heartwarming bedtime story is narrated by a mother monster who’s getting her little monster ready for bed. The mom bathes her baby monster, helps it put on its pajamas, and gives it a tasty snack before bedtime: worm juice and beetle bread. Then, mom reads her little monster a good book, ensures no scary children are under the bed, tucks baby into bed, and turns on the nightlight. Reading about these sweet monsters will help your little one calm down before bed, and this story reassures children that mom is still nearby when they’re asleep.
17. “The Gruffalo” by Julia Donaldson
“The Gruffalo” is another monster story that’s appropriate for Halloween. In this book, a cunning mouse walks through the woods, where he encounters several larger animals that want to eat him. Each time, the mouse manages to scare away the animals by warning them of the terrifying gruffalo (which the mouse has made up). The mouse’s plan works fine . . . until he runs into a REAL gruffalo! Of course, the gruffalo finds the mouse appetizing and plans to eat him, but can the mouse outwit this predator?
18. “The Halloween Tree” by Susan Montanari
On a Christmas tree farm, young saplings are excited to grow into big trees for families to take home — except for one grumpy sapling. This one doesn’t like lights, people, or decorations, and instead of growing into a beautiful Christmas tree, the sapling becomes a twisted, crooked tree with no leaves. As the years pass, the farm disappears, and homes are built around the remaining tree. The neighborhood children start to play on the tree, and slowly, the grumpy tree begins to like people and wish for lights and decorations. When parents decide to cut down the tree, the kids must prove its worth, and they decorate it as a spooky Halloween tree.
19. “Hoot Howl Halloween” by Becky Wilson and Parragon Books
This Halloween soundbook is an excellent choice for younger kids! As you read, your little one can press the buttons and hear sounds that will bring the pages to life, including witches cackling, bones rattling, and bats flapping their wings. Kids can easily turn the pages using the character cutouts at the top of the book, making it even more interactive. This rhyming story features cute illustrations that you and your kids will enjoy.
20. “How to Catch a Monster” by Adam Wallace
Have your kids ever been worried about a monster hiding under their bed or inside their closet? This Halloween book is a fun way to show kids there’s nothing to fear! In “How to Catch a Monster,” a courageous young ninja decides that he’s going to be a hero and scare away the giant, green monster who lives in his closet. But after successfully trapping the creature in a cage, the little ninja finds out the monster isn’t as scary as he seems; in fact, he might be his new friend!
21. “How to Make Friends with a Ghost” by Rebecca Green
Here’s another helpful guide that teaches kids how to befriend and care for a ghost. This comprehensive handbook shares everything you need to know about ghosts, including how a ghost can find you and how to bring one home. It also covers feeding (recipes included), recommended activities, bedtime tips, hiding spots for your ghost, and potential hazards. Finally, it explains the benefits of growing up with (and growing old with) your ghost friend.
22. “It’s Pumpkin Day, Mouse!” by Laura Numeroff
From the “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” series, “It’s Pumpkin Day, Mouse!” follows the titular mouse character as he paints several pumpkins for fall. Dog later joins Mouse in the pumpkin patch, and the two decorate pumpkins together. You can use this book to help young kids identify and recognize emotions, such as happiness and sadness, as the characters paint the pumpkins’ faces.
23. “Little Blue Truck’s Halloween” by Alice Schertle
This rhyming, lift-the-flap book is a Halloween story from the Little Blue Truck series. Little Blue Truck is driving to a Halloween party with his friend Toad, picking up all their barnyard friends along the way. The animal friends wear masks and dress up in extravagant and silly costumes. Kids can try to guess which animal is wearing each outfit; then, they can lift the flap to see if their guess is correct!
24. “The Little Ghost Who Was a Quilt” by Riel Nason
This book is about a little ghost who struggles with being different. While his parents and friends are all sheets, this little ghost is a checkered quilt made of heavy fabric, which prevents him from flying well. One Halloween, he and his friends watch humans go trick-or-treating from afar, and the little ghost disguises himself on a porch. Before he knows it, he’s mistaken for an actual quilt! A mother takes the quilted ghost and wraps him around her daughter for warmth. They bring the ghost home, where he feels cozy and is admired by the mother. After escaping, the little ghost tells his friends about his adventures and effortlessly flies through the sky, now appreciating his uniqueness.
25. “Los Gatos Black on Halloween” by Marisa Montes
“Los Gatos Black on Halloween” features English and Spanish words, which is perfect for bilingual kids learning these languages. This book describes all “the creatures of the night” who awaken on Halloween, such as gatos black (black cats), brujas (witches), and fantasmas (ghosts). The creatures gather at a haunted mansion, where they throw a “monstrous ball” and enjoy dancing and playing music. But the worst thing they could imagine happens: a group of trick-or-treaters interrupts the fun!
26. “The Night Before Halloween” by Natasha Wing
We know what happens the night before Christmas, but what about the night before Halloween? All the monsters — mummies, spiders, witches, ghouls, etc. — decorate the house and get ready for trick-or-treaters. All the children, meanwhile, are having sweet dreams of Halloween candy. The next night, the children are in for a surprise when they go trick-or-treating at the monster house! Kids will love this Halloween book with a spooky twist on the holiday bedtime story.
27. “One, Two…Boo!” by Kristen L. Depken
“One, Two…Boo!” takes children through a haunted house with Halloween creatures and items like jack-o’-lanterns, sleeping bats, bubbling and brewing witches’ pots, and frightening ghosts. This book includes flaps on doors, shelves, and more, which kids can lift to reveal special surprises. It’s also an excellent way for kids to practice counting numbers up to 10.
28. “Pug & Pig Trick or Treat” by Sue Lowell Gallion
The lovable pair of Pug and Pig are celebrating Halloween in this charming picture book. Pug and Pig are dressed up for trick-or-treating in their matching skeleton costumes, but while Pig adores her outfit, Pug feels very uncomfortable and tears his to pieces. This leaves Pig sad and lonely, wondering who she will celebrate the holiday with now. However, Pug gets an idea for a new (and more comfy) costume that might save Pig’s Halloween!
29. “Pumpkin Jack” by Will Hubbell
“Pumpkin Jack” explores the circle of life of a jack-o’-lantern. In this book, a boy named Tim carves his first pumpkin, which he calls Jack. Tim believes that Jack is “almost magic” and keeps the pumpkin for as long as he can, but it slowly begins to rot. Instead of throwing Jack away, Tim leaves his pumpkin in the garden to decompose. As the seasons change, a green sprout grows in Jack’s place, and by the next Halloween, Tim is reunited with his beloved pumpkin.
30. “The Roll-Away Pumpkin” by Junia Wonders
In “The Roll-Away Pumpkin,” Marla Little’s giant pumpkin won’t stop rolling away from her! Many townsfolk join Marla in chasing after the giant pumpkin, including the farmer, the baker, and the milkman. But the pumpkin keeps on rolling, and it even rolls into the vegetable parade! Is there anything (or anyone) that can stop it?
31. “Room on the Broom” by Julia Donaldson
“Room on the Broom” is about a witch who (you guessed it!) has lots of room on her broom. The kind witch is soaring through the sky with her cat when she drops her pointy black hat, but a polite dog fetches it and joins the witch on her ride. The witch continues making animal friends that accompany her on her broom — until it snaps from all the weight! That’s when a ferocious dragon appears and tries to eat the witch! But don’t worry, her new friends will come together (literally) to save her.
32. “The Scarecrow’s Dance” by Jane Yolen
This book contains a touching story and stunning illustrations. One windy autumn night, a scarecrow in a cornfield leaps off his stick and gracefully dances away from his post. As he sways down the dirt road, he passes by the barn and approaches the farmhouse, where he spies a boy praying in his bedroom. After hearing the boy’s prayers for a healthy farm, including a blessing for the scarecrow, the dancing straw figure is moved and returns to his post to fulfill his duty.
33. “Snowmen at Halloween” by Caralyn Buehner
In “Snowmen at Halloween,” a boy and his sister build some snowmen and dress them in spooky costumes. When they leave to go trick-or-treating, the boy thinks he sees one of the snowmen wink at him, and he imagines what their snowy creations will do for the holiday. Perhaps they will be in a Halloween parade and attend a carnival? Will they eat sweet treats, navigate a twisted maze, and tell scary stories? Read this to find out!
34. “Spooky Pookie” by Sandra Boynton
This best-selling Halloween book is a delightful read for young kids! In “Spookie Pookie,” little Pookie’s mom tells the young piggy all about trick-or-treating. Before they can participate in the festivities, Pookie must choose the best costume. Pookie looks at the options in the special Halloween costume box, which has a clown costume, a pumpkin costume, and many other choices. Which one will Pookie choose?
35. “Ten Timid Ghosts” by Jennifer O’Connell
Ghosts are supposed to do the scaring, right? Well, not these frightened phantoms. In this story, 10 timid ghosts are terrorized by a mean witch who wants to move into their haunted home. One by one, she drives out the ghouls by scaring them with creatures such as a black cat, a monster, and a vampire. But these unhoused ghosts won’t go away so easily; they’ll give the witch a hair-raising fright that will make her run for the hills.
36. “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat!” by Lucille Colandro
This hilarious book is a Halloween parody of the famous children’s rhyme, “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly.” But instead of swallowing a fly, this peculiar old lady gulps down everything from a bat and some bones to a ghost and a goblin. Find out what happens when she swallows a wizard and yells, “Trick or treat!”
37. “Trick ARRRR Treat: A Pirate Halloween” by Leslie Kimmelman
With pirate words and a catchy refrain, this one is fun to read aloud with your children. In this book, a group of kids are trick-or-treating on Halloween — pirate-style. This means plundering treasure, demanding candy, and NO smiling or being sweet. The merciless band of kid pirates advances through the neighborhood, but something big and furry is tailing them, and it wants a piece of their loot.
38. “The Very Hungry Zombie: A Parody” by Michael Teitelbaum
You’ve probably read Eric Carle’s “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” to your little one, but did you know there’s a Halloween version of this classic children’s book? Written by Michael Teitelbaum, this deliciously dreadful parody follows a brain-eating zombie who can’t get enough to eat! This “horrifically hungry zombie” consumes all kinds of humans, including an astronaut and a circus clown. Watch out, or your kids might catch “zombieitis!”
39. “Where’s My Mummy?” by Carolyn Crimi
This is a cute Halloween-themed bedtime story for children. Little Baby Mummy wants to play “Hide and Shriek” with his mother before bed. He eagerly runs off and hides in the cemetery, waiting for Big Mama Mummy to find him, but she doesn’t come! Little Baby Mummy searches through the woods, the swamp, and a cave, anxiously looking for his mummy. Will he find his mother and return home safely to his bed?
40. “The Witch’s Cat” by Sonica Ellis
This Halloween book touches on themes of diversity and inclusion. Pepper is an adorable black cat that lives in Salem with her Aunt Glinda, a witch. All the cats in town play together, but since Pepper is the only black cat, she worries the others won’t want to be friends with her. Pepper begs her aunt to create a spell to make the other cats like her, and soon after, she makes lots of new friends! But was it her aunt’s spell that did the trick?
And there you have it — 40 of the best Halloween books for kids! We hope these stories fill your October with spooks and smiles. Happy reading! And for more Halloween fun, check out our movie recommendations in Halloween Movies for Kids.