Friday, October 19, 2018

Children's Books: Halloween Reads

I've shared my favorite Halloween and fall themed picture books before, but we have come across some really great ones in the past few years.  Here are some of the picture books that we have been enjoying that are specifically Halloween themed.

Picture Books:

The Little Shop of Monsters by R.L. Stine - My monster loving son really enjoyed this slightly spooky picture book by the author of Goosebumps.

How to Catch a Monster by Adam Wallace - If you have a child that thinks a monster may live in his or her closet, this is a cute book all about a little boy who befriends the monster that lives in his closet. It's a nice reminder that things aren't always scary!


Monster Academy by Jane Yolen - I am a fan of Jane Yolen, but this book was downright strange. It was really choppy and didn't flow at all. I was shocked that Scholastic would publish this. It has such potential with the idea of the monsters being in school and having to get along, but it just doesn't deliver. I wish I would have read the reviews before I bought it for my son.

Go Away, Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberley - This is a cute one if you have a child who is afraid of the dark or monsters in his or her room. This story literally gives you the control to make those monsters disappear!

Scary, Scary Halloween by Eve Bunting - I adore Eve Bunting's storytelling and her use of rhyme. I loved trying to figure out, along with my son, who the "monsters" were.

The Widow's Broom by Chris Van Allsburg - This has to be one of my favorite new-to-me Halloween picture books. Not only are the illustrations fantastic, but Chris Van Allsburg (known for The Polar Express) has such an amazing way of telling a story that so many ages can enjoy - even adults. I loved this story about a widow who stumbles upon a magical broom. Even the ending was just perfect!


Ghosts in the House! by Kazuno Kahara - This cute picture book can be appreciated by the younger crowd, especially since the illustrations are so vibrant. It's all about a witch who has ghosts in her house. What to do? She's got a plan!

Pumpkin Jack by Will Hubbell - I really enjoyed this story as not only it goes over the "lifecycle" of a pumpkin, but also the story was heartwarming. I liked that it explained how pumpkins rot over time, which is a nice reminder to my son who pretty much wants to keep pumpkins up year round. 

At the Old Haunted House by Helen Kettleman - This is a fun read with very eye-catching illustrations. I liked that it reviewed numbers by counting the different spooky things throughout the house.

The 12 Day of Halloween by Jenna Lettice  - Can we all agree that any books inspired by "The Twelve Days of Christmas" need to be just over with? Who came up with this idea? It's a cute story, in theory, but after you get to the number five repeating all of those things gets seriously monotonous. I'd rather see some sort of twist on the traditional song.


Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson - We have been a fan of The Gruffalo for years, so I was finally excited to sit down and read this adorable tale. I was familiar with it, but it was the first time we read the story in its entirety.  There's friends working together in this story as well as a bit of adventure with a dragon. Halloween reading at its best!

Vampire Boy's Goodnight by Lisa Brown - A vampire boy goes out at night looking for children, because he doesn't believe they exist, but to his surprise, it's Halloween night.  This picture book was just an average read for me.

Chapter Books: 

Sleepy Hollow Sleepover by Ron Roy  - I was new to the A to Z Mysteries series, but my son liked this one. It's his first foray into the mystery genre, so it was fun to try to figure it all out. I appreciated the references to the classic story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

Notebook of Doom series by Troy Cummings - This series is perfect for monster-loving young ones, especially before Halloween. I think the series is just average, but my son is a huge fan. It's all about a young boy and his friends and their adventures as they try to protect the town from monsters.

Haunted Castle on Hallows Eve by Mary Pope Osborne - I adore the Magic Treehouse series and this book in the series is the perfect read for Halloween.  Ghosts? An old castle? Spooky Adventures? Yes, please!

The Spiderwick Chronicles by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black - I read this series with my son and we both really loved it.  It's the perfect combination of adventure, spooky creatures, and magic. This would also be a great series to check out before Halloween.

What are some of your favorite Halloween themed picture books? Have you read any of these? Do you have a favorite chapter book that would be perfect for Halloween? Share your favorites with me in the comments below.

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