While pulling books for the Halloween display at school, I realized that some of the best titles out there aren’t traditionally thought of as “Halloween books”…but they fit perfectly in the category. From nonfiction to folklore, beginner readers to award-winners, these books are decidedly Halloween-ish: a bit spooky, a bit scary, but nary a mention of the candy-and-costume holiday. With common Halloween characters and themes, these titles are perfect for those in need of a non-Halloween book or looking to mix up their October reading selections.
Note: J-girl and my boy H, watching me download pics, commented positively on almost all of these books. These titles have kid-approval!
Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds
A young bunny, happily stealing carrots from the local patch, gets an unexpected surprise one day: the carrots seem to be following him! Caldecott Honor Award.
Hoodwinked by Arthur Howard
Young Mitzi the witch is desperate for a creepy pet and is unprepared when a cute, cuddly furball shows up on her doorstep.
I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll
When Ethan’s under the bed monster, Gabe, goes on vacation, he’s unable to sleep and must interview other scary types to fill in until Gabe returns.
A Place for Bats by Melissa Stewart
An engaging nonfiction narrative about the importance and usefulness of bats within our communities and world.
The Tailypo: a ghost story retold by Paul Galdone
After its tail gets chopped off , a faceless creature haunts the woodsman until the tail is returned. NOTE: VERY SCARY. Share with ages 8+. A classic folktale.
Bone Soup by Cambria Evans
When no one shares food with Finnigin, a hungry skeleton, he persuades a town of other creepy creatures to cook up a pot of tasty Bone Soup. A version of the classic folktale Stone Soup.
The Monstore by Tara Lazar
Zack visits the Monstore, hidden underneath a candy shop, hoping to find a monster scary enough to keep his sister from entering his room.
Fly Guy and the Frankenfly by Tedd Arnold
Young Buzz falls asleep one night, dreaming that his pet Fly Guy turns into Frankenfly! An I Can Read book perfect for emerging readers!
Vampirina Ballerina by Anne Marie Pace
A vampire girl dreams of becoming a ballerina and perseveres with hard work and the support of her family.
Even Monsters Need Haircuts by Matthew McElligott
A young boy takes over his dad’s barber shop each full moon, giving haircuts to the scariest guys in town.