Best Halloween Books for Kids Reviewed in 2018

Pumpkins, ghosts, goons, and ghouls, oh my! Halloween is coming, hooray! Reading to your child has many benefits. Reading can help you to form a close bond because you are usually sitting close to your child and snuggling. When you read aloud to your child it helps them to learn to love reading and it also helps them to form the foundations of reading. Reading holiday specific books can be fun and rewarding. There are several types of Halloween children’s books. Some are cute, while others are scary. We have found the top ten Halloween books and ranked them based on the ratings and reviews of parents and caregivers just like you. Look ahead to see the best Halloween children’s books.  

Read early, read often. This is how you get your children interested in the written word. Reading will expand their vocabulary and their imagination. Reading to your children will expand their intelligence and allow their imagination to grow. When you read holiday specific books to children you are sharing your traditions with them and creating lasting memories. Holiday books help children to learn how different families celebrate specific holidays and why people celebrate holidays. Halloween books specifically let children know that we celebrate Halloween to dress up and collect candy for fun. There are scary elements, but it is mostly all in good fun. Reading about Halloween can help children to understand that Halloween is not just about fear, it is also about fun.

Add some of these books to your home collection now! Reading a variety of books to your child will reap many benefits. Halloween books will introduce the concepts of the holiday and help you to start family traditions. Do you plan on carving pumpkins each year? Pumpkin Jack is the perfect book for you! Are you going to take your child trick or treating? At The Old Haunted House will have your kids wanting to knock at the scariest doors in your neighborhood. Do you want to have some educational fun? We have a few books that will help with learning to count and gain early math skills. All of the books on our list will offer benefits to you and your children. Check out the list below to find the perfect Halloween books for your family!   

10 Best Halloween Books

 

1. Room on the Broom

1. Room on the Broom
This book was written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Sheffler. It is our number one pick.
Expand to see more
This Halloween story written in 2003 is a fantastic read. It will have your children giggling and gasping as they follow the witch and her cat on their adventures.

Benefits
The entire story is written in rhyme. The cadence of this story is merry and fanciful. There are helpful characters that help the witch throughout her journey. This book shows children that helping others is a good thing.

What We Like About It
The witch encounters some problems along the way and makes new friends. She is kind to her friends and they return the favor at the end of the book when they all encounter a dragon! Kindness counts and this book is a great example.

Cost and Value
The price for the paperback copy of this book is just under the median price for our list. This cute rhyming book is a great value. It teaches your children that helping others helps you make new friends.
Pros

Written in rhyme

A theme of friendship

Great pictures

A theme of helping others

Not a scary book

Cons

There are two versions of the book. You might not get what you expect.

2. Big Pumpkin

2. Big Pumpkin
Big Pumpkin is written by Erica Silverman and illustrated by S.D. Schindler, it has our number two spot. This cute book is about a gardening witch with a very large problem.
Expand to see more
All of her spooky friends come by to help, and none of them are successful. Then the bat comes by with a great idea and saves the day.

Benefits
This book has the fantastic theme of teamwork and helping out your friends. It does a great job of sticking with the Halloween theme because of the use of spooky Halloween characters. The pictures are cute and the text is easy to read.

What We Like About It
This book is all about problem-solving. It teaches kids not to give up and to ask for help when there is a problem to solve. It also teaches them that the solution to a problem can come from the most unlikely of places.

Cost and Value
The cost for the paperback version of this book is just over our median price range. It is a very cute Halloween themed story that can teach your littles some great lessons. This book is a great value!
Pros

A theme of teamwork

Teaches problem-solving

Cute illustrations

Teaches that even the small guy can solve the big problem

Great use of Halloween characters

Cons

There is one scene in the book where the witch kicks the pumpkin

3. Ten Timid Ghosts

3. Ten Timid Ghosts
Ten Timid Ghosts was written and illustrated by Jennifer O’Connell, it has taken our number three spot. This counting book has lots of spooky Halloween characters.
Expand to see more
There is even a haunted house! You will count your way through the haunted house using cute little ghosts to guide your journey.

Benefits
This is a counting book. It will help to introduce your little one to counting from one thru ten. You can use each page to practice counting as you tour the haunted house. This book is written in rhyme to help your little one remember their numbers. The illustrations are very charming and fit well with the theme of the story.

What We Like About It
The use of Halloween characters is well done. The haunted house is even a character in this cute counting story. This is a designated Read With Me Paperback. It is intended to help your little guy or gal read along with you and eventually read the story to you.

Cost and Value
The paperback version of this book is at the bottom of our list for price. It is a great book to read with your little ones. The rhyme scheme will help them to remember their numbers. This book is a great value!
Pros

Helps introduce counting

Rhyming text

Charming illustrations

Spooky characters

It is a Read With Me Paperback

Cons

Some of the rhymes are not very creative

4. The Spooky Wheels on the Bus

4. The Spooky Wheels on the Bus
The Spooky Wheels on the Bus was written by J. Elizabeth Mills and illustrated by Ben Mantle; this is our number four pick for best Halloween books for kids.
Expand to see more
This is a Halloween themed take on the classic children’s song ‘The Wheels on the Bus’. You can sing your way through this cute Halloween themed book. It is a counting book with many cute twists and turns to keep your children’s attention.

Benefits
This book offers a Halloween twist on the children’s classic ‘The Wheels on the Bus’. Children will love singing along with the familiar tune. They will enjoy learning new words to one of their favorite songs. This is a great book if you have musical little munchkins.

What We Like About It
This book also teaches counting. As you ride around town on this spooky bus you pick up many eerie passengers. Each verse of the song adds another number and you can count the objects with your child to help reinforce early math concepts.

Cost and Value
The price for this book is at the bottom of our list. You children will love learning new lyrics to a familiar song and you will like teaching them early math concepts. This book is a great buy.
Pros

A Halloween adaptation of a favorite children’s song

Reinforces early math concepts

Has a spooky cast of characters

Adorable illustrations

Great to sing along with

Cons

Some people are disappointed that it is just a song adaptation

5. Danny and the Dinosaur: Happy Halloween

5. Danny and the Dinosaur: Happy Halloween
Our number five pick is Danny the Dinosaur: Happy Halloween written and illustrated by Syd Hoff.
Expand to see more
This is a classic children’s book that was first published in 1958. This is definitely an oldie, but a goodie. It follows Danny and his giant dinosaur pal on their Halloween adventures.

Benefits
This book shows a great group of friends out having some innocent Halloween fun. Danny and his dinosaur dress up in costumes and walk through the neighborhood collecting candy and lots of stares from the neighbors.

What We Like About It
This is an I Can Read book, so your little one should be able to read along with you rather quickly if it is at their proper reading level. This edition of the book includes over 30 stickers, a poster, and a pumpkin stencil to extend the Halloween fun.

Cost and Value
The cost for this classic paperback treasure is just above our median price range. It is a great value because it comes with many extras to extend the Halloween fun. You and your little one will love reading this book together.
Pros

An I Can Read book

Includes stickers, a poster, and a stencil

Shows friends being kind

Brings imagination to life

A classic book first published in 1958

Cons

No non-white characters

6. The Hallo-Wiener

6. The Hallo-Wiener
This super fun Halloween book will have your kiddos in stitches. Oscar the Weiner dog will take them on a fun adventure on Halloween night.
Expand to see more
You will meet other dogs along the way as Oscar works to save the day. This will be one book you enjoy reading multiple times because you will be laughing too.

Benefits
This book shows kids that you should continue to work hard even when you may feel down. In this story, other dogs make fun of Oscar because he looks different and is a bit slower than the other dogs. Oscar overcomes the teasing to show the other dogs that he is a great dog by solving a big problem.

What We Like About It
The hero of this book is literally the underdog. This Halloween tale will teach your little ones to persevere through tough times and prove themselves when others do not believe in them. It will also deliver a few laughs along the way.

Cost and Value
The cost of this cute and funny book is just above our median price on the list. It is a fantastic book because it teaches your little ones to be strong and is super funny.
Pros

Humorous

Teaches your little ones to persevere

Great illustrations

Spooky backgrounds

Easy to read

Cons

Dogs tease Oscar

7. Pumpkin Jack

7. Pumpkin Jack
Will Hubbell’s Pumpkin Jack is our number seven choice. This a sweet tale of change. A child carves the perfect pumpkin for Halloween.
Expand to see more
He learns that things do not last forever as he watches the pumpkin change over the course of the next few weeks.

Benefits
This book is great to read to children to introduce change. Many kids are afraid of things changing. This book shows them that change is a natural part of life. The pumpkin changes into a Jack-o-Lantern and then deteriorates back into the ground by the end of the book.

What We Like About It
This can be used to teach the life cycle to smaller children. It is a sweet story with a big message. You will enjoy sharing Pumpkin Jack with your family over Halloween.

Cost and Value
This book is just over the average price for books on our list. It has a subtle but strong message about change. This book is a fantastic addition to your home library.
Pros

Detailed illustrations

Easy to read

A message of change

Teaches the life cycle

Halloween themed

Cons

Not as fun or funny as other Halloween themed books

8. At the Old Haunted House

8. At the Old Haunted House
Helen Kettemen is the author and Nate Wragg does illustrations in our number eight pick At The Old Haunted House. This is a rousing tale of a haunted house party.
Expand to see more
It includes all manner of spooky characters and even a few trick or treaters. This is a fun book to read before going trick or treating on Halloween night.

Benefits
This book will introduce your little ones to all types of spooky creatures. They will see mummies, bats, and witches galore. There are also goblins, werewolves, and vampires inside. This is a spooktacular story perfect for Halloween!

What We Like About It
THis is not just a fantastic book. It also includes a counting game. On the back cover, you are challenged to find a certain number of objects throughout the story. This will help non-readers to feel included in the story and have your kiddos searching the pages.

Cost and Value
This book is the most expensive on our list. It has hand painted illustrations that are breathtakingly spooky. The search and find features make this a great value for your family.
Pros

Beautifully painted illustrations

Spooky characters

Chilling backgrounds

Search and find counting fun

Haunted house fun

Cons

This choice may be a bit scary for wee ones

9. One, Two...Boo!

9. One, Two...Boo!
One, Two...Boo! Is a board book by Kristen L. Depken; it is out number nine choice. This book is filled with creepy Halloween characters. It is great for children who are just learning to read.
Expand to see more
They can read along with you or read this book to you. This is also a great book to help reinforce counting. You will love the educational value of this book and your child will love the cute story.

Benefits
This board book is fantastic for babies. It will introduce even your smallest child to the fascinating world of books without them ripping pages out. The Halloween themes story will keep them interested with cute illustrations and numbers.

What We Like About It
Each page of this book has a lift the flap surprise. As you read along you will come to each flap and you can lift it or have your little one lift it for a fun little treat. You will be having fun and teaching your little one the basics of counting when you read this book together.

Cost and Value
This book is on the low end of prices for our list. It is a great value because you are teaching your child about counting and the art of surprise. They will love lifting the flaps on each page and getting to turn the pages themselves. This little board book is a great value.
Pros

Board book

Lift the flap on each page

Cute illustrations

Well written

Counting fun

Cons

Not a great choice for older children

10. Goodnight Goon: a Petrifying Parody

10. Goodnight Goon: a Petrifying Parody
Michael Rex is the author and illustrator of our number ten choice Goodnight Goon. This book is a ghoulish parody of the classic bedtime story Goodnight Moon.
Expand to see more
You will find many frights throughout this book. It is not for the child that scares easily. If you have a child who loves a little fright this is a great pick for you.

Benefits
In this book, you get to visit a monster filled tomb. You will say goodnight to all of the spooky things inside. The illustrations are fantastic and follow along with the story perfectly.

What We Like About It
This is a sturdy board book that is great for children of all ages. It will not be easily destroyed and the story is interesting enough to keep the attention of older children. The rhyme scheme makes it easier for older children to read.

Cost and Value
This book falls into our middle price range. It is a fantastic choice for your Halloween library is you want a book that will work for multiple age groups.
Pros

Board book

Rhyming text

Fantastic illustrations

Keeps the attention of older children

Spooky

Cons

This book may be too spooky for younger children

Snuggle up with your little ones today and pick a spooky or heartwarming tale to share with them. You don’t have to worry about the book we have listed, because we only rate and rank the best books we can find. Finding the best of the best books is not always easy, but we work hard for you to find what your family wants and needs. Enjoy a Halloween tale today! All of the books on this list are the top rated and reviewed Halloween themed children’s books. We are here to help you find the best things for your family!

Criteria Used in Evaluation of the Best Halloween Books

Highly Rated and Well Reviewed

Selecting books is very subjective. Each individual is going to have an opinion on what is the best type of book. We looked at the ratings and reviews of individual books to find the best books for your children. Each book on this list has at least 4.5 stars and over 200 reviews. This means that they have been purchased by a lot of different people and they are well liked by many. This is the best measure we can use to rate books. Each book on this list also has glowing reviews from several readers.

Easy to Read

These are children’s books so we made sure that they are at the appropriate reading level for a child to read. We did not include any short novels, because we wanted to ensure that the books can be read by children or to children by a caregiver in one sitting or at bedtime. These books are all appropriate for all ages of children. Some are better for younger children, because of the level of the book. It is very beneficial to children if you select books that are a few levels above their current reading level when you are reading aloud. This will give them something to aspire to and expose them to more difficult reading in a relaxed environment. We also made sure to include a book with rhyming text. Books that rhyme help children learn to read more quickly and help to raise their confidence in reading. When a child is reading a rhyming book they only need to really know the ending sounds of the rhyming words. The beginning sounds are usually easy to sounds out. These types of books can help to raise a child’s vocabulary level.

Enticing Pictures

Each book on our list has beautiful illustrations that go along with the story. You will be able to see the details of the story in the pictures. Your child will enjoy looking at the pictures as you read. There are hand-painted illustrations, computer generated ones, cute whimsical pictures, and spooky ones. You can use the pictures to discuss other details of the story that may not be written in the text. The enticing pictures in these books will help to hold your child’s attention as you read.

Halloween Themed

The most important criteria for this list is that the books be Halloween themed. We found all types of Halloween books. There are parodies on old classics, books about witches, pumpkins, costumes, school, and haunted houses. Each book on our list has spooky characters or other Halloween related themes. We have haunted houses, monster-filled buses, and spooky journeys. Not all of the books are scary, some of them have heartwarming tales of friendship and overcoming adversity with a Halloween backdrop. Other books are centered around spooky creatures entering a bus or having a party at a haunted house. These books will add to your Halloween collection and make your children excited about the coming holiday. You will be able to find some great books to add to your Halloween collection from this list.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why is reading important?

A: Reading is incredibly important for many reasons. The most important reason reading is important is that we are a society that communicates through the written word. You can not go for a day in modern society and not see something you should read. Ordering food in a restaurant, driving down the street, receiving text messages from your friend, or getting work emails all to require you to read. Reading is also a pleasurable activity. You can read a book to escape your life for a bit or to visit a new location. Reading expands your intelligence and imagination. Reading is also the primary way students learn in school all the way through college-level courses. These are a few of the many reasons reading is very important.   

Q: How can reading aloud benefit my child?

A:  Reading aloud to your child is very important. It does not matter if you are a great reader yourself. Your children will not care. They get to spend time with you and your skills will improve with practice. Reading aloud helps with cognitive development in children. It also helps with language acquisition, because you will probably be reading books with different words than you typically use while speaking in your everyday life. Reading aloud with your child can also increase their creativity and imagination. Reading aloud with your child can also increase their concentration and discipline levels. They will be taught to sit still while you are reading to them because reading is entertaining. These are some of the many benefits of reading aloud to your children.

Q: Why do we celebrate Halloween?

A: Our modern day Halloween is a combination of several ancient festivals.  The Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in) is one such festival. This celebration happened the last day of October after the harvest. It was intended to scare away ghosts over the long dark winter. People would dress up and dance around bonfires. Another such celebration is the Catholic festival of All Saints Day. This was a time where people would dress up in costume and celebrate around fires as well. When America was settled many of these traditions were brought with the settlers of the southern colonies. Over time it has turned into the holiday we celebrate today with trick-or-treating and scary decorations.

Q: When should I start reading to my child?

A: You should read to your child early and often. You can read to them from birth to foster a love of reading and have special bonding time with your little one. With your newborn, you can sit in a rocker or on the sofa and hold a book in one hand while you cradle them and read. It can be a relaxing time for you and your baby. Babies love to hear the voices of their parents. When your little one can sit up you can place them in your lap and allow them to interact with the books by touching them and helping to turn the pages. Once they are big enough you can let the baby hold the book and you can use your finger to follow along with the words as you read and to point out pictures. Continue reading to your child as they grow up, soon they will be reading to you!

Q: What do I do if my child hurts a book?

A: For rips: It depends on the type of rip that happens to the book. If a page is torn you can just tape it with clear scotch tape. If the spine is broken you will want to use a stronger tape to hold the book together. In the situation of a broken spine, a duct style tape will work better. You may want to keep a few different types of tape around in case you come across a book with flaps that need to be reattached or pop up features that no longer pop.

For smudges or writing: It completely depends on the type of smudge or what was used when writing in the book. If your child wrote in a book with a pen, pencil (colored or uncolored), or a crayon you will want to go to an art supply store and get a rubber eraser. A rubber eraser is used by the artist to erase mistakes in paintings. It comes as a small white square. When you use it you roll it in your hand and gently blot it against the page. The marks should easily lift off onto the eraser. This will also work with nonsticky smudges. Please understand that this method might not clean the page entirely, but it will certainly help to clean the page up a bit. If you child has elected to use markers you are out of luck unless they are washable and you catch it the right way. If the markers are washable you may be able to use a small amount of water and a paper towel to blot the color out of the page.

In general: Work with your children to teach them how to properly treat books and put them away after each use. If you come across a repair that needs to be done and the answers are not here you can always check with your local library and see if they do book repairs. Many libraries offer this service to their patrons. You can also take a book into the library and ask their advice on how to best repair the book. 

Q: How did you select these books?

A: These books were selected based on ratings and reviews found in several places. We picked the highest rated Halloween books. Many of them are classics that you may have read as a child, and a few are newer books that are just as fun to read. We also looked at individual reviews for the books. Because they are children’s books we wanted to stay away from anything too scary and stick with the fun and spooky spirit of Halloween. Reading individual reviews helps us to determine how others who are reading these books to their children feel about the book. This is very important because one individual cannot select the best and books without input from others.   

Conclusion

Halloween is a time for scares, treats, and family traditions. Why not make snuggling up with a good Halloween themed book one of those traditions? The books on this list are perfect to add to your home library. You can read them year after year to welcome the spirit of Halloween into your home. We have selected books that are spooky, ones that are cute, some are educational and others are just for fun. Reading to your children has tons of benefits. You can introduce new concepts, review things they have already learned and help their vocabulary to expand. Reading enhances intelligence and helps to grow a child’s imagination. Children have the unique ability to place themselves in a story. You can even use these books to aid in acting out the story in real life. These books will help to create many fantastic Halloween memories in your home.

Sources

  1. Bernice Cullinan, Brod Bagert, Reading with Your Child, Online Article,
  2. Unknown Author, THE IMPORTANCE OF READING TO YOUR CHILDREN, Online Article,
  3. Unknown Author, Halloween 2018, Online Article,
  4. Karen Sokal-Gutierrez, M.D., M.P.H. Pediatrician, When Should I Start Reading to My Baby?, Online Article,
  5. Raeco Library Solutions, Repairing loose and torn book pages, Youtube video,