Having a little one completely focused on what you’re saying and how you’re saying it can sometimes make you feel like you’re a bona fide voice actor when you’re really one coffee short of keeping it together. As a bonus, the stories are always pretty cute, too. But after what seems like the millionth time with the book of the moment, reading to kids can get a little old. That’s where holiday and special event books come in: They bring a little cheer and clarity to a moment or season, and they shake up the bedtime book routine enough to keep things interesting.
Since Halloween is already a beloved holiday for the costumes, candy, and pumpkins, Halloween books are the next best thing to build anticipation for the big night. In the stories, familiar Halloween characters like pumpkins, witches, and black cats get to tell their festive tales.
From a story of a trick-or-treating dachshund to a wand-dropping witch, here are eight of the best Halloween books for kids. Add them to your rotation now to (pumpkin) spice up your kids' bedtime reading ritual.
In Dav Pilkey’s pun-filled children's Halloween book, Oscar the dachshund faces ridicule when, at his mom's insistence, he dresses as a hot dog for Halloween. After Oscar does something brave, those who previously made fun of him see the error in their ways and honor him with a new nickname: “Hero Sandwich.” It's a great story for teaching kids about kindness and empathy.
A classic children's Halloween book, The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything follows the book’s namesake character as she has the scare of her life. The rhythmic “clomp, clomp, shake, shake, clap, clap” cues in the book prove it to be one of the best for reading aloud.
In Room on the Broom, a witch and her cat are flying when a gust of wind knocks the witch’s hat, bow, and wand away. A group of animals helps her find the missing items, but they’d like a ride on the broom in return. The question in this Halloween book for kids then becomes: Will they all fit?
If you’re familiar with Clifford, the big red dog, you know he lives up to his descriptions. When it comes time for Halloween, Emily Elizabeth is in a bind. What will fit him? In Clifford’s Halloween, she solves the problem.
If you’re familiar with the tune “The Itsy Bitsy Spider,” you’ll have The Itsy Bitsy Pumpkin in the bag. In this Halloween book for kids, we follow the story of a little pumpkin trying to find his way home. After he finds a friendly witch, he gets back to his spot on the porch in no time.
What’s everywhere on Halloween? Pumpkins. In Smriti Prasadam-Hall’s Pumpkins, Pumpkins Everywhere, a group of four trick-or-treaters goes on an adventure as they make their way to their town’s pumpkin parade, one rhyme at a time.
Cool cat Pete sings a new rendition of the children’s song “Five Little Pumpkins” that’s just right for Halloween. The children's Halloween book is full of author James Dean’s vibrant illustrations, and the board book format can hold up to your kids' bedtime ritual, even if it becomes a new favorite.
This fun read is interactive, so assign everyone a part (and a voice) to read, and the whole crew will be chanting along.
In Alice Schertle’s Little Blue Truck’s Halloween, Little Blue Truck picks up his animal friends to go to a costume party. This Halloween book for kids invites readers along for a rhyming ride with Little Blue Truck, his buddy Toad, and a black cat. In the process, Little Blue takes some of the mystery and fear out of Halloween costumes.