I'm Lindsay Ferrier, a Nashville writer with a passion for family travel, exploring Tennessee, and raising kids without losing my mind in the process. This is where I share my discoveries, along with occasional deep thoughts, pop culture tangents and a sprinkling of snark. Want to get in touch? Use the CONTACT form at the top of the page.
October 9, 2013
I love October- not only for the fall festivals, the recipes, and the decorating possibilities, but also for the great reading opportunities.
As soon as October rolls around, I pull out all of our Halloween favorites from the bookshelves and try to read one Halloween-themed book to the kids each night before bed. We’ve collected some great ones over the years and I’ve also reserved a bunch of new Halloween books from the library to fill in the gaps. Below are ten of our all-time favorites so far– You’ll find ideas here for small children all the way up to tweens. I made this list a few years ago and so many people have searched for it that I knew it was time to give it another go-round. Enjoy!
We pull out Room on the Broom every Halloween and it never gets old. Both of my kids love this rhyming story about a witch who tries to find room on the broom for all her animal friends. It’s definitely one of the best Halloween books of all time. As an added bonus, the makers of the FABULOUS movie The Gruffalo just released their version of Room on the Broom on DVD. It’s well done and worth watching.
The Hallo-Wiener was such a hit with my children that I ended up buying it in hardback. The School Library Journal says this may be the funniest Halloween story ever written– and I have to agree.
Halloween Night is another delightful rhyming tale with pictures that will keep your children totally entertained. My 4-year-old son pulls this book out year-round, just to look at the illustrations.
The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything is my all-time favorite Halloween book. I have yet to read it to a child who did not get totally absorbed in the story, repeating back all the elements of the “spooky” Halloween pumpkin man who follows this Little Old Lady as she makes her way home. We LOVE this one!
Jerry Seinfeld Halloween is a vibrantly-illustrated picture book that’s every bit as fun for adults to read as it is for kids. The year it came out, I picked it up in the bookstore and ended up reading every page and laughing out loud. Now, I’m ordering it for our family picture book collection.
This year, my husband has begun reading stories to my children from what has to be one of the best kids’ books EVER, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (and its sequels, which are just as good). I remember taking this book to all my sleepovers as a kid and reading the stories to my friends late at night. It’s deliciously scary, without going too far. Recommended for slightly older kids- My seven and four-year-olds don’t scare easily and they’re eating these stories up.
There’s no better month than October to introduce your emerging readers to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I read book one to my daughter when she was in kindergarten and she was completely enthralled.
This was probably my all-time favorite “scary” book as a kid. The House with a Clock in Its Walls is perfect for readers around the age of 10. John Bellairs is a genius at creating age-appropriate creepiness for kids, and if your child loves this book (and he or she will, I can guarantee it), there’s good news- This is the first book in a series of spooky mysteries written by Bellairs!
Another wonderfully creepy selection from Neil Gaiman is The Wolves in the Walls, a picture book that’s perfect for slightly older children (recommended for grades 2-4). Gaiman manages to spin a tale that’s thoroughly scary without going too far- Lucy, the heroine, is reassuringly brave and levelheaded, and her demeanor will keep your kids calm as well.
What are your favorite Halloween books for kids? Share them in the comments!