Picture books are a great way for families to revel in the fun–and the spookiness!–of the Halloween season. Each October, my kids are excited to pull out our old favorites and discover new ones. Here are over 15 Halloween picture books that we’re loving right now.
If I’ve missed one of your favorites, please share in the comments! For my master list of book lists, click/tap here.
Note: After each author’s name, I’ve designated the book’s general age range (T=Toddler, P=Preschooler, EE=Early Elementary, LE=Late Elementary).
Favorite Halloween Picture Books
Scary, Scary Halloween by Eve Bunting, pictures by Jan Brett (P).
A parade of scary creatures—a ghost, goblins, witches, and more—turn out to be nothing more than young trick-or-treaters in this gently frightening, but ultimately reassuring, story.
Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper (P, EE).
When Duck disrupts Squirrel and Cat’s pumpkin soup-making routine, their subsequent quarrel results in a reevaluation of their friendship and the realization that sometimes it’s okay to mix things up.
Where’s My Mummy? by Carolyn Crimi, illustrated by John Manders (T, P).
A brave little mummy isn’t scared by the skeleton, swamp creature, or vampire he encounters when he plays hide-and-seek—but then a mouse frightens him and he’s rescued by Mama Mummy, who lovingly takes him home to bed.
Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler (P, EE).
In this well-loved story, a friendly witch welcomes a cat, dog, bird and frog onto her broom. When the broom breaks and the witch is captured by a hungry dragon, the animals return her kindness by coming to her rescue.
The Pomegranate Witch by Denise Doyen, illustrated by Eliza Wheeler (EE, LE).
When neighborhood children decide to pick pomegranates from a local tree, they trigger an epic battle with the tree’s owner, a fearsome witch (or so they think). This rhyming story’s relative complexity make it best suited for elementary-age kids.
Pumpkin Jack by Will Hubbell (P, EE).
After Tim reluctantly leaves Jack, his rotting jack-o-lantern, out in a field, he observes what happens to it throughout the year—and by the next Halloween, Jack’s seeds have grown into enough pumpkin plants to supply Tim and all his friends with pumpkins.
At the Old Haunted House by Helen Ketteman, illustrated by Nate Wragg (P, EE).
In this spooky take on the classic song “Over in the Meadow,” a variety of creatures and their kids (including ghosts, mummies, monsters, and more) make preparations for the arrival of trick-or-treaters and a Halloween bash.
Ghosts in the House! by Kazuno Kohara (T, P, EE).
A little girl discovers her new home is haunted by ghosts—but the girl isn’t afraid because she’s a witch and knows just what to do with ghosts (spoiler: she puts them in the washing machine and uses them as curtains and tablecloths).
Halloween Night by Marjorie Dennis Murray, illustrations by Brandon Dorman (P, EE).
In this fun riff on the poem, “The Night Before Christmas,” ‘tis Halloween Night and a horde of scary creatures are having a blast as they party in an old haunted house.
Shake Dem Halloween Bones by W. Nicola-Lisa, illustrated by Mike Reed (P, EE).
On Halloween night, costumed fairy tale characters gather together for a happening, hip-hop Halloween party where they “shake, shake, shake dem Halloween bones.”
Goodnight Goon: A Petrifying Parody by Michael Rex (P, EE).
“In the cold gray tomb / There was a gravestone / And a black lagoon / And a picture of — / Martians taking over the moon.” Anyone who has read the classic Goodnight Moon (isn’t that everybody?) will get a kick out of this fun parody.
Little Blue Truck’s Halloween by Alice Schertle, illustrated by Jill McElmurry (T, P)
The beloved Little Blue Truck is headed to a Halloween party, and readers can lift the flaps to discover which animals are disguised by various costumes. The story concludes as a giant flap reveals Little Blue Truck beneath a ghostly sheet.
Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Peter Brown (P, EE).
Jasper Rabbit loves eating the carrots in Crackenhopper Field—until the carrots begin haunting him! When Jasper finally builds a fence (and a moat) to keep the carrots in the field, he unknowingly gives them just want they want—safety from Jared.
Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman, illustrated by S. D. Schindler. A pumpkin pie-loving witch grows a pumpkin that’s too big for her to carry, so she enlists the help of a variety of spooky creatures. Nothing works until a bat arrives and suggests they all work together to solve the problem.
Mouse’s First Halloween by Lauren Thompson, illustrated by Buket Erdogan (T, P).
This sweet story helps young children process the frightfulness of Halloween—after encountering a number of unnerving sights and sounds, Mouse discovers each one is “not so scary after all.”
Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White, illustrated by Megan Lloyd (P, EE).
When a kind but pumpkin-hating old woman ends up with too many pumpkins growing in her yard, she discovers the perfect solution to her problem—she can share pumpkin treats and jack-o-lanterns with her friends.
The Little Old Lady Who Wasn’t Afraid of Anything by Linda D. Williams, illustrated by Megan Lloyd (P, EE).
An old lady walking home in the dark shows no fear of the shoes that follow her (“CLOMP, CLOMP”)—even when the shoes are joined by pants, a shirt, gloves, and more (without a body). As this delightfully spooky story concludes, the old lady finds the perfect way to deal with the haunted clothing.
Need to Read!
How to Make Friends with a Ghost by Rebecca Green.
The Wompananny Witches Make One Mean Pizza by Jennie Palmer.
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