Halloween books are a great way to introduce young kids to spooky season – without them getting too creeped out.
While the best Halloween films are certainly a favourite in most households, they can be a little too scary for the younger viewers. So bring in the likes of Mr Men’s Halloween edition, old school favourites like Funny Bones and newer releases such as Coraline for a gentler introduction to the yearly celebration of ghosts and ghouls.
Whether you’re looking for something to read before bed or Halloween costumes for kids, take a look at these top Halloween books for kids.
Best Halloween books for kids
Funnybones by Janet & Allan Ahlberg
A classic from our own childhood, this is the perfect book to get young children interested in reading. Who can resist a book that begins:
On a dark dark hill – there was a dark dark town.
In the dark dark town – here was a dark dark street . . .
The beauty is in its simplicity, and the repetition and rhyming not only engages the young reader, it’s enjoyable for the parent too. The story of how three skeletons venture out into the night to scare people, only to find everyone is in bed, poses a problem in this funny Halloween classic that just keep on giving.
Mr Tickle and the Scary Halloween by Roger Hargreaves
Published in the UK in 1971 for just 20p a book, the Mr Men, and later Little Miss books, are still as popular as ever – and a great introduction to Halloween for little ones.
In this spooky special, much-loved character Mr Tickle decides to get his own back on Little Miss Scary – who has been doing a good job of frightening everyone at Halloween – by doing what he does best: tickling.
Sure to get a giggle or two out of the kids, these vibrant and colourful books aim to capture your child’s imagination, and this fun edition is no exception.
Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson
As far as picture books go, this has to be one of the most loved. Former Children’s Laureate and author of The Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson has an innate talent for verse. The rhymes are wonderful for kids and parents alike – and let’s be honest, if we’re going to read these books with our children, we need to enjoy them too!
This story of a friendly witch and her cat is a fantastic Halloween read. Flying over forests, rivers and mountains, a storm soon brews up and she loses her hat and wand. Fortunately, there are some friends willing to help out. The more the merrier, right? Until the broom becomes a little too laden with friends…
Humorous, joyous to read – and a warm tale of friendship, this captivating story is one you’ll want to read again and again – and not just on October 31st.
How to make friends with a ghost by Rebecca Green
If you’re looking for a cute seasonal read, look no further than this adorable picture book – a heartwarming guide to befriending a ghost.
Aimed at younger children, these ghosts aren’t the usual eerie type. Oh no, these are fluffy, marshmallow-like characters that like eating earwax truffles and being read to at bedtime. This retro-inspired book of a little girl who makes lifelong friends with a ghost is as much about the illustrations as it is the story. The artwork is subtle yet beautiful – a perfect gift for Halloween.
Daisy and the trouble with Vampires by Kes Gray
There’s a lot of love for the Daisy series. These stories are a great step up from picture books, and whilst they still have illustrations, there’s more words and 5-year-olds + can even start to read them alone.
In this edition, it is Halloween and Daisy is going trick-or-treating for the first time. Daisy’s arch-enemy Jack Beechwhistle has been telling Daisy and her best friend Gabby all sorts of scary tales, but they’re determined not to believe him. But, once they’re out in the dark and in fog – that becomes a little harder.
Kids will delight in this innocent spooky story, and Daisy’s use of ‘And the trouble with…’ which prevails through all her books. Sure to instil a love of reading for children beginning to take a real interest in books, this is a Halloween must.
The Creakers by Tom Fletcher
When McFly frontman Tom Fletcher had instant success with his debut novel The Christmasaurus, it was hugely exciting to hear there would be more from the talented band member.
For 7+ kids, this fun and imaginative read is sure to delight. When Lucy Dungston wakes up to find all the adults in their town have disappeared, the other children seem thrilled. But, Lucy wants her Mum back and, standing up for what she believes in, she sets out on a quest. It is then, we find out just who The Creakers are… and actually, they’re pretty cute.
A Halloween mystery that slightly older children will enjoy, this is as much a story about friendship as it is an adventure, and the illustrations are fantastic.
The Witches by Roald Dahl
If your child is easily spooked, you may need to read this one with them. Of course, it’s fabulous – it’s Roald Dahl, but a story about real witches who look like nice, ordinary ladies certainly sparks their imaginations.
When a seven-year-old boy (whose name we never learn) goes to live with this grandmother, he realises that witches do exist and not just that, they can make children disappear. The descriptions are delicious and witty and are sure to pull even the most reluctant readers in.
Who doesn’t love the idea that witches always wear gloves to hide heir claws, or that they’re bald and their spit is blue? Believe us, even as an adult you’ll love re-reading this – it’s Dahl at his best.
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
For the children who like their stories a little creepy – meet Coraline Jones.
In this slightly sinister book Coraline decides one rainy day that she will explore her new home – only to find there’s one door that doesn’t seem to open. It’s only when she finds a secret passage in to the other house that she realises just what is behind that door – and it is here that everything seems wonderful; the food, the toys, the parents with button-black eyes.
But, she soon realises that if she is to stay there, she may never come back.
In this short novel, Gaiman paints a vivid picture of a courageous and quirky girl who decides she must fight for what is right. Magical, mysterious and eerily intriguing, Coraline will be remembered by children long after they’ve finished the last page.