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25 Spooky, Silly Halloween Books for Kids

Boo! Read these adorable books with your kiddos to get the whole family in the Halloween spirit.

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halloween kids booksvia (6)

Get spooked with a good book!

While you’re preparing for October 31 with all of your favorite Halloween traditions, break out a good book (or five) to help build anticipation for the big day! From kids looking for some humorous fun to little daredevils who crave a scare, these Halloween books for kids have everything your little bookworm wants.

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I’m Looking for a Monster by Timothy Young

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In this hilarious book, monsters are popping up all over the place. Literally—it’s a pop-up book! A little boy is looking for the perfect monster. Not too scary. Not too big. “It should have horns…but not antlers.” Creative paper engineering helps bring the funny monsters to life. There are plenty of graphic novels for kids to choose from, but I’m Looking for a Monster is definitely on the top of our list. 

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Can You See What I See? On a Scary Scary Night by Walter Wick

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The author of the wildly popular I Spy series happens to have some Halloween books for kids too, including this one, set in and around a hilltop castle. Each two-page spread features stunning, vivid illustrations, along with Wick’s signature and addictive search-and-solve picture puzzles. The book takes its inspiration from the classic folktale In a Dark, Dark Wood. Children will love playing these Halloween party games.

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Frankenstein Takes the Cake by Adam Rex

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Who says Halloween books can’t be funny? The cover line of this super-fun book says it all: Frankenstein Takes the Cake Which is Full of Funny Stuff Like Rotting Heads and Giant Gorillas and Zombies Dressed as Little Girls and Edgar Allan Poe. The Book, We Mean—Not the Cake. Using clever cartoons, poems, advertisements, postcards, announcements, and even the blog of a headless horseman, Adam Rex shows, both creatively and hilariously, that monsters are a lot like you and me. Here are some fun Halloween costumes for kids you can make right at home.

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Holidays Around the World: Celebrate Halloween by Deborah Heiligmanvia

Holidays Around the World: Celebrate Halloween by Deborah Heiligman

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This fun nonfiction book helps teach elementary school-age kids about the history of Halloween and the many different ways people celebrate it around the world. In addition to bringing these unique celebrations to life, Celebrating Halloween provides an important lesson about how different cultures have different customs and traditions that are just as important to them as our holiday traditions are to us. For a primer, check out these ways Halloween is celebrated in different countries.

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Tucker’s Spooky Halloween by Leslie McGuirk

When Tucker was just a puppy, he dressed up as a cute little pumpkin for Halloween. Now that he’s all grown up, he’d rather be spooky than cute. This funny board book follows Tucker as he tries on countless cute costumes before finding just the right one to scare trick-or-treaters away. Want to dress up your own pup? These are the best Halloween costumes for dogs.

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Marvin in the Kooky Spooky House written and illustrated by Lord Tophvia

Marvin in the Kooky Spooky House written and illustrated by Lord Toph

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What curious kid hasn’t wondered if that creepy house down the block is haunted? Older elementary school kids can live vicariously through Marvin, who embarks on a mission to explore a house that sure looks haunted. Of course, with “kooky” in the title, you know there’ll be plenty of fun mixed in with the frights.

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Who Will Haunt My House on Halloween? by Jerry Pallotta and illustrated by David Biedrzycki

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Spooky bats and zombies. Spiders and skinny skeletons. These are just some of the scary creatures that show up at a little girl’s door to trick or treat on Halloween night. But are they real? A suspenseful story and colorful illustrations make this book a fun Halloween choice. These Halloween puns will have you laughin’ till you’re coffin.

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How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? by Margaret McNamara and illustrated by G. Brian Karas

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Which pumpkin has the most seeds? The biggest, medium-sized, or smallest pumpkin? Mr. Tiffin asks his class and an investigation is underway. The answer is surprising in this sweet story that features lessons on math, science, and kindness. Fun pumpkin facts at the end are a fun added bonus. Don’t miss these amazing pumpkin carving stencils.

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The Ugly Pumpkin by Dave Horowitzvia

The Ugly Pumpkin by Dave Horowitz

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This classic puts a Halloween twist on the story of the Ugly Duckling. An oddly-shaped pumpkin sees Halloween come and go, sad when none of the visitors to the pumpkin patch choose him. But what if…he’s been looking for his time to shine on the wrong holiday? Check out these great no-carve ways to decorate pumpkins.

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Bats at the Library written and illustrated by Brian Lies

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In this stunningly illustrated book, readers will experience the joys of the public library through the eyes of book-loving bats. “Another inky evening’s here / The air is cool and calm and clear. Can it be true? Oh, can it be? Yes! Bat Night at the library!” Nocturnal bats remind us there’s nothing like the enchantment of storytime. Check out the most popular Halloween costume the year you were born..

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Where’s My Mummy?  by Carolyn Crimi and illustrated by John Manders

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Little baby mummy is stalling at bedtime and wants just one more game of Hide-and-Shriek. As the game gets underway, little baby mummy runs into Drac, Glob, Bones, and other wacky creatures. Baby mummy isn’t scared until a tiny creature pops out of a tree. Comical illustrations and the comfort of landing in mama mummy’s arms make this a satisfying read.

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Los Gatos Black on Halloween by Marisa Montes and illustrated by Yuyi Moralesvia

Los Gatos Black on Halloween by Marisa Montes and illustrated by Yuyi Morales

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In this beautifully illustrated book, a troupe of Halloween creatures prepares for a ball. While primarily in English, Los Gatos Black seamlessly incorporates Spanish words for common Halloween concepts—with context clues and illustrations providing youngsters with instant knowledge of what they mean.

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Little Monsters by Jan Pieńkowski

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“This little monster plays with his food. This little monster’s very rude.” Kids will love the impressive paper engineering behind this pithy pop-up book featuring colorful monsters and clever descriptions. Check out these simple and cheap Halloween decorations you can make with the family at home!

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Shake dem Halloween Bones by W. Nikola-Lisa and illustrated by Mike Reedvia

Shake dem Halloween Bones by W. Nikola-Lisa and illustrated by Mike Reed

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Your favorite fairy tale characters—yes, this story trades the usual witchy, ghostly creatures of Halloween books for classic characters like L’il Red Riding Hood and Tom Thumb—are ready to have a rollicking Halloween party! The hip-hop style text of this picture book will have young readers tapping their toes. Share some of these fun Halloween quotes with your kids to get them in the spooky spirit.

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winnie the poohvia

Winnie the Pooh’s Halloween by Bruce Talkington

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There’s no shortage of Halloween books for kids about everyone’s favorite silly old bear, but this one might be the best-loved! Pooh and his friends from the Hundred Acre Wood decide to celebrate Halloween by dressing up as the scariest thing they can think of, which leads to some wonderfully funny costume choices. Pooh dresses up as a honeybee, and the neatnik Rabbit attaches cotton balls to himself because his worst fear is a dust bunny! But what happens when the gang hears something that sounds a lot like a real spook? Here are some scary good Halloween riddles.

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Five Little Pumpkins by Dan Yaccarino

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The youngest Halloween celebrants will enjoy this delightfully simple rhyming story that also teaches the basics of counting. Dan Yaccarino’s pictures, where each of the pumpkins sports a different fun facial expression, bring this traditional Halloween poem to life. This is why we carve pumpkins on Halloween in the first place.

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10 Busy Brooms by Carole Gerber and illustrated by Michael Flemingvia

10 Busy Brooms by Carole Gerber and illustrated by Michael Fleming

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A more complex counting book for slightly older readers, 10 Busy Brooms features a fun cast of witches on brooms flying past their colorful Halloween companions. If you’ve got a particularly eagle-eyed young reader, they’ll love looking for the owl and cat, who pop up on every page. Learn about the fascinating history behind the creepy creatures we celebrate on Halloween.

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night before halloweenvia

The Night Before Halloween by Natasha Wing and illustrated by Cynthia Fisher

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This spooky twist on “The Night Before Christmas” seeks to prove that ghosts, ghouls, and monsters celebrate Halloween much in the same ways humans do. Kids are afraid of them, but they just want to have some fun! Check out these fun facts you never knew about Halloween candy.

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The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin by Joe Troiano

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Spookley looks different from all the other pumpkins in the patch. Because he’s square and they’re all round, he feels like an outcast. But when a scary storm hits the pumpkin patch, Spookley’s unique shape might be exactly what it takes to save the day. This delightful rhyming story comes with a touching message about accepting yourself and others. Teach your kids why we carve Halloween jack-o-lanterns before the holiday rolls around this year.

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grover seasame streetvia

The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone and illustrated by Mike Smollin

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This one’s an oldie but a goodie. In this fourth-wall-breaking Sesame Street classic, Grover warns readers that a monster will appear if they finish the book. He begs readers not to turn the pages, getting increasingly desperate as the book nears its end. When the brave readers do reach the final page, they (and Grover) are in for a monstrously funny treat!

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Behind the Mask by Yangsook Choivia

Behind the Mask by Yangsook Choi

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In this Halloween tale, Kimin, a young Korean-American boy, decides to dress up as his grandfather for Halloween. His classmates laugh, thinking an old man costume won’t be very scary. But Kimin has the last laugh—his grandpa was a mask dancer! And the mask Kimin wears takes him on a journey that connects him to his family. Here are some of our favorite Halloween costumes for families.

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charlie brownvia

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown by Charles M. Schultz and Kara McMahon

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It might be the most beloved Halloween kids’ movie ever, so why not add the book version to your collection of Halloween books for kids? Follow along as Charlie Brown and the gang go trick-or-treating—sans Linus, who’s determined to catch a glimpse of the fabled Great Pumpkin. If you need something else to watch this year, here are more of our favorite kid-friendly Halloween movies.

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Horrible Harry at Halloween by Suzy Klinevia

Horrible Harry at Halloween by Suzy Kline

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Harry, a third-grader who’s into all things creepy and spooky (but charming and loveable nonetheless), has worn scarier and scarier costumes to school for Halloween every year. His class is desperate (and a little nervous) to see what he’ll be this year—but when he shows up in what doesn’t look like a scary getup, they wonder if he’s re-branding. But they’re in for quite the surprise! This is just one installment in the crowd-pleasing Horrible Harry chapter book series.

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Magic Tree House: Haunted Castle on Hallows Evevia

Magic Tree House: Haunted Castle on Hallows Eve

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If you have a voracious chapter book reader, you probably already know about the Magic Tree House series. Jack and Annie use their superpowered tree house to travel to different times in history and places around the world—mostly real-life ones, so this series is educational! In this Halloween (or, rather, All Hallows Eve) installment, the siblings must break the curse on an ancient castle. Here’s the history of how Halloween developed from All Hallows Eve.

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Goosebumps booksvia


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Got a brave young reader around third- or fourth-grade age? Have them try out the award-winning book series that gave an entire generation the creeps in the 1990s and early 2000s. R.L. Stine’s kid-lit horror series consists of more than 60 books, with topics ranging from werewolves to evil ventriloquist dummies to malignant slime. And the best part? While their fun frights make them great for spooky season, they’re not specifically Halloween books. So if your kiddo really loves them, they can find—and read—them all year round! Next, check out these easy Halloween crafts your kids will love.

For more fun facts, costume ideas, traditions, candy inspiration, spooky entertainment, and updates on how October 31 will look different this year, check out our Halloween Guide.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest