Sunday, October 19, 2014

Howlingly Good Halloween Picture Books ~ by Patricia Toht

The costumes! The candy! The crazy tricks and treats! What's not to love about Halloween?
Okay, perhaps it's kids wound tighter than tops. Tummy aches. Temper tantrums from the sugar surge.

Well, you could try to soothe those sweet souls with a book break. Here are five of my favorite Halloween read-alouds, beginning with a story that will wiggle out some of that energy and ending with one to settle them down for bed. (I know. Wishful thinking.)

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams and Megan Lloyd. A fearless little old lady sets off down the road, but is soon pursued by shoes, pants, a shirt, gloves, a hat and a pumpkin head that shouts BOO! Let your kids wiggle, shake, and stomp as the action builds, culminating with a surprise visitor at the door.

Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and Alex Scheffler. 
Poor, klutzy witch. She just can’t seem to hang on to her things. And every time she stops to retrieve an item she's dropped, someone else climbs onto her broom. A rhyming treat!

Boris and Bella by Carolyn Crimi and Gris Grimly. Sloppy Bella and tidy Boris are feuding neighbors. Can ruined party plans bring them together? The story is peppered with puns and ghoulish humor, and the fiendish illustrations will make you chuckle. 

Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds and Peter Brown. 
Is something following Jasper Rabbit? Could it be creepy carrots? Or is his imagination getting the best of him? Oh, those carrots can be so clever…

Hush, Baby Ghostling by Andrea Beaty and Pascal Lemaitre. 
It’s time for baby ghostling to go to sleep. But he’s afraid of the light and little boys who might be lurking in the closet. Mama ghost calms his worries in this twist on bedtime rituals.

Had I not vowed to stop at a handful of picture books, I might have included a couple more like Where's My Mummy?, another Carolyn Crimi gem with John Manders, or the new release Not Very Scary by Carol Brendler and Greg Pizzoli. (See what I did there? Snuck two more in!)

What are your favorite Halloween picture books, GROG readers?


  1. Pat, I like Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich by Adam Rex. Poetry, great illustrations and meant for 4-7 grades.

  2. Patty: How cool; a Sunday GROG post! A favorite book of mine is The Hallo-Wiener by Dav Pilkey. My students love the main character, Oscar a dachshund. The story is hilarious. ~Suzy

    1. I somehow missed that one, Suzy! Another book to add to my list. Thanks. :)

  3. How fun! I have a collection of Halloween books that I need to dig out. Thanks for the post!

    1. Let me know what books your kids like, Tina. Will your kids celebrate Halloween in Korea?

  4. Fun, Patty! Appreciations for this post. I love your titles & I'll play, too.

    picture books (in no particular order)

    TRICK-or-TREAT, SMELL MY FEET! by Lisa Desimini

    WITCHES by Colin Hawkins

    YOU READ TO ME, I'LL READ TO YOU, Very Short Scary Tales by Mary Ann Hoberman, illustrated by Michael Emberly

    RAGGED SHADOWS,Poems of Halloween Night, selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, illustrated by Guy LaRoche

    SIX CREEPY SHEEP by Judith Ross Enderle & Stephanie Gordon Tessler (they are sisters) & illustrated by John O'Brien


    GEORGIE's HALLOWEEN by Robert Bright

    A JOB FOR WITTILDA by Caralyn & Mark Brehner

    IN THE HAUNTED HOUSE by Eve Bunting & illustrated by Susan Meddaugh

    BAT JAMBOREE by Kathi Appelt & illustrated by Melissa Sweet

    Hope everyone's Halloween costume is flowing along well...

  5. Replies
    1. Yours is a total HOOT! Halloween-season treats to you Patty!

  6. My favorite: Hallo Weiner by Dav Pilkey! It is such a rich book; he has puns on every page and I found that the bigger kids loved it just as much because of that!

    I also love one of your choices: Room on the Broom. I had so much fun sharing it with my students last week. They would help me with the 'WOOOOOOSSSSHHHH!!!" sound effects; I 'conducted' them like a symphony. When I pointed to them, they said "WOOOOOOSSSHHHHH!!!" Everyone from Kindergarten to Fourth Grade loved it.

    You had two titles that I had not heard about: Boris and Bella and Hush Baby Ghostling. I'll need to add those to our wish list.

    Thanks for sharing such a fun list!