Halloween Books for Young Readers

By Jeremy Brunaccioni on October 11, 2011
  • Grades: PreK–K

Halloween can be a fun but frightening time for young readers. Images and stories that seem innocent to an adult could be perfectly frightening to a child. I remember being read Robber Racoon as a kindergartener. That same week, my Nana made me some racoon curtains for my bedroom. One nightmare ridden evening later, those curtains found their way to the Salvation Army.

I thought I’d give you a jump-start on Halloween-themed titles so you’d have time to get them for your classroom. These books should be just spooky enough for little ones, with funny images and text that will keep them from becoming too scared.


By the Light of the Halloween Moon
Written by Caroline Stutson Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
Published by Marshall Cavendish Reference

I’ve always been a fan of Kevin Hawkes' illustrations and am thrilled this title is back in print. And the children love to follow the refrain as it accumulates meaning through the book. Also, be sure to check out My Little Sister Ate One Hare.


AlphaOops! H is for Halloween
Written by Alethea Kontis Illustrated by Bob Kolar
Published by Candlewick Press

The tongue-in-cheek text, coupled with the colorful drawings, makes this a fun Halloween-themed alphabet book. Children love to track the pumpkin alphabet forming throughout the book. As an extension activity, try my pumpkin writing prompt to help generate some new vocabulary.


Creepy Monsters, Sleepy Monsters
Written by Jane Yolen Illustrated by Kelly Murphy
Published by Candlewick Press

If you aren't already familiar with Jane Yolen, you definetely need to head to your bookstore. Children thoroughly enjoy both Jane Yolen’s rhyming text and Kelly Murphy’s fun illustrations in this fun book. This story actually makes naptime sound appealing.

If you like these titles, why not print out my whole list?  Jeremy's Halloween Book List  As with any books, please be sure to preview them to make sure they're appropriate for your students.


Extension Activities

After spending time with these books, your students will be eager to engage in Halloween crafts and activities. Here are a few suggestions:

Have children create their own monsters using Model Magic. Once the monsters have dried, they can be colored with markers.


My students love to cook, and with the amount of math and reading embedded in a cooking lesson, I'm only too happy to oblige them. Try my Grammy Albert's pumpkin bread recipe and send copies home with your students.

Use black and orange craft foam to cut out the letters of the alphabet. These foam letters are perfect for playing games or for a bulletin board.

Create a class book, complete with pumpkin-themed letter pages. For inspiration, look at the bottom borders of AlphaOops!

Watch a classic monster story video created by author and illustrator David Hyde Costello.

I hope these books help to inspire your classroom Halloween preparations. I’d love to hear about some of the titles you’re using in the classroom this month.


those are cool


I'm a big fan of the book, 5 Little pumpkins because it teaches numbers and it is also a participation book. The children can sing the 5 little pumpkins song along with holding up the 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 fingers. This can allow you to teach the students to count their fingers.

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