Our Favorite Halloween Kids’ Books

Our Favorite Halloween Kids’ Books

We have a lot of Halloween and fall picture books in our house. With a 9-, 7- and 2-year-old around, we’ve been amassing kids’ books since 2003 and keep adding to our collection.

I love reading myself, and I love reading to my kids. It’s a big deal around our house. (A bit of trivia: For several years, when I was growing up on a small farm in Southeastern Ohio, we didn’t have a TV. What did we do, you might ask? We read.)

So, we love the printed word. And, we relish the season. But our approach is a Christian one, so that makes finding a really great Halloween book challenging.

My two-year-old and I hijacked the Halloween book display at the library last week and fought off the scads of toddlers and moms just released from story time (bad timing on our part!), to bring  you the best–both our old favorites and some new gems we found.

We had stringent criteria. Mom had to like it. And, Mom didn’t realize how picky she was:

Mom didn’t like books that were too spooky or creepy or supernatural. Mom didn’t like books that didn’t have nice illustrations. Mom didn’t like books that were boring.

However…. Mom did like books with appealing artwork. Mom did like books that were educational and/or had a good message. Mom did like books that were cute, or funny, or well-written–even better if they were all of these.

So, here’s what we came up with. I’ll put them in alphabetical order. By no means is this list all-inclusive. Please weigh in with your personal favorites and we can do a bigger, better list next time around!

 Our Favorite Fall and Halloween Kids’ Books, 2012 (Christian-friendly*)

1.  A Tiger Called Thomas by Charlotte Zolotow

I just love this book. This is our first year reading it, and the more I read it, the better it gets. I have to admit I almost didn’t check it out, because the illustrations aren’t my style, but the story is just superb. It’s the tale of a little boy who moves to a new neighborhood and is too shy to talk to any of his neighbors. But, on Halloween night, in his tiger costume, he discovers he already is surrounded by friends.

2. Corduroy’s Halloween by B.G. Hennessey

I’m a sucker for Corduroy, and I’m a huge fan of illustrator Lisa McCue’s. Though the book is written in a simplistic fashion (what lift-the-flap book isn’t?), well, it’s just so cute, especially if you have a toddler on your lap, who loves to rip off — um, I mean, lift– flaps.

3. Curious George Goes to a Halloween Party by Margret Rey

Ok, George is classic, and we are pretty old-school over here. This is a cute story about Curious George and the Man with the Yellow Hat and what happens when George goes to a costume party without any costume. He is invited to go upstairs to look for a costume he can borrow, and little monkeys are very curious, so… of course, hi- jinks ensue.

4. It’s Fall by Jimmy Pickering

Jimmy Pickering has books for each season (right up my alley, I know). Again, they are simple little books, but they have a nice feel to them–cute rhymes, appealing illustrations, and depictions of everything and anything fall you’d want to do. I just read it to my 7-year-old the other night and we love how the leaves outside the girl’s window on the last page have little sparkles around them. Yes, fall is magic!

5. Jeoffry’s Halloween by Mary Bryant Bailey

Elizabeth Sayles’ soft, warm, and mysterious illustrations are inviting. There’s a point at which, in this book, you’re going to think, “this is getting a little spooky, mystical.” Never fear. It dispels this all neatly with: “Of Halloween I’ve had my fill! /It’s time to go inside the house,/where a mouse is just a mouse,/where cream is cream, fish is fish,/ a dog’s a dog, a dish, a dish.”

6. Pumpkin Cat by Anne Mortimer

Ok, let’s be honest. We are huge cat lovers around here, so anything with a cat on it, we’re going to look at. This is a disclaimer for the disproportionate amount of cat books.  This is the only book on here I haven’t actually read, but Anne Mortimer is my favorite illustrator, hands-down. Anything she does could be enjoyed thoroughly by us, even if were just pictures. (Yes, I’m a writer and I’m saying this. Sometimes it stinks to be a “word” person instead of a “picture” person, doesn’t it?) However, the Amazon reviews state that it’s actually a story about how Cat and Mouse plant pumpkins and watch them grow. And, the end of the book has an instructions page for growing your own pumpkins. BONUS! I just loooove books that are entertaining AND educational. (My favorite book of all-time in this category is coming up next month in Our Favorite Kids’ Thanksgiving Books post, so stay tuned.)

7. Pumpkin Cat by Ann Turner

Pumpkin Cat by Ann Turner has a cute, if familiar  story line- -a ginger cat finds refuge in the returned books bin of a local library and makes its new home there. (For those of you who’ve read Dewey the Library Cat: A True Story, it sounds like the exact same story, but this book was published in 2004, well before Dewey was in print.) The illustrations are heart-warming and so is the story–Pumpkin Cat makes friends with a little girl who frequents the library and ends up getting a special Halloween gift.

8.  Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper

This is a charming, old-fashioned-feeling fable with rich, detailed  illustrations. The story is of Cat, Duck and Squirrel who make pumpkin soup the same way each day… until one day, Duck wants to do something new. A fight ensues. In a non-preachy way, we see how the trio end up working things out–and we learn a good lesson about friendship and compromise along the way. BONUS! Pumpkin soup recipe at the end. Yum.

9.  Scaredy-Cat Splat by Rob Scotton

Anyone who’s read one of the Splat books knows that Splat is wacky, silly, and endearing. In Scaredy-Cat Splat, the lovable fuzzball tries to come up with the scariest costume for his school Halloween party and costume contest–but things don’t turn out quite the way he’d imagined.

10.  Sheep Trick or Treat by Nancy Shaw

We like these cute sheep. We have Sheep in Shop, Sheep in a Jeep, and Sheep out to Eat. I had no idea they Trick or Treated too! There’s a bit of a twist with some wolves out for their own Halloween treat, but, of course, the sheep come out on top.

I hope you enjoyed our little book tour. I can’t wait to hear about your favorite fall books too! Be sure to leave a comment, or check out some of my other Fall posts.

*By Christian-friendly, I mean these books aren’t, in my humble opinion, spooky, scary, or supernatural. 

 What are your favorite Fall/Halloween books? Leave a comment and let me know!


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  1. This is a great list! Thanks. We’ve avoided Halloween until now, but our oldest daughter is 4 this year and aware of what her friends are doing and talking about… so we have to deal with it. It’s completely new to me, as I don’t like spooky or supernatural either, so I’m trying to figure out how to balance her curiosity and desire to be involved in what all of her friends are excited about with my own dislike of certain elements of this holiday. So I might check out some of these books as another way to talk about Halloween with her. 🙂

    • Thanks, Bonnie. With our kids getting older (my oldest is 9), we have to deal with these Halloween issues all the time. They both still hate all the gory masks and decorations they see all around. Sometimes, I feel as if they’re the only ones who feel this way, but I’m glad they are still sensitive enough that this bother them.

  2. Our kids are grown now…but two of my favorite books were Mousekin’s Golden Home by Edna Miller…out of print…anything Mousekin is well written and beautifully illustrated…and then this one is a Christian parable…The Pumpkin Patch Parable by Liz Curtis Higgs…it is one in a series of four…really love the Christmas Tree Parable, too. I read it in public school to my kids’ classrooms. We always went out to dinner and a family friendly movie…of course the boys did dress up for the school parties and I would buy them their favorite candy. We did enjoy the pumpkin patch and carving pumpkins and church festivals.

    They seemed to have forgiven us for not letting them go trick or treating and I don’t regret our decision. 🙂 (Even though I kept them away from the horror scene, as young adults they did choose to watch the stuff, but at least I don’t have to watch it with them 🙂

    Have fun with your kiddos! Great season of life.


  1. […] a Comment Some of you might remember that we hit the library last month in search of the best Halloween books. The day before Halloween (this time, we were smart to avoid the holiday book rush!), we started to […]

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