23 of the Best Halloween Books for Kids: Spooky Tales to Share This October

Prepare for a spine-tingling journey this October! This handpicked collection of the best Halloween books for kids is brimming with stories that strike the perfect balance between ‘boo’ and ‘aww.’
Delight in the autumnal magic with “Pick a Pumpkin,” where enchanting illustrations meet heartwarming tales or whisper through the halls with friendly spirits in “There’s a Ghost In This House.”
Dive into the charming story of dedication with “The Very Busy Spider” and, as bedtime creeps in, snuggle up with “Goodnight, Little Monster.”

Ready for a cauldron of cuteness and gentle shivers? These books await young readers eager for both cuddles and mild thrills this spooky season!

Interested in more spooky content? Check out this list of the scariest artworks in art history!

Explore the Best Halloween Books for Kids: From Ghostly Tales to Friendly Monsters

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The Ghost Went Floating

by  Kim Norman  (Author), Jay Fleck  (Illustrator)

Inspired by the children’s song “The Ants Went Marching” and involving early math concepts, writer Kim Norman and illustrator Jay Fleck’s The Ghosts Went Floating is a spooktacular adventure perfect for Halloween.

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The Halloween Tree

by  Susan Montanari  (Author), Teresa Martinez  (Illustrator)

A charming, funny, and heartwarming kids Halloween picture book that will help to start a new seasonal tradition. Perfect for kids 3-5 or any young child in your life that wants to celebrate the spookiest season of the year.

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How to Catch a Witch

by  Alice Walstead  (Author), Megan Joyce  (Illustrator)

It’s Halloween night and something doesn’t seem quite right… When the How to Catch Kids head out to trick-or-treat, there are ghosts, goblins, and ghouls everywhere! Our heroes discover a witch on a broom has opened a magical portal that let out spooky creatures all over the neighborhood. Follow along in this frightfully fun story as they set zany traps for the witch to close the portal and save Halloween before all the candy is gone!

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Ghost Afraid of the Dark

by  Sara Conway  (Author), Rainstorm Publishing  (Author), Kidsbooks Publishing(Author), Alex Willmore  (Illustrator)

Follow Boo the Ghost as he celebrates his first Halloween with all his Monster friends! He is a shy little ghost and quickly realizes he is afraid of many things.

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The Scariest Story You’ve Ever Heard

by  Ron Keres  (Author), Arthur Lin  (Illustrator)

On a stormy night, the power goes out in one family’s house—and two young brothers dare to investigate some mysterious sounds they are hearing…


…and so begins a night they will never forget!

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Pick a Pumpkin

by  Patricia Toht  (Author), Jarvis  (Illustrator)

Pairing a wonderfully rhythmic read-aloud text with expressive retro illustrations, author Patricia Toht and illustrator Jarvis capture all the excitement and familial feeling of a favorite holiday tradition.

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Room on the Broom

by  Julia Donaldson  (Author), Axel Scheffler  (Illustrator)

The witch and her cat are happily flying through the sky on a broomstick when the wind picks up and blows away the witch’s hat, then her bow, and then her wand!  Luckily, three helpful animals find the missing items, and all they want in return is a ride on the broom.  But is there room on the broom for so many friends?  And when disaster strikes, will they be able to save the witch from a hungry dragon?

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There’s a Ghost In This House

by  Oliver Jeffers  (Author)

A captivating and utterly unique picture book with interactive, transparent pages about a girl who lives in a haunted house from world-renowned artist Oliver Jeffers.

A young girl lives in a haunted house, but she has never seen a ghost. Are they white with holes for eyes? Are they hard to see? Step inside and help the girl as she searches under the stairs, behind the sofa, and in the attic for the ghost.

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Ghosts in the House!

by  Kazuno Kohara  (Author, Illustrator)

At the edge of town lives a clever girl with a spooky problem: Her house is haunted! Luckily, she happens to be a witch and knows a little something about taking care of ghosts. She catches them, puts them in the washing machine, airs them out to dry, and gives them new lives as sofa covers, table cloths, and, of course, bed sheets to cozy up under. Fresh and charming illustrations in dynamic orange, black and white bring this resourceful heroine and these spooky ghosts to life.

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Ghost in the House

by  Ammi-Joan Paquette  (Author), Adam Record  (Illustrator)

When a little ghost goes slip-sliding down the hallway, he suddenly hears…a groan! Turns out it’s only a friendly mummy, who shuffles along with the ghost, until they encounter…a monster! As the cautious explorers continue, they find a surprise at every turn — and add another adorably ghoulish friend to the count. But you’ll never guess who is the scariest creature in the house!

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How to Make Friends With a Ghost

by  Rebecca Green  (Author)

What do you do when you meet a ghost? One: Provide the ghost with some of its favorite snacks, like mud tarts and earwax truffles. Two: Tell your ghost bedtime stories (ghosts love to be read to). Three: Make sure no one mistakes your ghost for whipped cream or a marshmallow when you aren’t looking! If you follow these few simple steps and the rest of the essential tips in How to Make Friends with a Ghost, you’ll see how a ghost friend will lovingly grow up and grow old with you. 

A whimsical story about ghost care, Rebecca Green’s debut picture book is a perfect combination of offbeat humor, quirky and sweet illustrations, and the timeless theme of friendship.

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Big Pumpkin

by  Erica Silverman  (Author), S.D. Schindler  (Author)

The witch has grown the biggest pumpkin ever, and now she wants to make herself a pumpkin pie for Halloween. But the pumpkin is so big she can’t get it off the vine.

It’s so big the ghost can’t move it, either. Neither can the vampire, nor the mummy. It looks as if there’ll be no pumpkin pie for Halloween, until along comes the bat with an idea to save the day.

How can the tiny bat succeed where bigger and strong spooky creatures have failed? You’ll be surprised!

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The Very Busy Spider

by  Eric Carle  (Author)

Early one morning a little spider spins her web on a fence post. One by one, the animals of the nearby farm try to distract her, yet the busy little spider keeps diligently at her work. When she is done, she is able to show everyone that not only is her creation quite beautiful, it is also quite useful!

This multi-sensory board book allows children to feel the pictures as well as see them, and is the perfect size for little hands. With its rhythmic text, The Very Busy Spider becomes an experience to touch, to see, and to hear.

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The Haunted Lake

by  P. J. Lynch  (Author, Illustrator)

Jacob and his father are the only people who fish Lake Spetzia, which was formed when the river was dammed and their town was flooded. The villagers say the lake is haunted, but Jacob and his father don’t want to leave, because Jacob’s mother is buried in the cemetery below the water. As Jacob grows up, a village girl named Ellen falls in love with him, and he with her. But before they are married, Jacob disappears—lured underwater by the ghosts who inhabit the sunken village. Years go by, with Jacob held captive by the watery spirits and Ellen never giving up hope that she will find him, until a fateful night when Jacob sees the light of Ellen’s boat floating above.

Can he break free and reach the surface? Masterful illustrations alive with achingly expressive characters and eerie underwater light bring readers into acclaimed creator P.J. Lynch’s rich world of love, loss, and hope.

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Goodnight, Little Monster

by  Helen Ketteman  (Author), Bonnie Leick  (Illustrator)

Little Monster needs to get ready for bed. That means howling at the moon, scrubbing his scales, getting into his creepy PJs, and enjoying a nice snack before bed: worm juice and baked beetle bread. And, of course, Little Monster’s mother is nearby to tuck Little Monster into bed and turn on his night-light―because even little monsters can be afraid of the dark. Bonnie Leick’s soft, child-friendly illustrations rendered in watercolor bring a new and quiet twist to the evening’s bedtime ritual. Sweet dreams, Little Monster!

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The Little Ghost Who Lost Her Boo! 

by  Elaine Bickell  (Author), Raymond McGrath  (Illustrator)

Poor Little Ghost has lost her scary BOO, so she sets out on a nighttime hunt to find it. She searches high and low, but it’s nowhere to be found! Will she ever find her lost BOO? 

With bold and gorgeous art accompanied by bouncy, rhyming text, The Little Ghost Who Lost Her Boo is a charming, not-so-spooky read aloud perfect for Halloween or any time of year!

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The Bad Seed Presents: The Good, the Bad, and the Spooky

by  Jory John  (Author), Pete Oswald  (Illustrator)

Halloween is the Bad Seed’s favorite holiday of the year. But what’s a seed to do when he can’t find a show-stopping costume for the big night? Postpone trick-or-treating for everyone, of course!

Can he get a costume together in time? Or will this seed return to his baaaaaaaaad ways?

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Sir Simon: Super Scarer 

by  Cale Atkinson  (Author)

Meet Sir Simon, Super Scarer. He’s a professional ghost who has been transferred to his first house. And just in time! He was getting tired of haunting bus stops and forests and potatoes. And to top it off, this house is occupied by an old lady — they’re the easiest to haunt! 

But things don’t go as planned when it turns out a KID comes with this old lady. Chester spots Simon immediately and peppers him with questions. Simon is exasperated . . . until he realizes he can trick Chester into doing his ghost chores. Spooky sounds, footsteps in the attic, creaks on the stairs — these things don’t happen on their own, you know! 

After a long night of haunting, it seems that maybe Chester isn’t cut out to be a ghost, so Simon decides to help with Chester’s human chores. Turns out Simon isn’t cut out for human chores either. 

But maybe they’re both cut out to be friends…

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by  Eric Geron  (Author), Pete Oswald  (Illustrator)

It’s punny. It’s spooky. It’s a meta picture book that puts a fresh spin on an old joke and elevates chicken comedy to ghastly new levels. A little spring chicken crosses the road but quickly gets flattened under a semitruck.

The barnyard beasts who’ve gone before break the news: now that Chicken’s fried—dispatched to the Other Side—Chicken has a job, an unwanted job, as a noisy troublemaking ghost. This fowl may be weak in the beak, but Chicken knows that scaring people isn’t nice. There is such a thing as a friendly ghost, after all—isn’t there?

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The Little Ghost Who Was a Quilt 

by  Riel Nason  (Author), Byron Eggenschwiler  (Illustrator)

Ghosts are supposed to be sheets, light as air and able to whirl and twirl and float and soar. But the little ghost who is a quilt can’t whirl or twirl at all, and when he flies, he gets very hot. 

He doesn’t know why he’s a quilt. His parents are both sheets, and so are all of his friends. (His great-grandmother was a lace curtain, but that doesn’t really help cheer him up.) He feels sad and left out when his friends are zooming around and he can’t keep up. 

But one Halloween, everything changes. The little ghost who was a quilt has an experience that no other ghost could have, an experience that only happens because he’s a quilt . . . and he realizes that it’s OK to be different.

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Gustavo, the Shy Ghost 

by  Flavia Z. Drago  (Author, Illustrator)

Gustavo is good at doing all sorts of ghostly things: walking through walls, making objects fly, and glowing in the dark. And he loves almost nothing more than playing beautiful music on his violin. But Gustavo is shy, and some things are harder for him to do, like getting in a line to buy eye scream or making friends with other monsters. Whenever he tries getting close to them, he realizes they just can’t see him. Now that the Day of the Dead is fast approaching, what can he do to make them notice him and to share with them something he loves? 

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The Witch’s Cat and The Cooking Catastrophe

by  Kirstie Watson  (Author), Magdalena Sawko  (Illustrator)

A funny and heart-warming tale that’s sure to bring some magic to your bedtime stories. It’s fun to read aloud, with lots of opportunities for children to join in and guess what happens next.

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Hardly Haunted 

by  Jessie Sima  (Author, Illustrator)

House has a problem.

She’s a little spooky. She’s a little cobwebby. Oh, no! What if she’s haunted?

She’s not sure, but…her hinges creak. Her pipes bang. And on windy days, the branches scritch-scratch at her windows. She tries to hold her breath and be as still as possible. If she’s on her best behavior, maybe a family will move in.

How will House ever find a family that doesn’t mind being haunted?

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Artboard 10 Best Halloween Books for Kids