We’ve compiled a list of all The Best Halloween Picture Books! These are all of our favorites, with excellent pictures and timeless stories.
I’m a summer person and so this time of year is always a little bittersweet for me. While everyone else is getting excited about the cool weather, pumpkin spice, and flannel, I’m crying real tears as I pack up the swimsuits and put away everyone’s sandals. I’m really going to miss all that sunshine.
To help me cope with the reality of OCTOBER, I pulled out our Halloween book basket last week. And then, when it didn’t quite cure the melancholy, we took a trip to the bookstore for just a few more new Halloween Picture Books to read.
After a few good cuddles with all the kids on the couch and our pile of fantastic Halloween Picture Books, I really am feeling like I’ll survive the month now.
Some of the Halloween picture books on this list have been favorites for years. A few are brand new to us this year, but all of them are wonderful. There are some that are a little spooky and plenty that are all in good fun.
There are a lot of Halloween Picture Books out there, but these are the best! Scroll down for the Free Printable Book List.
P.S. I’ll be sharing peeks into these books over on Instagram this month if you want to follow along!
The Best Halloween Picture Books
Stumpkin by Lucy Ruth Cummins : Stumpkin is a mighty fine pumpkin – round, orange, and as big as a basketball – but he doesn’t have a stem. While all the other pumpkins at the corner market are being purchased and taken home, Stumpkin remains. Will someone want a pumpkin without a stem?
The illustrations in this one are just gorgeous!
Pick a Pumpkin by Patricia Toht : Picking a pumpkin (or in our case, 4 pumpkins) is one of our favorite Halloween traditions. This Halloween Picture Book captures all the fun and magic of picking a pumpkin and turning it into a jack-o-lantern. Every page is a delight!
Frankenstein: A Monstrous Parody by Ludworst Bemonster : I LOVE this book. I’ve read the Madeline book so many times over the years to my three girls that I can recite nearly the whole book by heart. But instead of an old house in Paris all covered in vines, we have a spooky old castle all covered with spines. And while I adore those twelve little girls in two straight lines, the twelve ugly monsters in two crooked lines crack me up.
Really, if you’ve ever read the Madeline books, you MUST read this Halloween version.
She Made a Monster by Lynne Fulton : This is the wonderful story of how Mary Shelley created Frankenstein. Did you know she was only 20 years old when she came up with her famous monster? This is a beautifully illustrated picture book biography and Halloween is the perfect time of year to read it.
Goodnight Goon: A Petrifying Parody by Michael Rex : This another hilarious parody that I really never get tired of. I think most parents have Goodnight Moon memorized, right? But there’s no great green room in this version. Instead, we have a cold gray tomb. And where there was originally a quiet old lady whispering hush, we now have a hairy old werewolf hollering “Boo.”
This one is just so funny. I love it!
Frankenstein Makes A Sandwich (And Other Stories . . .) by Adam Rex : My 10 and 12 year old LOVE this book. It’s a collection of 19 hilarious stories/poems in a variety of styles. The big idea here is that it isn’t always easy being a monster. Imagine being the Invisible Man and trying to get a haircut. Or a hungry Frankenstein with an empty pantry. Or, my personal favorite, the Phantom of the Opera with a very annoying song stuck in your head.
It’s a tough life, but you and your kids will think it’s laugh out loud funny.
The Witch of Hissing Hill by Mary Calhoun : This is a wonderful old book from 1964 about a bad witch who runs a business selling magic black cats to other bad witches. But the story takes a turn when the witch discovers that one of her kittens is a good witch cat and she can’t get rid of it. Will good triumph over bad? You’ll have to read and find out.
The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda D. Williams : This is a long time favorite at our house. It’s really an essential book for your Halloween library.
This little old lady is not afraid of anything, but there are some spooky shoes, hats, gloves, etc., that are really going to test her bravery.
The Widow’s Broom by Chris Van Allsburg : This is another old-school Halloween MUST READ. Even though it was published in 1992, I didn’t read this book until a friend gifted it to us a couple years ago. It became an instant favorite!
Beautifully illustrated with rich text, this book tells the story of a witch’s broom that one day loses its power mid flight. The witch on the broom plunges into an old widow’s garden and when the widow treats her kindly, the witch gifts her the broom.
The fallen broom has just enough power to be helpful around the house but when the neighbors find out about the magical broom, there’s trouble ahead.
The Witch Who Lives Down the Hall by Donna Guthrie : This is one from my own childhood that I still love. A little boy is convinced that the lady who lives down the hall in his apartment building is a witch. His mother tells him that she’s just an ordinary person, but he’s not fooled. It’s just the right amount of creepy and fun!
Ghosts in the House! by Kazuno Kohara : Both the story and pictures in this one are so charming. A sweet, clever little girl moves has a haunted house. Luckily, she knows just what to do with all those ghosts. Hint: there’s a washing machine involved!
Ten Timid Ghosts by Jennifer O’Connell : I love a good rhyming book and this one is stellar. Ten timid ghosts have a little problem. A witch has moved in and wants them out. One by one she tricks them out of the house. However, one of those little ghosts isn’t as timid as it seems and the witch may not be able to get rid of all those ghosts after all.
How to Make Friends With a Ghost by Rebecca Green : How do you make friends with a ghost? Well, for one thing, you need to make sure no one mistakes your ghost for whipped cream or a marshmallow when you aren’t looking. This is a sweet, ghostly book about friendship. I love the illustrations in this one!
Leo: A Ghost Story by Mac Barnett : There are some authors that you know you can count on and Mac Barnett is one of them. This is the sweetest story about a friendly ghost who likes to draw and make tasty snacks. Really, he’s a ghost you’d like to be friends with.
Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds : This isn’t exactly a Halloween book, but it’s just the right amount of spooky so we save it for this time of year. Jasper, a rabbit, keeps seeing creepy carrots lurking everywhere. His parents keep assuring him that there’s nothing to be afraid of, but Jasper has eaten a lot of carrots and he’s pretty convinced that they are finally getting their revenge.
Sir Simon: Super Scarer by Cale Atkinson : Sir Simon is a professional ghost, fully trained, and he’s just been transferred to his first house. The house belongs to an old lady and Sir Simon thinks it’s going to be an easy haunting job. But when Sir Simon finds out there’s also a kid in the house, his easy haunting job gets a little harder. This book is one of my kids very favorite Halloween Picture Books.
Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson : This another one that could be read anytime, but since there is a witch in the story, we save it for October. And, this one is WONDERFUL. It’s a clever rhyme with a twist at the end that you really don’t see coming.
There’s a witch with a broom and she keeps picking up riders . . . until there’s no more room on the broom that is.
P.S. There’s a cute animated version of this book on Netflix. It follows the text of the book exactly.
The Curious Demise of a Contrary Cat by Lynne Berry : A Witch is trying to get ready for a party but her contrary cat refuses to help. The illustrations in this one are fantastic.
The Hallo-Weiner by Dave Pilkey : This is an oldie but a goodie. All of the other dogs tease Oscar because he’s a weiner dog. To make things even worse, his mom wants him to wear a hot dog costume for Halloween! But while it’s not the scary costume he wanted, Oscar turns out to be a Halloween Hero.
Angelina’s Halloween by Katherine Holabird : This one is pure nostalgia for me. The story is fine, but the illustrations are my very favorite. They are so detailed, so charming. If I could make Halloween look just like this gorgeous book, I’d die a happy person. Really, go check out the illustrations.
Pumpkin Moonshine by Tasha Tudor : With Tasha Tudor’s gorgeous illustrations, little Sylvie Anne turns the biggest pumpkin into her very own Pumpkin Moonshine (Jack’o’Lantern).
This one is so sweet and old fashioned. It’s been a long time favorite at our house.
The Scariest Book Every by Bob Shea : Despite its title, this book isn’t very scary at all. If you’re looking for a laugh out loud funny, silly Halloween Picture Book, this is the one! Narrated by a melodramatic ghost who is scared of bunnies, this one makes my kids giggle every time.
Did I miss any of your favorite Halloween Picture Books? I’m always looking for suggestions!