This holiday is one of the most looked-forward-to holidays for youngsters. What is more fun than to get dressed up in a costume and go around the neighborhood to get candy?! The following books are picture books good for ages three through eight unless otherwise indicated. All these books are perfect to read out loud.
Haunted Halloween Coloring & Activity Book, by Maggie Fischer and uniquely illustrated with many fun activities by Eric Wolf Hanson and Luke Newell, is a fun Halloween-themed booklet packaged with five festive pencils topped with erasers such as a ghost, a witch, a pumpkin and more. Some of the activities include mazes, connect-the-dots and spot the spooky differences.
Stumpkin, by Lucy Ruth Cummins, is a gorgeously illustrated book about a pumpkin who doesn’t have a stem, hence Stumpkin. As he and the other pumpkins on the shelf outside the store await to be bought, he dreams of becoming a jack o’lantern. However, he becomes discouraged as fewer and fewer pumpkins are left on the shelf. By story’s end, you’ll see how he gets to finally shine. The illustrations are on mostly full-page spreads and glorious in blacks, grays and oranges. They are created with gouache, pencil, ink and brush marker,
10 Spooky Pumpkins, by Gris Grimly, is a delightful take-off from the favorite Halloween poem. This one is quite different with a rhythmic countdown of ghosts, goblins, scarecrows and more. As you countdown and turn the page, the open-page spread is full of Grimly’s fantastic watercolor images filling the entire scene. But the last few pages are a delightful surprise!
Vampenguin, by Lucy Ruth Cummins, is quite hilarious and very clever! One Saturday morning, the Dracula family went to the zoo with their two children. Their first stop was the Penguin House. This is where a funny event occurs and continues throughout the rest of the book. Baby Dracula slips out of his stroller, unbeknownst to his parents, and sneaks into the enclosed penguin room. At the same time, a baby penguin slips out and ends up in the stroller. Both the penguin and Baby Dracula look alike, so few notice, including the parents. All works out in the end. The illustrations are wonderfully done in gouache and colored pencil. (Simon)
The Good, The Bad, and the Spooky, by Jory John and digitally painted with humor by Pete Oswald, is a perfect book instructing in how to enjoy a stress-free holiday. Bad Seed loves Halloween but is very anxious about what his costume will be. The lessons taught here are precious and continues this wonderful series about this funny seed. This is great fun to read out loud to the entire family.
Wanda’s Words Got Stuck, by Lucy Rowland and brightly illustrated digitally by Paula Bowles, is an oversized book about young Wanda and how she deals with her shyness. At first, she is afraid to talk in her class which inhibits her in making new friends. When a new witch, who is also shy, enters her class, a friendship is formed. Trouble enters when a huge crisis happens during the school-wide magic contest. Wanda is finally able to get her words out to stop this dilemma and save the day. This is a delight for all, especially those with social anxieties.
Poultrygeist, by Eric Geron and hilariously digitally illustrated by Pete Oswald, is rich with puns and play on words, hence the title. A chicken crosses the road and ends up on the other side, of death! The other barnyard animals who have gone before the chicken indicate that his new job is to scare. The chicken does not want to do this. He said, I will not haunt anyone. The effervescent cover is an eye catcher. And the dark backgrounds with the vividly colored ghost animals is spectacular. This book is a fun read for ages seven through adult.
Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas: 13 Days of Christmas, by Steven Davison and Carolyn Gardner and creatively illustrated by Jerrod Maruyama, celebrates the two holidays as the Halloween Town Friends enjoy this countdown rhyme. As you read through the story, it begs to be sung. Each day is fun and funny as you progress through the book. The illustrations are brilliant with all the different portrayals of the days and a delight to pour over.
Ghost Squad, by Claribel A. Ortega, is the perfect Halloween chapter book for ages eight through twelve. This page turner has all of the elements that will thrill even the most reluctant reader. The adventure begins with Lucky and her friend Syd who cast a spell that suddenly awakens ghosts through their town. Now they need to figure out how to stop this madness. This lively story has not only a ghostly component but it’s also a heartwarming tribute to the importance of family.