As the weather chills, what better time to gather by the fireplace and indulge in some ghostly tales? Here are a few of our favorites to get your little ones amped up for the bewitching hour! —Andrea Zimmerman
1. Spooky, Spooky, Spooky by Cathy MacLennan. If your kid’s into the more grotesque aspects of Halloween—spider, flies, slugs—they’ll love this rhyming book with fantastic illustrations. (In fact, they might even inspire some fun costume ideas!)
2. Druscilla’s Halloween by Sally M. Walker. This is a story about a witch. But not any old witch—Druscilla, the oldest witch that ever lived. But she’s got a problem: Her creeky knees are spoiling all her Halloween surprises! If your kids like to laugh, this is a perfect book to cozy up to on Halloween eve.
3. Halloween Doodles by Emma Parrish. Ideal for kids who bore easily, pick up this Halloween activity book. Your children can draw hairy spiders, fill potion bottles, and decorate witch’s hat. (Also great for passing time on any pumpkin-picking road trips!)
4. Trick or Treat! By Peggy Schaefer and Lydia Halverson Join baby Tweety, Daffy, and Bugs in a trick-or-treat rhyming adventure! Let your kids guess which candy each of the toons wants in their Halloween basket and press the button for a special Halloween message! (Warning: Sound button not for easily-annoyed parents.)
5. The Goopy Ghost of Halloween by V.R. Duin. Sure, it’s fun to scoop out the pumpkin when you’re making jack-o-lanterns, but what happens to the goop after you’ve thrown it in the trash? Trust us, it’s not what you expect…
6. Arthur’s Halloween by Marc Brown. Arthur, the lovable aardvark is at it again! Only this time, he’s forced to drag his sister, D.W. along for trick-or-treating…and he’s definitely not thrilled. But after D.W. scampers into a witch’s house, does he feel different? Read this to any child with siblings—an important lesson is learned about brother and sisterly love.
7. A Scratch & Sniff Halloween. Encourage your kids to use their eyes and their nose in this story involving yummy Halloween goodies. Trust us, even parents won’t be able to resist taking in the scents of taffy apples, pumpkins, candy corn and more!
8. Full Moon Soup by Alastair Graham. A spooked-up version of I-Spy, your kids will spend hours pouring over the colorful pages searching for a slew of creepy characters. Ten points to whoever spots the wicked, wild werewolf first….
9. Pumpkin Day, Pumpkin Night by Anne Rockwell. If you’ve taken your kids on a family trip to a pumpkin patch, this is the book for you. From finding the perfect-sized pumpkin to carving the perfect expression, this tiny book packs a whole lot of Halloween spirit.
10. By the Light of the Harvest Moon by Harriet Ziefert. This book’s got it all: a riveting story about leaf people with pumpkin heads who come alive at night as well as awe-inspiring illustrations rich in fall colors. A must-read for any crisp, October night.