Top 10 Classic Halloween Books for Kids

Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree book

The Spooky Old Tree
We ♥ the Berenstain Bears. In this Halloween fave, first printed in 1978, three sweet bears try to muster the courage to explore a pretty gnarly tree. Along the way, readers learn prepositions: into, up, through, over, down, and out. (Sneaky!)

Authors: Stan and Jan Berenstain

Ages: 2+

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The Biggest Pumpkin Ever book

The Biggest Pumpkin Ever
In this 1984 tale, two field mice discover that they’ve both been tending to the same pumpkin. Desmond has been watering it at night in hopes of carving the hugest jack-o’-lantern ever. Clayton has been taking care of it during the day as he aspires to win the Biggest Pumpkin contest. Will they throw down, or learn to cooperate?

Author: Steven Kroll

Ages: 4+

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The Monster at the End of This Book

The Monster at the End of This Book
This 1971 book isn’t specifically about Halloween, but it addresses the very serious topic of… MONSTERS! Kids are naturally a little bit freaked out as October 31 approaches and autumn days grow darker. Who better than the lovable blue Muppet, Grover, to help kids conquer their fears?

Author: Jon Stone

Ages: 2+

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The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything
Wow! You go, Little Old Lady! This 1986 picture book has inspired generations of kids to bravely carry on when they hear something “clomp, clomp,” or “shake, shake,” or “clap, clap” — on Halloween or any scary time in their lives, just like the fierce heroin of this story.

Author: Linda Williams

Ages: 4+

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Clifford's Halloween book

Clifford’s Halloween
Long before modern pet owners were deciding which $60 Halloween getup to buy for their canine, Clifford – the OG Big Red Dog – and his pal, Emily Elizabeth, struggled to choose which costume he should rock on October 31: clown, knight, or ghost? This 1966 story is full of tough decisions that today’s trick-or-treaters can still relate to… woof!

Author: Norman Bridwell

Ages: 3+

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Scary, Scary Halloween Book

Scary, Scary Halloween
Do you remember reading this 1986 picture book full of green pairs of eyes peering out from the pages? (Spolier alert: They’re just friendly neighborhood cats.) The story celebrates the slightly creepy side of Halloween, showing kids that the costumes and darkness of the season can be a little scary, but the holiday is ultimately super fun!

Author: Eve Bunting

Ages: 5+

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Bony-Legs book
Ready to up the fear factor a bit for your little bookworm? Perhaps you recall this 1983 fairy tale featuring a terrible witch — the notorious Bony-Legs — who wants to eat a little girl named Sasha for supper. Eek! In classic folklore style, kindhearted animals help Sasha escape. The story’s imagery (like the house set deep in the woods that stood on chicken feet… obviously) will make it a go-to read every Halloween season — even if it causes a nightmare or two. (Kids are tough!)

Author: Joanna Cole

Ages: 5+

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What Was I Scared Of? Dr. Seuss Halloween book

What Was I Scared Of?: A Glow-in-the-Dark Encounter
This newer book, published in 2009, is actually an excerpted short story from Dr. Seuss’ 1961 classic, The Sneetches and Other Stories. The narrator feels spooked by — what else? — an empty pair of pants. Turns out, the pants are just as afraid of the narrator! This silly story is enhanced by glow-in-the-dark illustrations.

Author: Dr. Seuss

Ages: 5+

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It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
This relatively new book (first published in 2008) is based directly on the iconic 1966 TV special It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. So we thought it fit in with this list of classics! Charlie Brown’s pal Linus is certain this is the year the fabled Great Pumpkin will rise out of the pumpkin patch and bring toys to all the children of the world. Here’s hopin’!

Author: Charles M. Schulz (adapted by Kara McMahon)

Ages: 4+

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In a Dark, Dark Room ghost story book

In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories
Your little ghosts and goblins have truly graduated to big-kid scary stuff when they’re interested in the spine-tingling tales of this 1984 “I Can Read” book. “Creak… Crash… Boo!” So begins this collection of seven kid-friendly ghost stories. Which classic Halloween book was your favorite as a kid? Please leave a comment!

Author: Alvin Schwartz

Ages: 6+

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