If you’re looking for some non-candy ideas to give your kids this Halloween, books are a great idea. And this list of 10+ Best Halloween Books For Kids to help you find some fun ones.
For more ways to make this the best holiday, check out all of our Halloween posts.
I found out about a really interesting Halloween tradition this year: The Switch Witch. Each Halloween night, kids who have gone trick-or-treating choose a few pieces of candy to keep, then put the rest in their Halloween buckets and leave that outside on the porch for the Switch Witch. She comes at night, takes the candy, and leaves a toy of some sort for the child.
The child gets all the fun of dressing up and going door to door with his or her friends, and the parents … well, the parents get the candy but the parents also get a relief from their kid constantly asking for and eating candy.
If you like this idea, or just the idea of not giving your kids candy for Halloween because they’ll be getting enough from the neighborhood and class parties this holiday season, my suggestion is to give a book. There are a ton of Halloween-themed books to choose from though, from sweet books to silly Halloween books, and that can be overwhelming. So, to help, we put together a list of the best children’s Halloween books.
This list focuses more on young kids not older kids, so mostly board books as opposed to chapter books or scary stories.
If you’re looking for more book-related gifts for kids, check out our list of 10+ Gifts For Young Readers.
And, for more book lists, check out our Dr. Seuss Books and Little Golden Books posts. Of course, you could choose a good book from one of those lists instead of a Halloween-themed story so you can read it year round.
10+ Best Halloween Books For Kids
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Pete the Cat: Trick or Treat by Kimberly and James Dean
Pete the Cat is such a classic character. There’s a good chance your kids have a few Pete the Cat books in their collection. So of course, you should add Pete the Cat: Trick or Treat.
This book follows Pete the Cat as he goes trick-or-treating. The best part is it’s a lift-the-flap book, so kids can peek behind the door of each house to see what’s inside.
You’re My Little Baby Boo illustrated by Natalie Marshall
This You’re My Little Baby Boo board book is perfect for little kits. It’s so easy for them to hold, has really bold illustrations, and the sweet story is short enough to hold their attention.
This book has shapes cut out from some of the boards along with rhyming words on each page. Two really good qualities for a book for your little monsters (oh, you see what I did there?).
Peekaboo: Pumpkin by Camilla Reid
The Peekaboo series is really popular with kids because the books are interactive, so definitely pick up Peekaboo: Pumpkin for spooky season.
There are a bunch of really cute pages in this board book. There’s a “peekaboo bat” page where you slide the slider up the door of a house to reveal a bat flying overhead. And there’s a “peekaboo cat” page where you reveal a friendly ghost hiding before a door. It’s adorable.
It’s Pumpkin Day, Mouse by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond
Everyone knows the “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie” book. But, did you know it’s only one of 19 in the “If you give a” series. Not that they all start with those four words, though. Because It’s Pumpkin Day, Mouse is part of the 19.
The book is about Mouse and his friend dog painting seven pumpkins. The pumpkins have a variety of expressions, which will be cute for your kids to mimic. Other than that, there’s no real story to follow (the other books in the series definitely have more of a plot).
Itsy Bitsy Spider by Emily Bannister
If this Itsy Bitsy Spider book looks familiar, it’s because it’s also our Board Books For Kids list. But it’s so cute, and spiders are associated with Halloween, so I figured it works here too.
It’s a touch and trace book, which means there are cut-outs, carved into each page, that your child can trace. That actually makes the books educational because tracing with fingers helps with writing readiness.
Goodnight Goon: A Petrifying Parody by Michael Rex
You know Goodnight Moon. But, for Halloween, it’s Goodnight Goon. The monsters say goodnight to the tomb, to the Martians taking over the moon, in a really cute way of introducing your young kids to the not-so-scary side of scary Halloween.
Goodnight Good is really good if your little kids are used to reading Goodnight Moon at bedtime and have gotten used to that book’s rhythm. You can read that one 11 months a year and save this version for October.
Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
Room on the Broom is, probably, the most popular of the Halloween children’s books that there is.
It’s about a witch and her cat friend who are riding on the witch’s broomstick when the wind picks up. She loses her hat, her bow, and then her wand. They meet three new friends who want to help … in exchange for a ride on the broom. But is there room on the broom for everyone? Find out in this cute story of friendship, working together, and sharing.
Little Blue Truck’s Halloween by Alice Schertle and Jill McElmurry
The Little Blue Truck series are such classic books (there are nine of them, by the way). In this one, the Little Blue Truck is picking up his animal friends for a Halloween party.
It’s a lift-the-flap book. And when you lift-the-flaps, you’ll see what friends are dressed in what costumes. It’s a really fun book for this time of year.
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown by Charles M. Schultz
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is such a classic Halloween cartoon. Everyone watches it every year — except, not now that it’s only on Apple+ (and I don’t know anyone who knows anyone who has Apple+).
So, the next best thing is the It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown book. It’s the same story of Linus waiting in the pumpkin patch while his friends are our trick-or-treating.
The Berenstain Bears Trick or Treat by Stan & Jan Berenstain
The Berenstain Bears Trick or Treat is one of the best books on this list, if you’re looking for one with a little bit of substance.
Brother and Sister are all ready for trick-or-treating … when they get sort of peer pressured into leaning towards the trick side of that. The book has a great lesson about being a good friend and a good neighbor, a really good reminder for kids of all ages.
Five Little Pumpkins on Sesame Street by Sesame Workshop
Elmo, Cookie Monster, Abby, Zoe, and Grover are all pumpkins in this picture book. (Which, I recently learned, can also have words, but the illustrations are just as important as the words in a picture book, which means there are actually a bunch of Halloween picture books on this list).
Anyway. The Five Little Pumpkins on Sesame Street is actually a fun twist on the popular song, Five Little Pumpkins.
If your kid is into Sesame Street, you should think about taking them to Sesame Place’s The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular this Halloween season.
Purchase Halloween Books Online:
These aren’t all the great Halloween books out there, just our favorites. There are more out there, like Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds and Peter Brown (pictured above), online. For more, check out the following stores:
Make sure to check a store’s minimum cart total to qualify for free shipping. Also, double check the arrival date to make sure your order arrives before ordering. Also, consider instore or curbside pickup for free shipping and and/or quicker delivery.
More Candy Free Halloween Ideas:
If you want to give something candy free to the trick-or-treaters who come to your home, but giving each one a new book is just too expensive, check out our DIY Halloween Glow Stick Party Favors. We provide the free printable, you just need to print it and add the glow sticks.
Which of these Halloween books for kids is your favorite? Let us know in the comments.