Picture Books: Halloween Favorites


What's even better than picture books? Picture books for one of my favorite holidays!

  If you don't know why I still love to read my kids pictures books even though they're ages 7, 11 and 13, here is the short version: beautiful language and beautiful artwork.  Unlike a chapter book meant to be read by a young reader, picture books are meant to be read by adults and so the language is often much richer and sophisticated.  Plus, it's like holding an art gallery in your lap! Here are some of our favorites for this week:

1. Ghosts in the House by Kazuno Kohara


 Will, my middle child, fell in love with this when we checked it out of the library nearly ten years ago, and we had to add it to our bookshelves! The graphic images are striking and the story is really clever.  The sweet little witch and her cat move into a haunted house, but they know just what to do with all of those ghosts.  After falling hard for this book, we realized the author also wrote Midnight Library and Jack Frost, which are all worth a read (and available in Spanish which is wonderful if you happen to be learning the language or are native speakers). 

2. Pumpkin Moonshine by Tasha Tudor

 Tasha Tudor is one of my all time favorite children's book authors and illustrators.  Her artwork is always a delight, and the stories are charming. Little Sylvie wants to make a Pumpkin Moonshine (a jack-o-lantern) so she sets out to find a big pumpkin on her grandparents' farm.  Her giant runaway pumpkin causes quite a commotion but Sylvie does her best to make things right before she finally sets out the pumpkin moonshine on the front gatepost.

This is a fun, educational take on the African-American spiritual of the same name.  We've gotten the wiggles out by singing the song while pointing to all of the bones and then looking at the book for more information.  For example, on the page about the leg bone being connected to the foot bone the text reads, "The leg bone is actually two bones, the tibia and the fibula..." The collage-style pictures of the skeleton band add to the festive feel.

The only downside to this book is its small size - more than once we've lost it in the bookshelves.  But what it lacks in stature it makes up for in a thorough and beautiful explanation of Mexico's holiday to honor loved ones who have passed. 

5. Bat Jamboree by Kathi Appelt

This counting, rhyming account of the talented bat's annual jamboree is super fun to read. Fifty-four bats wait in pyramid formation, but it ain't over til the Bat Lady sings!

This is our newest Halloween book and it might be the sweetest. This a guidebook instructing you not just in how to make friends with a ghost, but also in how to create a lifelong friendship. Remember, if you move to check that the house isn't already haunted because your ghost won't want any competition!

7. The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Steven Kroll

This is the oldest book on the list and I still remember getting it from a Scholastic Books order form in kindergarten.  Two mice have both been caring for the same pumpkin unbeknownst to each other. No wonder it has grown so big! The trouble is one mouse wants to make a jack-o-lantern but the other has been planning to enter it into the Biggest Pumpkin contest.  They find a way to help each other both get what they hoped for. 

Thanks for letting me share my favorite Halloween books with you.  Did I miss your favorite? I'd love to hear about it in the comments:

*The links in the post may be affiliate links.  Your price is not affected but I may earn a small commission if you purchase using the links and for that I am very appreciative.


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