How Bewitching! 13 Best Books About Autumn and Halloween
Where Is Baby's Pumpkin? by Karen Katz
Looking for baby's first Halloween book? This lift-the-flap book will take your little one on a colorful hunt for a baby's missing pumpkin. Along the way, your tot will learn colors, shapes, simple Halloween traditions, and even some prepositions!
The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree By Stan and Jan Berenstain
This 1978 book from the beloved Berenstain Bears series might have been Mom or Dad's favorite fall bedtime story as a kid. With its colorful illustrations and light storyline, The Spooky Old Tree isn't too scary for preschoolers. It will help your youngster understand the power of his imagination — a funny thing that can make him feel scared and, in turn, help him overcome his fears.
Duck & Goose Find a Pumpkin by Tad Hills
Let the pumpkin hunt begin! Preschoolers will accompany the cute board book characters Duck and Goose on a search for the perfect pumpkin. They check inside a log, under a pile of leaves, and up an apple tree. Where do you think they'll find it? Your pumpkin-puss preschooler might have a guess! After reading this story, try some of these fun activities with pumpkins.
Leaf Man by Lois Elhert
Kids can join Leaf Man on a magical journey as gusts of wind carry him over orchards, meadows, and farms one fall day. The book's illustrations are made from actual autumn leaves, and the story is a celebration of the fall season and nature. Print out our Autumn Leaves Activity Book to help kids learn more about foliage and falling leaves.
The Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda D. Williams
Halloween — and any dark night for that matter — can be a bit scary for kids. So every child should meet the fearless little old lady who stars in this book. When the signs of a ghost — shoes, pants, and a pumpkin head — appear one by one and chase the old lady, she assures the floating figures "I am not afraid of you!" Kids will love the "CLOMP CLOMP" and "WIGGLE WIGGLE" refrain as the objects move, and are sure to become just as brave as the little old lady.
Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson
Why do the leaves change color? Why do they fall from the trees? If your curious kid has asked you these questions, don't worry — Fletcher the fox is wondering, too. When all the leaves on his favorite tree turn brown and fall off, he tries in vain to catch and reattach them. Although Fletcher's mother explains that the cause is simply the change of seasons, he doesn't fully believe her until he sees the splendor of snowy branches in winter.
Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson
What's a witch to do on a windy night when her hat and wand blow away? She gets some generous help from some new animal friends — a cat, a parrot, and a frog — who only want one thing in return: a ride on her broom... if there's room! Together, the witch and her friends come face-to-face with a scary dragon. Never fear — the story is by the same author/illustrator team as the fun book The Gruffalo, so you can expect a silly and not-too-spooky ending.
Johnny Appleseed by Steven Kellogg
It's easy to forget that folklore hero Johnny Appleseed was a real man, John Chapman, who traveled across Colonial America spreading apple seeds. There are many accounts of the classic tale, but this 1988 version by enchanting author/illustrator Steven Kellogg is one of our favorites. Kids will also love these 10 apple-themed activities.
Shake Dem Halloween Bones by W. Nikola-Lisa
Celebrate Halloween with a catchy hip-hop beat! Told in rhyming text, Shake Dem Halloween Bones shows how the city goes from dark and quiet to festive and fun on Halloween night. L'il Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks, Tom Thumb, and other fairy-tale friends attend the hip-hop Halloween ball and have some "scoo-bee-doo-bee-doo-wah" up their sleeves. Kids will love to "rap" along with this one.
The Hallo-wiener by Dav Pilkey
Another story that will get the kiddos giggling is The Hallo-wiener, featuring Oscar the dachshund. He's a shortie, like all "wiener dogs," and the other insensitive pups are always making fun of him. His hot-dog costume isn't exactly a hit among his peers, but one brave act makes him a real Halloween hero.
In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz
If your child is ready to up the fear factor this Halloween season, reach for this classic "I Can Read Book." It's a compilation of creepy short stories, including "The Green Ribbon" and "In the Graveyard." While brave kindergarteners and first-graders might enjoy the quick and compelling tales, they might also get nightmares, so gage your child's sensitivity to scariness before grabbing this one.
The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury
Older elementary-school readers will love this eerie and enthralling work of fiction. A group of eight boys in Halloween costumes is carried away on the tail of a kite. Accompanied by the creepy but wise Mr. Moundshroud, they take a trip through space and time to see Egypt's mummies, the Celtic lord of the dead, the Mexican celebration of the Day of the Dead, and other gothic rituals. Through their adventure they witness a timeline of morbid folklore and Halloween history. Black-and-white illustrations help hook readers into the tale.
Roald Dahl's Book of Ghost Stories by Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl sure had good taste in ghost stories! The beloved children's book author read more than 700 chilling and thrilling stories in the British Museum Library before selecting the 14 that appear in this anthology. Edith Wharton, Robert Aickman, and other great authors penned the short stories, so the collection is a nice — and spine-tingling — introduction to serious literature for younger teens.