By Christa Protano
Ghost Stories. You either love ‘em or hate ‘em. Personally, I was never a fan. But once my little ones arrived, Halloween became a lot more fun to celebrate thanks to family costumes, pumpkin patch photo shoots, and adorable preschool parades. One year, I remember my son watched Mickey’s Monster Musical on repeat and I was not mad about it—that “Mickey’s Monster Boogie” was catchy. Now that my children are getting a little older, this might be the first year our Halloween costume ideas and plans get left until late October (please don’t judge … you know you start thinking about these things in August when the big box stores start displaying all the scary stuff). Either way, we will definitely be reading a few Halloween-themed books sooner rather than later. Though they are growing up, we still like to keep our reads PG. Not a fan of creepy bedtime tales, either? Here are 10 friendly ghost stories to read with your littles this Halloween.
If your early reader is a fan of the Rainbow Magic chapter books, they’ll love this holiday special. Dressed in the requisite orange and black, Trixie takes readers on not one but three spooky adventures in this colorful paperback. Best friends Rachel and Kirsty are also here to help Trixie get her magic candies back from the evil Jack Frost and his team of goblins.
This oh-so-cute tale is the perfect way to introduce your newborn to the stars of the season. Baby ghosts, playful pumpkins, and candy corn delight on each chunky, die-cut page. Get ready for this book to become a requisite step in your child’s nightly bedtime routine.
This pop-up board book takes the Halloween fun up a notch with silly rhymes that focus on counting and basic colors. As friendly monsters lurk beneath the bed and in the attic, 3- to 5-year olds will get a kick out of flipping open their toothy grins to reveal what’s inside.
For infants and newborns, Who Said Boo? introduces little ones to all the not-so-scary creature sounds of Halloween. This 10-page board book includes colorful die-cuts, touch and feel elements, a surprise mirror, and peek-through flaps to keep those tiny hands and minds engaged during storytime.
Werewolves, ghosts, vampires, oh my! Not to worry, there is nothing too alarming in this adorable board book that is sure to become your toddler’s new favorite. Outfitted with a squishy, vinyl bat that appears through each die-cut page, this read celebrates the season through playful rhyming text and colorful illustrations of Halloween’s most popular creatures.
Creeky doors, eerie organ music, howling beasts—some of this season’s sound effects may be even scarier than the decor. But this kid-friendly book helps your child understand that things may not always be as creepy as they seem. Four sound buttons make for an interactive adventure as readers follow along with a group of friendly faces on Halloween night.
Whether at home or on-the-go, this sticker book will keep your preschooler occupied all October long thanks to 32 activity pages and more than 75 puffy stickers. Halloween-themed word searches, coloring pages, mazes, puzzles and more make for a candy-less treat with plenty of silly tricks.
Perfect for the littlest pumpkin in your patch, this board book brings to life a classic Halloween rhyme with interactive pages filled with playful illustrations. Toddlers will love the soft, raised jack o’lanterns that disappear at the turn of each page. Bonus: Some pages even glow in the dark.
Pencils, erasers, notebooks…oh my! Now that school is back in session, it’s time to stock up. These pencil toppers will be the talk of your child’s class come Halloween week (because yes, we celebrate this holiday all weeklong at the elementary level). Complete with a coloring and activity book, this book provides plenty of silly, witchy fun for ages six and up.
OK, so this one is not really a Halloween book, but it does deal with a very frightening situation: What would happen if your child’s favorite stuffed animal went missing?! This heartwarming picture book is one you’ll want to keep close by year-round to help soothe those stuffy scaries. We recommend reading it as a family so you’ll all know how to react if this ever happens at home (cue that creepy organ music…).