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AETN KIDS Club — Spooktacular Reads for Halloween

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It’s already October, and crunchy leaves, crisp breezes, pumpkins and Halloween are on their way! Find some library trip inspiration for kids of all ages — from babies and toddlers to upper elementary (and maybe even grown-ups) — in this book list from AETN Kids. 

Babies & Toddlers


“Peek-a-Who?” by Nina Laden

Keep it simple! Combining bright colors with predictable rhymes makes this board book a great Halloween read for your little kiddos.


“Five Little Pumpkins” by Dan Yaccarino
“Five little pumpkins, sitting on a gate. The first one said, ‘Oh my, it’s getting late.’” Whether you sing it or say it, this cute book about Halloween pumpkins follows a pattern of rhymes and encourages early counting.


“One, Two … Boo!” by Kristen L. Depken
Help kids learn about Halloween traditions and develop fine motor skills with this full-of-surprises, lift-the-flap book!


“Mouse’s First Halloween” by Lauren Thompson
With bold colors and playful text, this slightly spooky tale familiarizes kids with different sounds and exposes them to rhyming couplets.

Preschool and Kindergarten


“Where’s My Mummy?” by Carolyn Crimi

Join Little Baby Mummy and Big Mama Mummy as they play an exciting game of hide-and-shriek that ends with a nice surprise.


“Halloween Is … ” by Gail Gibbons

In another family-favorite book, Gail Gibbons aims to teach kids about the history and traditions of Halloween, accompanied by her soft and inviting illustrations.


“Ten Timid Ghosts” by Jennifer O’connell

Similar to “Five Little Pumpkins,” but for a slightly older crowd, “Ten Timid Ghosts” pairs simple counting and rhyming concepts, making it perfect for bigger ghouls and goblins.


“Goodnight Goon: A Petrifying Parody” by Michael Rex

“Goodnight, tomb. Goodnight, goon. Goodnight, Martians taking over the moon.” If this sounds a bit familiar, we know why! This lively parody of the classic “Goodnight Moon” is an instant favorite

(On a related note, keep up the petrifying parody fun with “Runaway Mummy: A Petrifying Parody” by Michael Rex and “Frankenstein” by Rick Walton.)



“Scary, Scary Halloween” by Eve Bunting and Jan Brett

Eve Bunting and Jan Brett team up to bring us a wonderfully detailed vision of a spooky Halloween night. Through a pair of glowing eyes and chant-like reprition, kids get an elusive look at the variety of trick-or-treaters and Halloween scenes.

(Another related favorite? “In the Haunted House” by Eve Bunting) 

Early Elementary


“Click, Clack, Boo! : A Tricky Treat” by Doreen Cronin

Farmer Brown is afraid of Halloween! So, the familiar gang of barnyard animals takes it upon itself to give him tricks, treats and the full Halloween treat-ment in this not-so-spooky book.


“Shake Dem Halloween Bones” by W. Nikola-Lisa

Perhaps the most energetic Halloween book around; kids will want to sing this song over and over. Matched with outstanding illustrations of household items personified, this book has it all!


“Room on the Broom” by Julia Donaldson

“Room on the Broom” is a nice tale about helping others in need and treat ion others the way you’d like to be treated. When the animals help the witch collect her items displaced by the wind, she allows them to ride on her broom — but is there room for everyone? Find out!


“The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything” by Linda D. Williams

Would you be afraid if shoes, pants, a shirt and a pumpkin head were following you? This little old lady sure isn’t! Kids love the build-up of this less-than-scary read aloud.


“Bone Soup” by Cambria Evans

In this Halloween-themed version of Stone Soup, Finnigin the skeleton can’t seem to find anyone who is willing to share their food with him! Follow the lovable creature as he solves the problem in a strange, new town and cooks up some magic.


“Tell Me a Scary Story … But Not Too Scary!” by Carl Reiner

Shall we turn the page — or is it too scary? You decide just how far the story how far the story goes in this creepy collection of Halloween stories by Carl Reiner. The noted actor/director writes stories that’ll make you hide under the covers, but only if you choose to read on!

(On a similar note … try “Tell Me Another Scary Story … But Not TOO Scary” by Carl Reiner.)

Upper Elementary


“The Witches” by Roald Dahl

“This is not a fairy tale. This is about real witches.” Roald Dahl’s frightening, yet endearing book about a boy, his grandmother and witches begins with a phrase that will make kids afraid to put it down. “The Witches” is a sensational read and surprisingly insightful tale of loyalty and love from the late, great Roald Dahl.

(Other classics from the noted author we’d suggest include “The BFG” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”)


“Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery” by Deborah Howe

A cute bunny or a ravenous rabbit with fans? Joni the rest of the Monroe family pets as they investigate the new, suspicious animal living under the same roof.


“Coraline” by Neil Gaiman

Now a major motion picture, “Coraline” is a can’t-put-down tale for kids. Following her curiosity, Coraline finds a door leading to a world almost identical to her own — only better! But once there, will she ever be able to return to her true home and family? There’s only one way to find out — by reading!


“Magic Tree House, No. 30: Haunted Castle on Hallows Eve” by Mary Pope Osbourne 

Part of Mary Pope Osborne’s sensational series, “Magic Treehouse,” in this edition, Jack and Annie enter into the adventure of a lifetime. Mystery, magic and the magnificent Merlin swirl together in this action-packed family favorite.


“A Tale Dark and Grimm” by Adam Gidwitz

See Hansel and Gretel like never before! Familiar characters juxtaposed with recognizable settings turn classic fairy tales into a playground of Grimm Brothers stories. With just enough spook, you’ll love this take on old favorites.


“Short & Shivery: Thirty Chilling Tales” by Robert D. San Souci

Gather ‘round, boys and girls! Looking for scary stories to tell on Halloween? Look no further — these 30 stories will keep you up all night!

(Keep the spooky going! Try “Even More Short & Shivery: Thirty Spine-Tingling Tales” by Robert D. San Souci)

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