10 (not so) Scary Picture Books for Halloween


Main image courtesy of debspoons at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You could say I do a lot of research in my field……..and guess who benefits? Yes my children! Oh and of course I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get any enjoyment out of it too! So I chose 10 Halloween related picture books for 4 to 7 year olds, some new, some old. They are not listed in any particular order but they have been given two scores out of 10 as I asked my children to rate them from 1 to 10; 10 being the absolute best and 1 being  rubbish. In each case the first rating is from my older child. I’ve made some comments myself but the general opinion from my boys were that the books were not scary enough!

Spooky Spooky House Andrew Weale (author) & Lee Wildish (illustrator). Publisher: Picture Corgi (1 Sept 2011). RATED: 3/10; 10/10

Most children will love this one for the flaps alone and I generally found this kept them engaged.

CLICK TO BUY The Spooky Spooky House

Winnie’s Amazing Pumpkin Valerie Thomas (author) & Korky Paul (illustrator). Publisher: OUP Oxford (4 Mar 2010). RATED: 10/10; 7/10

This is Winnie at her best, as a witch in the modern world. This book is packed with colourful illustrations and original amusing scenes.

CLICK TO BUY Winnie’s Amazing Pumpkin

  The Friendly Monster Guy Didilez (author) & Ruby Kersten (illustrator). Publisher: Myriad (2006). RATED: 10/10; 10/10

A sweet story and a great way to get children to laugh at their night monsters instead of being scared.

CLICK TO BUY  The friendly monster

Ten Timid Ghosts – Jennifer O’Connell (writer & illustrator). Publisher: Scholastic US (Aug 2000). RATED: 10/10; 6/10

A counting book with an amusing rhyming story.

CLICK TO BUY Ten Timid Ghosts

The Night Before Halloween Natasha Wing (author) & Cynthia Fisher (illustrator). Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap (1st ed. Aug 1999). RATED: 4/10; 5/10

Very easy to read rhyme, but the story is not that memorable.

CLICK TO BUY The Night Before Halloween

The Best Halloween Hunt Ever John Speirs (author & illustrator). Publisher: Scholastic US (Aug 2000). RATED: 9/10; 8/10

This is an alternative option to a story book as it is an activity book to hunt for all things Halloween. A fun way to make word recognition memorable.

CLICK TO BUY The Best Halloween Hunt Ever (Read with Me Cartwheel Books (Scholastic Paperback))

Spookyrumpus – Tony Mitton (author) & Guy Parker-Rees (illustrator). Publisher: Orchard Books (25 Aug 2005). RATED: 8/10; 9/10

From the author of the Tough Trucks and Super Submarines series etc. Spookyrumpus has great rhythm making it a fun and easy read.

CLICK TO BUY Spookyrumpus

Spider Sandwiches Clare Freedman (author) & Sue Hendra (illustrator). Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s (24 Oct 2013). RATED: 1/10; 0/10

This one amused me as I often make up strange food names when my boys ask me what’s for dinner. This might be why it wasn’t so popular with my boys despite them loving the illustrations and it provoking a variety of vocal reactions like YUK from them!

CLICK TO BUY Spider Sandwiches

The Room on the Broom – Julia Donaldson (author) & Axel Scheffler (illustrator). Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books (reprint ed. 20 Sept 2002). RATED: 10/10; 10/10

No list would be complete without at least one acknowledgement to Julia Donaldson in my eyes and it looks like my boys agree. Full of her wonderful memorable rhymes and the haunting repetition children love and remain in your head long after you’ve read the book.

CLICK TO BUY Room on the Broom


Wolves – Emily Gravett (author & illustrator). Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books (reprint ed. 18 May 2006). RATED: 10/10; 10/10

A fun light-hearted take on a classic hungry wolf tale.

CLICK TO BUY Wolves by Emily Gravett (Aug 1 2006)


So these are the ones tried and tested by us. Which Halloween picture books are your favourites?

Where obtained: public or personal library.

NOTE: Books for Children Blog is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk

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