Halloween Picture Books to Read Aloud

I have entertained hundreds of children at Halloween with songs, sensory storytelling and picture books. This selection of Halloween picture books has been chosen because they’re great to read aloud and appeal to young children of different ages. They’re perfect for sharing at your child’s Halloween party or just to enjoy reading together.

Meg and Mog – Jan Pienkowski

Meg and Mog, the calamitous witch and her cat, is now a classic picture book found in most homes and libraries. Young children are engaged by Jan Pienkowki’s distinctive artwork with bold outlines and bright colours. Older children will enjoy the humour. A great one to read aloud because there are spells to chant and words like “Abracadabra” and “Bang!” to shout out.

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Funnybones – Janet and Allan Ahlberg

I must have nearly every single book by the Ahlberg’s at home. Funnybones is a great story all year round, but it is particularly fun at Halloween. I love watching children’s faces as they wonder who or what lives in the cellar. Of course, the skeletons are amusing and mischievous. The rhyming text is fun and it’s not long before children learn the opening by heart: “In a dark dark town, there was a dark dark street, in the dark dark street, there was a dark dark house…” Enjoy!

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Pumpkin Soup – Helen Cooper

Helen Cooper is an extraordinarily talented picture book writer and illustrator. This rhythmical tale is, at its core, a story of friendship. It’s a classic book to share all year round. But I particularly like curling up with my little ones in front of the fire in the autumn months, especially at Halloween.

A cat, a duck and a squirrel live together in an old white cabin among the pumpkins. Every day they make pumpkin soup. Each has his part to play in making the soup, from cutting the pumpkin to stirring the soup and adding a pipkin of salt. One day, Duck announces that he no longer wants to tip in the salt – he wants to stir the soup. And so the trouble begins…

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Winnie the Witch – Valery Thomas and Korky Paul

Winnie is a funny, lovable witch who enjoys all sorts of amusing adventures. I don’t think there’s a Winnie story you couldn’t share at Halloween. You can choose from Spooky Winnie, Winnie’s Amazing Pumpkin, Winnie’s Magic Wand and more!

I like to read the classic story of Winnie attempting to deal with the dilemma of having a black cat who can’t be seen due to living in a black house with black furniture. The trouble begins for poor Wilbur the cat as Winnie casts spells to change him into a variety of colours. In the end, perhaps it’s the house that needs changing and not Wilbur.

 

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Catnapping Cat – Judy Allen and Philip Giordano

Not immediately obvious from the title, I’ve chosen Catnapping Cat for my Halloween picture books selection because it has a witch, a cat and lots of magic. The rhyming text appeals to little children and it is a great bedtime story. The adventures follow a witch who is determined to find the perfect places for a rest. She even tries hanging like a bat! If only the witch would listen to the opinion of her long-suffering cat, Matt!

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Room on the Broom – Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

It’s Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler – need I say more? If you aren’t already acquainted with the work of the creative team behind The Gruffalo, I’d be very surprised. Julia weaves a wonderful tale of a witch flying on her broomstick. Along the way, the wind blows away her hat, her bow and her wand. Various friendly animals retrieve the objects and share a ride on her broom. The tension when they all tumble off the broom into a bog with a dragon is palpable. A great Halloween picture book to read aloud at a party!

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The Witch’s Children – Ursula Jones and Russell Ayto

Watch out everyone! The witch’s children are coming and that means trouble. Big TROUBLE! As a child of a witch you have some magic powers. But you don’t yet have the knowledge and skill to break your spells or rectify any chaos you may have inadvertently created.

Children love the gentle humour of this story. When reading aloud, it’s also great fun to join in shouting “Mummy” at the end to call the mother witch back to help her children.

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Happy Halloween everyone! For more advice on how to help your child learn to read and love books, visit Reading Fairy

By Emily Guille-Marrett from Reading Fairy Ltd.

Photograph by Andy Lane for Reading Fairy Ltd

 

About The Author

Emily Guille-Marrett
Children's Book Publisher

Emily Guille-Marrett has over 12 years experience publishing books to help children learn to read for leading publishing houses including: Pearson Education, Penguin Children's Books (Ladybird) and Oxford University Press. She has worked with leading literacy consultants and children's authors. Reading Fairy helps children learn how to read and love books from birth. Classes for 0-5s, bespoke events and parent workshops run in Kent and London. Visit Reading Fairy to find out more: http://readingfairy.com.

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