Like many Rioters, Halloween is my favorite time of the year. I have always loved the holiday since I was a little girl and read some of my very first Halloween books for toddlers. It feels like there is magic in the air in the month of October. I don’t know if it is the smell of decay and pumpkin spice in the air, the sound of the wind rustling through the trees, or pumpkins popping up everywhere. It makes me happy that it seems that the entire world gets into the spirit (teehee); orange, purple, black and green colors show up on homes and businesses everywhere. We take car trips to see the twisted and glorious things people put up around us. I love to think of new and strange costumes like various Queens of England, but unfortunately, no one gets my costumes.
It’s only natural that I want to bestow this love of the holiday to my young daughter. I want her to embrace all the elements of the day. The spookiness, the silliness, and the costumes and candy, of course. For the baby’s first Halloween, we dressed her in five or six costumes.
So here is a list of 15 halloween books for toddlers. They include rhyming books, activity books, narrative books, and much more. Some are board books, while others are longer picture books.
Spooky Tricks by Rose Wyler, Gerald Ames, and Talivaldis Stubis
This is a bit of an oldie (1968) but this was one of my favorite books as a kid. It’s filled with all sorts of magic tricks that you can do (though a few are probably a bit outdated and slightly dangerous). But many tricks include optical illusions, sugar cubes, boxes, and more to give a sense of mystery to your kids.
Plumply, Dumply Pumpkin by Mary Serfozo and Valeria Petrone
In this rhyming book, Peter the Tiger is on a mission to find the right pumpkin for a jack o’lantern contest. It’s great for reading out loud as well as teaching kids new words.
Spooky Pookie by Sandra Boynton
Boynton is a gem. I think most of my child’s books are by Boynton. So it seems appropriate to have Spooky Pookie on the list. In this book, Pookie has to try to figure out what they want to be for Halloween. As a kid, figuring out what to dress up as was a big deal. Frankly, it still is. Another great book to read aloud with your kids.
Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
By the same author as The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom is about a witch who loses her hat and other items to the wind while riding the broom. She goes off to retrieve her items and makes friends along the way. But they all want to ride on the broom? Will she be able to? It’s also been made into a movie on Netflix.
Pug & Pig Trick-or-Treat by Sue Lowell Gallion and Joyce Wan
As part of the Pug & Pig series, this book explores disputes in friendship. Pug and Pig have matching outfits, but Pug decides he doesn’t like his and doesn’t want to go out for Halloween. Pig wants to have a good time with their friend. Can they figure out how to make Halloween happen?
B Is for Boo: A Halloween Alphabet by Greg Paprocki
I love alphabet books. It’s fun to see how authors do verbal gymnastics for each letter — especially X. Naturally, I’m drawn to this book. While children’s books tend to have standout illustrations, this one is a nice callback to vintage Halloween imagery.
Gustavo, the Shy Ghost by Flavia Z. Drago
Okay, so this is a Day of the Dead book, not Halloween. But it’s so lovely, I wanted to include it. Gustavo can do lots of things ghosts can do, but he’s very shy. Can he make friends with the monsters around him? Also, there’s a version in Spanish, which is a great added bonus.
Duck and Goose Find a Pumpkin by Tad Hills
Another book from a larger series, this one featuring Duck and Goose. They are on the hunt for a pumpkin, but where will they find it? Kids will love making animal sounds at the appropriate times with this super readable book.
One Halloween Night: A Spooky Seek-and-Count Book by Salina Yoon
Counting books are always great for the little ones. This book has a level of interactivity with flaps and what not as you go through the various witchy numbers.
Spookytale (An Abrams Trail Tale) by Christopher Franceschelli and Allison Black
In this book, readers follow two children as they wander through scary landscapes like a swamp, haunted house, and more. It’s also an interactive book with things to pull out!
If You’re Scary and You Know It! by Carole Gerber and Noel Ill
Toddlers love singalongs. This one is set to the song “If You are Happy and You Know It…” but with a nice Halloweeny twist.
The House that Witchy Built by Dianne De las Casas and Holly Stone-Barker
It’s a witchy version of the tale “The House that Jack Built.” Kids will love all the sound effects/singalong aspect. Kids will also love looking and touching the great collage illustrations.
Not Very Scary by Carol Brendler and Greg Pizzoli
Melly is fearless, almost. On her way to her cousin’s home, she meets all sorts of ghoulish characters, but she’s fine with it. Mostly. What will happen when she arrives to her cousin’s surprise? It’s a little longer than some of the other books, but great for story time.
My Baby Loves Halloween by Jabari Asim and Tara Nicole Whitaker
What a way to introduce the holiday to your baby! Not only is it a celebration of Halloween, it’s all a homage to the fall. These delightful illustrations nicely accompany the words and will be a much loved book for the wee one.
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat! by Lucille Colandro and Jared Lee
To round out the list as well as the books playing off nursery rhymes and stories, this book is a witchy version of There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. It’s a great book with lots of repetition, and toddlers will love the sing-song aspect to it.
I hope you and your toddlers find these Halloween books for toddlers to be a great way to get into the Halloween mood. I know mine certainly will!