Halloween means many things to many people. Yet we can all agree that it’s the perfect time to celebrate all things scary and thrilling and just plain spooky!
This selection of children’s books from around the world will give you and your kids a fright or two and maybe even a few laughs along the way.
1. The Chupacabra Ate The Candelabra
Marc Tyler Nobleman and Ana Aranda
Level: Preschool-Grade 2
Like most goats, Jayna’s, Bumsie’s and Pep’s greatest fear is being eaten for dinner by the legendary chupacabra—it’s common knowledge that goats are a chupacabra’s favorite food!
One night, tired of living in fear, the impetuous goats whip out their trusty candelabra and head off to find the beast and scare it away before it can find them.
Little do they know that candelabras are the chupacabra’s third-favorite food … and he isn’t about to stop there. This chupacabra has quite the appetite, and the goats are in for a big surprise
2. Bone Soup: A Spooky, Tasty Tale
Alyssa Satin Capucilli and Tom Knight
Level: Preschool-Grade 2
One Halloween morning three witches are looking for a tasty treat and they find only a small bone.
So they decide to go from door to door in their village to find just the right ingredients for their Bone Soup.
No one in the village is convinced that soup can be made from a bone, until the littlest monster reveals just what the special ingredient should be.
This just-scary-enough picture book comes with a recipe for Bone Soup—perfect for Halloween eating.
3. The Secret of the Kelpie
Lari Don and Philip Longson
Level: Grades K-3
Flora is playing with her brothers and sisters by the loch when she notices a stunning white horse.
While her siblings clamor for a chance to ride the beautiful animal, Flora is worried. Where has this strange horse come from? Why are its hoof prints wet?
Too late, Flora realizes this is no horse! It’s a kelpie: a shape-shifting water horse from Scottish folklore known to steal children. Can Flora reveal the secret of the kelpie in time to save her family?
The classic tale is wonderfully retold for 4-7-year-olds in this gripping adaptation by renowned Scottish children’s author Lari Don, with breathtaking illustrations by artist Philip Longson.
4. A World Full of Spooky Stories: 50 Tales to Make Your Spine Tingle
Angela McAllister and Madalina Andronic
Level: Grades 1-5
Feel your pulse race and your skin tingle as you read about the fearsome witch Baba Yaga, the serpent woman from Spain, the rescue of Tam Lin from the bewitching Queen of the Fairies, how Father Death gets caught in the Enchanted Apple Tree, and the water dwelling Bunyip from Australia.
Make sure you have your candle ready as it’s sure to be a long night … This gorgeous gift book is the perfect anthology for Halloween, or any time you want to be spooked!
This book of tales features stories from Germany, Czechoslovakia, Russia, Africa, Brazil, Japan, Australia, India, UK, Canada, France, China, Ireland, Syria, Korea, Sweden, Egypt, Iceland, New Zealand, Arabia, Spain, Tibet, Iran, Greece.
5. Baba Yaga’s Assistant
Level: Grades 5-6
Most children think twice before braving a haunted wood filled with terrifying beasties to match wits with a witch, but not Masha. Her grandma taught her many things: stories are useful, magic is fickle and nothing is too difficult or too dirty to clean.
The fearsome witch needs an assistant, and Masha needs an adventure. She may be clever enough to enter Baba Yaga’s house-on-chicken-legs, but within its walls, deceit is the rule.
To earn her place, Masha must pass a series of tests, outfox a territorial bear, and make dinner for her host. No easy task, with children on the menu!
6. The Dark-thirty: Southern Tales Of The Supernatural
Patricia McKissack and Brian Pinkney
Level: Grades 5-6
This Newbery Honor Book and Coretta Scott King Award Winner from beloved author Patricia McKissack offers a “stellar collection” of “ten original stories, all with a foundation in African-American history or culture” (School Library Journal).
In that special half-hour of twilight—the dark-thirty—there are stories to be told. Mesmerizing and breathtakingly original, these tales are inspired by African American history and range from the time of slavery to the civil rights era.
With her extraordinary gift for suspense, Patricia C. McKissack has created a heart-stopping collection of lasting value, a book not quickly forgotten.
7. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Washington Irving and CK Dreamaker
Level: Grades 6-7
Everyone knows not to go out in Sleepy Hollow at night for fear of the Headless Horseman.
Check out this classic scary tale in this spooky new illustrated format on Epic!.
That’s it for our list. Enjoy and have a happy and safe Halloween!