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Ten Books for Halloween

Halloween was made for ghost stories...and pumpkin stories...and witch stories...and more! From the slightly spooky to the simply silly, here are ten recommended books for kids ages 0-9 that are guaranteed Halloween hits.

Quotable Quotes: The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go. -- Dr. Seuss

A Newbery Halloween

By: Martin Greenberg
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

This anthology of twelve short stories features the work of Newbery award-winning authors. Beverly Cleary, Madeleine L'Engle, and Paul Fleishman, to name a few, have contributed to this volume spooky and fun stories that are great Halloween read-alouds for older children.

Big Pumpkin

By: Erica Silverman, S. D. Schindler
Illustrated by: S. D. Schindler, Erica Silverman
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

The witch has grown the biggest pumpkin ever, and now she wants to make herself a pumpkin pie for Halloween. But the pumpkin is so big she can't get it off the vine.

Hoodwinked

By: Arthur Howard
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Mitzi is a witch who likes creepy things. So when she decides to get a pet, she wants the creepiest pet possible. But the bats she tries are too batty, the toad does nothing but eat bugs, and the warthogs . . . well, that’s a whole other story. Mitzi is in despair. She wants a creepy pet that is fun—and that will share her secrets. It seems too much to hope for, until one rainy night when something unexpected scratches on her door. . . . With gentle humor and a touch of magic, Arthur Howard reveals how true friendship sometimes turns up in the most surprising places.

Pumpkin Eye

By: Denise Fleming
Illustrated by: Denise Fleming
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

All the glorious, spooky, swoopy delights of Halloween congregate on one street for one perfectly bone-chilling night in Caldecott Honor artist Denise Fleming's splendid Pumpkin Eye. Gorgeous, thick pulp paintings depict jack-o'-lanterns, bats, dragons, and toothless hags, while clever, memorable rhymes capture the very essence of Halloween: "Trick or treat, pounding feet, wretched witches roam the street."

Pumpkin, Pumpkin

By: Jeanne Titherington
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Realistic, colored pencil drawings and a straightforward text tell how Jamie plants a seed, watches a pumpkin grow, harvests it, and is sure to save a seed for the following year. The large format and bold typeface create a memorable book that can be read independently.

Sheep Trick or Treat

By: Nancy Shaw, Margot Apple
Illustrated by: Margot Apple
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

What will happen when the sheep go trick-or-treating? Could there be wolves lurking in the woods, hoping to waylay them as they return home with their bags full of goodies? In crisp verse and whimsically eerie pictures, Nancy Shaw and Margot Apple tell the lively story of a remarkable Halloween adventure. Simple sentences, rhyming text, and a humorous tone make this the perfect treat for beginning readers.

The Biggest Pumpkin Ever

By: Steven Kroll, Jeni Bassett
Illustrated by: Jeni Bassett
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

When two mice fall in love with the same pumpkin, it gets twice as much care! With one mouse taking care of it by day, and another taking care of it by night, it soon becomes the biggest pumpkin ever. They discover what is happening one night and decide to work together to enter their pumpkin in a contest.

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything

By: Linda Williams, Megan Lloyd
Illustrated by: Megan Lloyd
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

On her way home one windy autumn night, a fearless old lady notices a pair of shoes following her (clomp clomp!). Then she sees and hears the pants, shirt, and the rest of the outfit, but she’s not afraid - that is until she sees a large pumpkin head! The little old woman who wasn’t afraid of anything is also a very good runner – and run she does to the safety of her own home. This engaging story, based in traditional literature, is illustrated with crisp, humorous illustrations and encourages listener participation.

The Widow's Broom

By: Chris Van Allsburg
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The story gets under way when the lonely widow Minna Shaw finds a wounded, sky-fallen witch in her vegetable garden. The witch disappears before dawn, but leaves her old, presumably defunct broom behind. Minna begins to use it around the house and finds that "it was no better or worse than brooms she'd used before." However, one morning, Minna sees the broom sweeping by itself! Opportunistically, she trains it to chop wood and fetch water.

Too Many Pumpkins

By: Linda White, Megan Lloyd
Illustrated by: Megan Lloyd
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

While growing up, Rebecca Estelle ate so much pumpkin in so many ways she grew to hate them. When she buried the pumpkin that accidentally fell into her yard to be rid of it, the humorous results benefited the entire community in many ways. Lighthearted illustrations add comic detail.

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Maria Salvadore
Maria Salvadore
Start with a Book: Read. Talk. Explore.
"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go." — Dr. Seuss