Picture Books

5 Spooky Picture Books for Halloween

I’ve been dipping my toes into horror this year, and I’ve enjoyed the new experience, but left to my own devices I admit I’m all about the spooky Halloween aesthetic more than actually feeling scared. Kids’ books are usually the way to go for that kind of thing (and a great way to get into the spirit of any holiday, I might add). Last year I posted a short Halloween list ranging from picture books to YA, spoops to genuine horror, and all those recommendations still hold. Since I’ve already got that list up, though, this year I’m focusing on picture books. Here are my top five:

Hoodwinked by Arthur Howard. A witch named Mitzi likes creepy things and wants to buy a creepy pet, but all of them are too cute. What do??

Skeleton for Dinner by Margery Cuyler. Ah, misunderstandings. And cute foggy art. This is one of the spookier-toned books on this list, but not gruesome or super scary.

Ten Creepy Monsters by Carey Armstrong-Ellis. This is the simplest plot of the five books here, it’s a rhyming counting book, but the best part is how the writing meshes with the art for an engaging reading experience. Most of the book’s events are inferred from the art, including the satisfying twist at the end.

No Such Thing by Ella Bailey. Another beautiful book, more art-y than the others here and less meant to look spooky, but it’s got a cheeky twist and plenty of plot elements to find on each page. It’s about a little girl who does not believe in ghosts.

Monster Needs a Costume cover

Monster Needs a Costume by Paul Czajak. My very favorite Halloween book. The best, richest art, a funny and satisfying story, a quirky tone. A story about Halloween and trying to decide on a costume — and the options include a cowboy, a ballerina, and a ninja, all for the same monster, which I love. Super cute and the rest of the Monster Needs A… series are great too! Or for a readalike, try Me and My Dragon: Scared of Halloween!

Got a recommendation? Leave it in the comments, there’s still time for me to read it before Halloween!

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