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Kid-tested favorite books for some (not too) scary Halloween reading!

It's that time of year again! Thoughts are turning to fall fun, and all the holidays coming our way. Mine is a Halloween-loving family! We love seeing the neighborhood decorations, watching all our favorite Halloween movies, and coming up with creative costume ideas. Most of all, we enjoy the sense of excitement and anticipation as we lead up to the big day!

My students and I love the following books for getting into the Halloween spirit! For each book, I have included an activity suggestion. Only treats below, no tricks! (Please note: the links below are affiliate links. If you buy items through using these links, I get a small commission to help support this blog. Thank you!)

The Little Old Lady Who was not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams and illustrated by Megan Lloyd. This was one of my daughter's favorites when she was younger. It is wonderful for reading aloud! Our "little old lady" travels through the woods in the story. Various items start to follow her - an old pair of shoes, a pair of pants! She is not afraid, though they wiggle and clomp at her! The group accumulates more and more characters until she finds a way to put them all to use together! (Activity suggestion - In this story, the lady makes a scarecrow out of all the scary objects that were following her. What would you use to build a scarecrow? Draw a scarecrow of your own and come up with a sound for each item to make.)

The Little Ghost Who was a Quilt by Riel Nason and illustrated by Byron Eggenschwiler. I just discovered this book recently, and I fell instantly in love. In this book, a little ghost learns to embrace his differences. The little ghost cannot keep up with the other ghosts; he is slower and gets hot faster because he is a quilt. But one Halloween night, he has an experience that could only happen because he is a quilt, and it changes his mindset. Best for kids up to about 2nd grade and perfect for a read-aloud for younger children, this book is beautifully illustrated. (Activity suggestion - The ghost in the story was a quilt, and he had a family member who was a tablecloth. What is another thing a ghost could be made of? Draw a picture of your ghost made out of something other than a sheet.)

For your readers who love a creepy series, try these next books on the list. The Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Peter Brown. This is another new one for me. The Creepy Carrots is a very funny book about a little bunny dealing with unusual vegetables! The second book in the series is The Creepy Pair of Underwear by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Peter Brown! This sequel to the Creepy Carrots was based on an idea suggested to the author by a reader of the first book. It is delightfully creepy in a funny and enjoyable way that is not likely to scare your little readers. Follow along with Jasper the Rabbit as he has to deal with some seriously spooky behavior from the new underwear mom got him at the underwear store. Most recently we have been delighted by The Creepy Crayon by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Peter Brown. In this book, the "creepy" item leaves our friend Jasper in a moral predicament. Does he let the Creepy Crayon help him with his schoolwork even though he knows that it is cheating? The newfound fame and adoration the Creepy Crayon has brought him is very tempting. What will Jasper decide? Suitable for preschool through grade 3 readers. (Activity suggestion - The books are illustrated in black and white instead of color, with very few bits of color scattered across the pages. Why do you think the illustrator decided to do this? How did it set the mood for the story? Draw your own scary movie poster for this book!)

It's Pumpkin Day, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond. Suitable for your littlest bookworms, this book follows the mouse from the If You Give a Mouse a Cookie books as he decorates pumpkins. But one is missing! Where could it be? This sweet story is ideal for children from preschool to early primary school readers to read on their own, or as a read-aloud choice for babies and toddlers. (Activity suggestion - Mouse painted his pumpkins that show different kinds of feelings. He painted pumpkins that were happy, sad, silly, and friendly. Dog painted a scary pumpkin that looked mad. Draw your own pumpkin. What is your pumpkin feeling?)

The Beast and the Bethany by Jack Meggitt-Phillips and illustrated by Isabelle Follath. Ebenezer Tweezer is a 512-year-old man whose magical Beast will give him anything he wants - for a price. Ebenezer has always been happy to provide the Beast with anything it has asked for, from priceless artifacts to endangered species, but this time the beast wants to eat...a child? Hilarious and endearing, this is the perfect Halloween choice for kids in grades 4-8. The sequel was released in January and was very quickly devoured by my eager readers. The second book in the series, The Beast and the Bethany Book 2: Revenge of the Beast by Jack Meggitt-Phillips and illustrated by Isabelle Follath, did not disappoint. We reunite with everyone's favorite 512-year-old, Ebeneezer, as well as his reformed friend Bethany and Claudette, the parrot. This adventure finds us dealing with the return of the Beast, who is not too happy about the fate he met at the end of the last book. We also get more backstory on how the beast and Ebeneezer met, and if anyone else ever knew about the beast. (Activity suggestion - Ebenezer had everything he could want thanks to the Beast, but he did have to make some questionable choices to get those things. Where would you draw the line? What would you be willing - or unwilling - to feed to the Beast? Draw a picture of the beast with all the things you would be willing to sacrifice to it and what you would ask for in return.)

What is your favorite Halloween book to share with the children in your life? Please comment below! If you do any of the suggested activities, please post a picture on my social media! And don't forget to subscribe for more updates!

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