Treating little monsters to spooky stories

Published on: 5 Hydref 2015 Author: Kate Hancock

Bookstart mum and children's publishing expert, Kate Hancock, blogs about great books to share with children at Halloween...

Summer is over, the nights are getting longer and children (and adults!) everywhere are looking ahead to celebrating Halloween.

It's an opportunity for dressing up, making decorations, going to parties and trick or treating, but the cold, dark evenings can also be a brilliant chance to snuggle up with loved ones and share some spooky stories and books.

Sharing books about monsters, witches or ghosts can be great fun for everyone. Whatever age the children in your life are (and however spooked and excited they like to be) there are some really brilliant books that suit Halloween celebrations perfectly.

Here are just a few of the books I love to read at this time of year.

Toddlers and preschoolers

There are fantastic spooky picture books available for young children; have fun guessing what will happen next, making each other jump and using funny voices.

Room on the Broom

Room on the Broom

(Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler)

A real modern classic which features not only a witch, lots of animals and a dragon, but has a great message about sharing and working together.

Monsters Love Underpants

Monsters Love Underpants

(Claire Freedman & Ben Cort):

If your child prefers monsters to witches then this is a great title to try with lots of monsters... and pants too!

The Dark

The Dark

(Lemony Snicket & Jon Klassen):

Most small children have fears at some point and this beautiful book is great for helping to address them with gorgeous illustrations and a message that sometimes the things we find most frightening aren't so bad.

Young children

The following are great for children learning to read, or already reading on their own, as well as being lots of fun to share, perhaps as a bedtime story.

Horrid Henry's Haunted House

Horrid Henry's Haunted House

(Francesca Simon):

Perfect for building confidence with reading and very funny as well, Horrid Henry will delight children.

The Worst Witch

The Worst Witch

(Jill Murphy):

One of my childhood favourites, which follows the hapless Mildred Hubble as she attends Miss Cackles Academy for Witches.

The Secret of Platform 13

The Secret of Platform 13

(Eva Ibbotson):

A brilliant story from a truly wonderful writer, this is an exciting, magical adventure the whole family can enjoy.

Older children

Share your own childhood favourites and explore some of the fantastic newer books available or challenge each other to see who can find (or tell!) the scariest story.

The Witches

The Witches

(Roald Dahl):

Great fun and just scary enough for everyone to enjoy; the descriptions of how to spot a witch are truly fantastic... and useful.

Goth Girl

Goth Girl

(Chris Riddell):

A series of brilliant stories and gorgeous illustrations from the former Children's Laureate.

The Screaming Staircase

The Screaming Staircase

(Jonathan Stroud):

First in the gripping and spine-tingling series about teenage ghost hunters Lockwood & Co. Great for anyone who loves being seriously spooked!

More Halloween picture books


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