Treating little monsters to spooky stories
Published on: 05 October 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
(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
(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!
Author: Claire Freedman
Monsters around the world have different ways to scare, but they all share a love for zany underpants! Every Saturday night, you will find them in a secret cave, showing off their pants as they dance the Monster Bop--but they have to make it home before the sun comes up. After all, who would be scared of monsters in pants that were stripped and dotted?
(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.
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
Perfect for building confidence with reading and very funny as well, Horrid Henry will delight children.
Author: Francesca Simon Illustrator: Tony Ross
Horrid Henry can't believe his mean, horrible parents are forcing him to stay overnight at his slimy cousin Stuck-up Steve's house. And to make matters worse, Steve's house is HAUNTED. Or is it?
The Worst Witch
One of my childhood favourites, which follows the hapless Mildred Hubble as she attends Miss Cackles Academy for Witches.
The Secret of Platform 13
A brilliant story from a truly wonderful writer, this is an exciting, magical adventure the whole family can enjoy.
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.
Great fun and just scary enough for everyone to enjoy; the descriptions of how to spot a witch are truly fantastic... and useful.
A series of brilliant stories and gorgeous illustrations from the current Children's Laureate.
Author: Chris Riddell
Fans of Chris Riddell's Ottoline books will love this quirky story about young heroine Ada Goth.
The Screaming Staircase
First in the gripping and spine-tingling series about teenage ghost hunters Lockwood & Co. Great for anyone who loves being seriously spooked!
Author: Jonathan Stroud
Best known for his sarcastic djinni creation Bartimaeus, Stroud returns with an equally engaging new series, this time following a young set of ghost hunters