Looking for some spooky good reads this Halloween? Below is our family’s list of all-time favorites. Have a Happy Halloween!
A cautionary tale from 1829 The Spider and the Fly will capture your children’s imagination. Tony DiTerlizzi spins a masterful retelling of Mary Howitt’s poetic fable with his perversely charming pictures. It’s such fun and best read with a wicked voice… Ba ha ha ha ha! (Ages 6-9)
Humbug Witch is a little witch who can’t quite fly her broom or make her cauldron boil and bubble, but Lorna Balian’s surprise ending will delight your little ones. (Ages 3-8)
Diane Goode’s Book of Scary Stories & Songs is a fabulous collection of old folktales, poems, and songs that will either send a shiver down your spine or make you laugh out loud. Goode’s playful illustrations bring old favorites back to life like “The Ghost of John” and “The Green Ribbon.” (Ages 5-8)
From the creators of The Gruffalo, zooms Room on the Broom. Julia Donaldson tells the story of this enterprising witch and cat. Young children will become bewitched by the rhyme and have a silly time. (Ages 4-8)
The Witches’ Supermarket is a terribly clever book for ages 4-8 who will enjoy being one step ahead of the little girl in disguise who shops for all manner of shocking grocery items (like apples with worms and shake n’ bake snake) with her faithful dog. (Ages 5-8)
Ghosts in the House become repurposed by the new owner as lovely curtains, tablecloths and comforters. Decorating her cozy home with Kazuno Kaharo’s simple yet charming illustrations, kids might just want to move in. (Ages 3-6)
You’ll probably have to check your local library for copies of Adrienne Adams classic Halloween books A Halloween Happening and A Woggle of Witches. In A Halloween Happening, the witches throw a party for the children complete with special delicious things like toad tarts, wart soup and worm waffles. After their feast, they take to the sky on bat-wing gliders. Adams’ moonlit pictures enchant with originality and fun. (Ages 4-8)
And for more advanced readers:
Bed-knob and Broomstick by Mary Norton is a combined edition of The Magic Bed-Knob and Bonfires and Broomsticks. Best known for her novels about The Borrowers, Norton created a timeless classic in the forties when she wrote these two books about an apprentice witch named Miss Eglatine Price who befriends three young waifs who threaten to tell their aunt on her. After offering them a magical bed-knob in return for their silence, together they take adventures on a marvelous flying bed which becomes part of Miss Price’s witchcraft training. (Ages 8-11)
The Witches by Roald Dahl Enough said, right? He’s a genius. Mr. Dahl presents witches as ordinary women in plain-clothed disguise who loathe children. When an orphan boy discovers their terrible secret, he must risk everything to prevent them from turning more children into mice. Eeek! With his trademark humor and charm, Dahl casts a dizzying spell on us with his magical prose once again. (Ages 7-12)
Nicki Richesin is the editor of four anthologies,What I Would Tell Her: 28 Devoted Dads on Bringing Up, Holding On To, and Letting Go of Their Daughters; Because I Love Her: 34 Women Writers Reflect on the Mother-Daughter Bond; Crush: 26 Real-Life Tales of First Love; and The May Queen: Women on Life, Work, and Pulling it all Together in your Thirties. Her anthologies have been excerpted and praised in The New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle,The Boston Globe, Redbook, Parenting, Cosmopolitan, Bust, Daily Candy, and Babble.