4 Not-so-Spooky Halloween Titles for Families

It’s the month of October and that means one thing to children: Halloween is coming! It’s the season for cooler weather and pumpkin flavored treats, but it also provides a great selection of fall and Halloween themed stories, so snuggle into the couch and enjoy them together as a family. Below is a short list of recommendations to help you get started. These are books that we feel will entertain even the youngest people in your home. As a bonus, they are available to check out from the Memphis Public Library.

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Where is Baby’s Pumpkin?

by Karen Katz

This charming “lift-the-flaps” board book is a gentle introduction to Halloween for the youngest ones in your family. In this story, a baby is searching the house for her lost pumpkin. Along the way, she must look “under the leaves,” “behind the curtain,” and “under the bed.” Reading this story to your own baby will expose him to new words and objects related to Autumn and Halloween. There are also opportunities for counting, naming shapes, and identifying colors in the bright and engaging illustrations.

Llama, Llama Trick or Treat

by Anna Dewdney

Most families are familiar with the Llama Llama series in which little Llama has a problem and Mama Llama helps him find a healthy solution. This particular story is Llama’s introduction to the basic traditions of Halloween and is only available as a board book. The text consists of simple rhyming sentences about his search for the right costume, his first attempt at carving a jack o’lantern, and finally his first time trick-or-treating with Mama. As you read with your wee one, ask her to point to images that match the words in the rhymes. Engage her interest by talking about what SHE wants to be for Halloween: an astronaut? or a bumblebee? Llama Llama Trick or Treat is an easy, approachable story designed to introduce younger toddlers to the highlights of Halloween without any spookiness.

Mouse’s First Halloween

by Lauren Thompson

This gentle tale introduces older toddlers to the spookier elements of Halloween, while relieving any of their accompanying fears with lighthearted fun. It is written in the spirit of eerie mystery with creepy sounds and moments of suspense, but then mouse’s fears are calmed as he discovers that falling leaves, playful kittens, and smiling bats have made the mysterious noises. Play up the suspense as you read to your toddler by asking him to guess what is making the sounds. Encourage him to stretch his imagination by coming up with alternative explanations for the creepy noises. With beautiful illustrations reminiscent of fall, this story is ideal for younger children who aren’t yet ready for the intensity of Halloween fright.

Room on the Broom

by Julia Donaldson

This last Halloween selection is perfect for your preschooler. A witch and her cat meet three happy creatures who simply desire a ride on the witch’s broom in exchange for helping her find her lost hat, bow, and wand. Will there be enough “room on the broom” for all of them? There is also a real scare in the story, as the group encounters a dragon and must deal with a broken broom! The colorful illustrations and rhyming text engage preschoolers in this witchy tale of cooperation and helpfulness.

This is just a brief sampling of fun and (mildly) spooky Halloween books available to read with your young children as you get ready for trick-or-treating. We hope they will help you get into the holiday spirit this October. Happy Halloween from the Urban Child Institute.