Halloween is almost upon us! And as we prepare for the spooky season, trick-or-treating, and the longer nights that come with this time of the year, it’s important to remember that while Halloween is fun, the spooky side of things can be scary for the youngsters. That’s where picture books like this come in. By sharing the fun of the Halloween season, we can alleviate some of the fright. And for those monsters that tend a bit braver, these spooky silly books will still provide just the right balance of laughter and chills, but without being too scary.

When I was a kid, The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything was one of my favorite books. It was a spooky old tale about a little old lady who is rather brave, but encounters some strange things that would make even the bravest of us hesitate. Whether it’s a big clomping pair of shoes or a pair of pants, or a grinning pumpkin head, the little old lady stands her ground–until the scares become too much to handle! This story is so much fun to read aloud, and provides just the right amount of spooky flavor, without ever getting too scary. It’s the perfect tale for Halloween night!

Another favorite from my childhood is Go Away, Big Green Monster! Ed Emberley is known for his fascinating art books and boundless creativity, and this book perfectly showcases both. Both child and reader will be taken on a creepy adventure, as the monster in the book starts putting himself together, piece by piece, whether it’s his scraggly purple hair or his long bluish-greenish nose. And by the time the reader gets to the middle of the book, you have a complete monster. The images are made by overlaying cutouts in the pages over each other, for a super-cool effect. And don’t worry about being scared–there might be a monster in the center of the book, but the rest of the reading will be spent telling the creature to go away, because you’re not scared–and each exclamation, part of the monster gets sent away. A cool, empowering, and really creative book, this is sure to appeal to the littles–especially ones that are still scared of monsters.

Perhaps monsters are just like you and me. They have things to do, they get scared, and sometimes things annoy them. Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich is an adorable collection of silly poems featuring different classic monsters, all struggling with some sort of problem. Frankenstein’s hungry, so he decides to make a sandwich. The Son of Dracula is dreading his upcoming trip to the dentist. And in my personal favorite (and a running joke throughout the book), the Phantom of the Opera is trying to write a new song, but he has another song stuck in his head and it’s going to ruin his day!

It’s hard to be scared of these monsters, when they feel so ordinary and so familiar. And kids will be left guessing at how some of these conundrums could possibly be solved. How does the Invisible Man get a haircut? Will the Mummy just go to bed? You’ll have to read this to find out!

A little mouse is just trying to enjoy his day, when a lot of other bigger, scarier creatures, like an owl, a snake, and a fox try to eat him. But, being a clever little critter and a quick thinker, he comes up with a story to scary away even the most dangerous predator–he’s too busy to tarry with these fine creatures, as he’s due to have lunch with his dear friend, The Gruffalo. But, what on earth is a Gruffalo? the animals all ask the mouse in turn, and he tells them, adding the most horrible features to his fictional friend. But, just when the mouse is confident of his escape, it turns out that there really is such a creature as a Gruffalo! And it’s favorite meal is mouse. Will the mouse be able to outwit this new threat? Or will he end up as lunch after all? This is definitely one of the least scary titles on the list, but it’s a really fun read.

If you’re looking for more scary fun books for your little monsters, consider checking out this list of Frankenstein books for kids!


I'm the Reader's Advisory Librarian at WPPL. My interests include old horror films, classic novels, manga and anime, paper-crafting, and plants. If you like my suggestions, you can request personalized recommendations from me on My Librarian page.