The best Halloween picture books with cute illustrations

The Books I Picked & Why

If You Ever Meet a Skeleton

By Rebecca Evans, Katrin Dreiling

Book cover of If You Ever Meet a Skeleton

Why this book?

I love this book which teaches kids that scary things (like skeletons!) aren’t always as scary as they appear. Rebecca Evans, the author, is a friend of mine and does a lot of volunteer work to help other children’s book writers and illustrators, so I love supporting someone so involved and helpful! When I saw Rebecca read this book at an event, she had an adorable craft where kids could make skeletons out of gluing dry pasta to black paper—activity idea!

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Mother Ghost: Nursery Rhymes for Little Monsters

By Rachel Kolar, Roland Garrigue

Book cover of Mother Ghost: Nursery Rhymes for Little Monsters

Why this book?

This book is so darn cute! I love the fresh takes on familiar nursery rhymes. I always chuckle when I read the clever new twists (which are only a little spooky). The illustrations are a teeny bit scary, but mostly super cute. When you read this book, you can go all the way through, or just pick one nursery rhyme at a time to chant with the kids. 

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Edgar Gets Ready for Bed

By Jennifer Adams, Ron Stucki

Book cover of Edgar Gets Ready for Bed

Why this book?

I am from Baltimore, where famous spooky writer Edgar Allan Poe lived and died right outside a bar I used to go to in my twenties (a few centuries before I ever went there!). Our football team is even named after his famous poem, "The Raven," and its mascots are named Edgar, Allan, and Poe. So of course I love this adorable book about a tiny raven who just won’t go to bed! Stucki’s illustrations make a kind of scary animal—a raven—very appealing to little kids. And everyone can relate to a kid not wanting to go to bed! There is a whole series of books by this duo covering different Poe stories, if you want a very literary Halloween.

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Room on the Broom

By Julia Donaldson, Axes Scheffler

Book cover of Room on the Broom

Why this book?

What a cute story full of imagination and friendship! I love how the animals all band together to protect the witch from the dragon—too cute. Kids cackle (can’t help it) with glee at the adorable illustrations here. This book is perfect for any kid who wants to be a witch or warlock (or maybe even a frog) for Halloween. 

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By Lucy Ruth Cummins

Book cover of Stumpkin

Why this book?

The simplicity of the illustrations here is so marvelous and cute! I love how this book shows that you don’t have to be just like the other pumpkins—or the other kids—to be happy and find your place in the world. This is a nice, short one (which is so needed for bedtime), and the pages where the pumpkin is getting carved are so striking and illustrated. Don’t worry, kids won’t be scared about the dear pumpkin getting carved—it’s presented as the pumpkin’s biggest dream to be a jack o’ lantern! 

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