The best Halloween picture books with cute illustrations

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a huge fan of Halloween and love decorating my porch to greet our neighborhood kids. This past year I gave away a couple dozen copies of my own picture books along with candy, which was a huge hit. I live in Baltimore with my family, including my silly, spooky kid, and love animals, especially dogs and horses. This past Halloween, my daughter wanted to dress up as a dentist, of all things, so my husband and I went along dressed up as giant teeth. She never got the irony of asking for candy while dressed as a dentist. We’ll have to wait until she is older for that. 


I wrote...

Trick or Treat, Bugs to Eat

By Tracy C. Gold, Nancy Leschnikoff (illustrator),

Book cover of Trick or Treat, Bugs to Eat

What is my book about?

An adorable rhyming Halloween book with educational nonfiction elements woven in, perfect for classrooms and libraries!

Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me lots of bugs to eat! Follow along as a young bat takes flight on Halloween night and eats lots of delicious bugs along the way! Includes educational back matter with lots of fun facts about bats and their favorite insects.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of If You Ever Meet a Skeleton

Tracy C. Gold Why did I love 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!

By Rebecca Evans, Katrin Dreiling (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked If You Ever Meet a Skeleton as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Skeletons might seem frightening, but if you look closer, there's nothing much to fear. They can't run fast, they're terrible at hide-and-seek, and they're scared of everything. When a group of trick-or-treaters runs into an actual skeleton on an enchanted Halloween night, they do whatever they can get away. But what does the skeleton really want? What if they're just looking for a friend?


Book cover of Mother Ghost: Nursery Rhymes for Little Monsters

Tracy C. Gold Why did I love 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. 

By Rachel Kolar, Roland Garrigue (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mother Ghost as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

From "Mary, Mary, Tall and Scary" to "Wee Willie Werewolf," this collection of classic nursery rhymes turned on their heads will give readers the chills--and a serious case of belly laughs. With clever rhyme and spooky illustrations, Mother Ghost is perfect for getting in the Halloween spirit. Boo!


Book cover of Edgar Gets Ready for Bed

Tracy C. Gold Why did I love 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.

By Jennifer Adams, Ron Stucki (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Edgar Gets Ready for Bed as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Meet the plucky toddler Edgar the Raven! He's mischievous, disobedient, and contrary. Dinnertime, cleanup-time, and bedtime are all met with one word: NEVERMORE! But as the evening winds to a close, Edgar's mom knows just what to do to get her son into bed-a bedtime story.


Book cover of Room on the Broom

Tracy C. Gold Why did I love 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. 

By Julia Donaldson, Axes Scheffler (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Room on the Broom as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

How the cat purred and how the witch grinned,
As they sat on their broomstick and flew through the wind.

A very funny story of quick wits and friendship, Room on the Broom is another smash hit from the unparalleled picture book partnership of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, creators of The Gruffalo.

The witch and her cat fly happily over forests, rivers and mountains on their broomstick until a stormy wind blows away the witch's hat, bow and wand. Luckily, they are retrieved by a dog, a bird and a frog, who are all keen for a ride on…


Book cover of Stumpkin

Tracy C. Gold Why did I love 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! 

By Lucy Ruth Cummins,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Stumpkin as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

From the critically acclaimed author and illustrator of A Hungry Lion comes a unique Halloween story about a stemless pumpkin who dreams of becoming a jack-o-lantern.

Stumpkin is the most handsome pumpkin on the block. He’s as orange as a traffic cone! Twice as round as a basketball! He has no bad side! He’s perfect choice for a Halloween jack-o-lantern.

There’s just one problem—Stumpkin has a stump, not a stem. And no one seems to want a stemless jack-o-lantern for their window.

As Halloween night approaches, more and more of his fellow pumpkins leave, but poor Stumpkin remains. Will anyone…


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The Circus Infinite

By Khan Wong,

Book cover of The Circus Infinite

Khan Wong Author Of The Circus Infinite

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Creative expression has been one of my most cherished values since childhood. I've always had a creative hobby of some kind since I was a kid. Not sure how that happened – my parents were tolerant of my interests at best. I made my day job career in the arts, fostering the creativity of community members and supporting the work of artists. Art (in the general sense of all forms of creative expression) is, to me, a defining characteristic of humanity, it makes life worth living, and the way it’s devalued under Capitalism both saddens and inspires me as a creator myself. I’m a writer of speculative fiction and I write about creative people.

Khan's book list on how art is more than art

What is my book about?

Hunted by those who want to study his gravity powers, Jes makes his way to the best place for a mixed-species fugitive to blend in: the pleasure moon where everyone just wants to be lost in the party. It doesn’t take long for him to catch the attention of the crime boss who owns the resort-casino where he lands a circus job, and when the boss gets wind of the bounty on Jes’ head, he makes an offer: do anything and everything asked of him or face vivisection.

With no other options, Jes fulfills the requests: espionage, torture, demolition. But when the boss sets the circus up to take the fall for his about-to-get-busted narcotics operation, Jes and his friends decide to bring the mobster down. And if Jes can also avoid going back to being the prize subject of a scientist who can’t wait to dissect him? Even better.

The Circus Infinite

By Khan Wong,

What is this book about?

Hunted by those who want to study his gravity powers, Jes makes his way to the best place for a mixed-species fugitive to blend in: the pleasure moon where everyone just wants to be lost in the party. It doesn't take long for him to catch the attention of the crime boss who owns the resort-casino where he lands a circus job, and when the boss gets wind of the bounty on Jes' head, he makes an offer: do anything and everything asked of him or face vivisection.

With no other options, Jes fulfills the requests: espionage, torture, demolition. But…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Halloween, nursery rhyme, and witches?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Halloween, nursery rhyme, and witches.

Halloween Explore 88 books about Halloween
Nursery Rhyme Explore 19 books about nursery rhyme
Witches Explore 132 books about witches