There’s something magical about pulling out spooktacular tales to enjoy throughout October. And these ten Halloween picture books by women authors offer loads of spooky snuggles and fun. It’s quite a feat to offer up a storytelling experience that is both visually and textually excellent. From witches to noises, to zombies, to pumpkins, to monsters, and more, enjoy!
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Ten Halloween Picture Books by Women Authors
A Very Brave Witch: On the far side of town, in a big, dark house, lives a brave little witch. She has heard lots and lots about those scary humans and a holiday they call Halloween, but she has never even seen Halloween for herself. Until one very special Halloween comes along. Perfect for trick-or-treaters of all ages, A Very Brave Witch written by Alison McGhee and illustrated by Harry Bliss makes for a playful read-aloud that takes the scariness out of the holiday.
The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything: Once upon a time, there was a little old lady who was not afraid of anything. But one autumn night, while walking in the woods, the little old lady heard clomp, clomp, shake, shake, clap, clap. And the little old lady who was not afraid of anything had the scare of her life. With bouncy refrains and classic art, author Linda Williams’s and illustrator Megan Lloyd’s timeless Halloween story is perfect for reading aloud.
Zombies Don’t Eat Veggies: Written by Megan and Jorge Lacera, this book tells the story of Mo Romero, a zombie who loves nothing more than growing, cooking, and eating vegetables. Tomatoes? Tantalizing. Peppers? Pure perfection! The problem? Mo’s parents insist that their niño eat only zombie cuisine, like arm-panadas and finger foods. They tell Mo over and over that zombies don’t eat veggies. But Mo can’t imagine a lifetime of just eating zombie food and giving up his veggies. As he questions his own zombie identity, Mo tries his best to convince his parents to give peas a chance.
The Spider and the Fly: ‘Will you walk into my parlor, ‘ said the Spider to the Fly…is easily one of the most recognized and quoted first lines in English verse. But do you have any idea how the age-old tale of the Spider and the Fly ends? Join celebrated artist Tony DiTerlizzi (who draws inspiration from classic Hollywood horror movies of the 1920s and 1930s) as he shines a cinematic spotlight on author Mary Howitt’s warning, written to her children about those who use sweet words to hide their not-so-sweet intentions.
I Need My Monster: A unique monster-under-the-bed story with the perfect balance of giggles and shivers, this picture book by author Amanda Noll and illustrator Howard McWilliam relies on the power of humor over fear, appeals to a child’s love for creatures both alarming and absurd, and glorifies the scope of a child’s imagination. One night, when Ethan checks under his bed for his monster, Gabe, he finds a note from him instead: Gone fishing. Back in a week.
Ethan knows that without Gabe’s familiar nightly scares, he doesn’t stand a chance of getting to sleep. So Ethan interviews potential substitutes to see if they’ve got the right equipment for the job–pointy teeth, sharp claws, and a long tail–but none of them proves scary enough for Ethan. When Gabe returns sooner than expected from his fishing trip, Ethan is thrilled. It turns out that Gabe didn’t enjoy fishing because the fish scared too easily.
Room on the Broom: The witch and her cat are happily flying through the sky on a broomstick when the wind picks up and blows away the witch’s hat, then her bow, and then her wand! Luckily, three helpful animals find the missing items, and all they want in return is a ride on the broom. But is there room on the broom for so many friends? And when disaster strikes, will they be able to save the witch from a hungry dragon? Author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler are the creators of many beloved picture books including The Gruffalo.
Where Is Baby’s Pumpkin?: In Karen Katz’s distinctive style, an adorable baby searches throughout the house for her pumpkin. Is the pumpkin under the leaves, behind the curtain, under the bed? NO! But Baby finds many other surprises as a ghost, a witch’s hat, cute-as-a-button bats, and candy apples are found beneath each flap. Finally, after Baby finds her pumpkin, she’s ready to go trick-or-treating, and the final flap reveals a Halloween extravaganza!
A Dark, Dark Tale: Written and illustrated by Ruth Brown, this book sweeps children away with its dark and fascinating adventure of a black cat who travels through all of the shadowy corners of the nearby woods and house.
Pumpkin Soup: Deep in the woods in an old white cabin, three friends make their pumpkin soup the same way every day. The Cat slices up the pumpkin, the Squirrel stirs in the water, and the Duck tips in just enough salt. But one day, the Duck wants to stir instead, and then there is a horrible squabble, and he leaves the cabin in a huff. It isn’t long before the Cat and the Squirrel start to worry about him and begin a search for their friend. Helen Cooper’s delightful story will resonate for a child who has known the difficulties that come with friendship. Included at the end is a recipe for delicious pumpkin soup.
By the Light of the Halloween Moon: In this fun, cumulative tale by author Caroline Stutson and illustrator Kevin Hawkes, a little girl’s toe taps a tune as her legs dangle from a footbridge that has all sorts of creatures hidden underneath. There are cats and witches, bats and ghosts. With rhythmic, bouncy text and imaginative illustrations, this Halloween story is sure to tickle your bones–your funny bones, that is!
Compiled by Erin Prather Stafford