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Best Halloween Children's Books

Women and Children First
Story time at Women and Children First, a great Chicago bookstore. (Credit: Women and Children First's facebook)

By Hyacynth Worth

There's not much more relaxing and enjoyable than jumping into some cozy pajamas on a chilly fall night and snuggling up with a good book.

Even when you're only four or five years old.

Here are some fabulous family-friendly books that celebrate autumn and Halloween with all of the fun and none of the scare! Because, remember? We're relaxing before bed. Don't want to be back up the stairs ten minutes later fighting off rogue goblins in the closet after reading too-spooky books, now do we, mom and dad?

All brilliant in color and word, these stories will leave little ones ready for lights out, having enjoyed some of the fun of the season without the spook factor.

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat

by Lucille Collandro

Based off of the popular book, There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, this Halloweenish rendition features the same catchy, repetitive rhyme structure but features fabulously Halloween-esque things that have been swallowed – like a bat, an owl and even a wizard! This cute book will have your little one reciting right along with you as you read.

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything

By Linda D. Williams

With its rhythmic repeated sounds and a catchy refrain, The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything is a sure hit for the preschool through early elementary-school-age children. The feature character one night takes a walk through the woods and finds that she has a lively bunch of renegade apparel, like shoes and a shirt, chasing her around. Instead of being scared, though, our heroine finds uniquely fun ways to take care of said items. But the clever story line and goofy heroine aren't the only stars of this book; bright, folk-artsy pictures grace the pages, nicely complimenting an enchantingly silly story.

'Darlene Halloween and the Great Chicago Fire' by Peter J. Welling (Credit: Pelican Publishing)

Darlene Halloween and the Great Chicago Fire

By Peter J. Welling

Author Peter J. Welling, a South Bend, IN, native has constructed a wonderfully entertaining and witty story about a family of mice living in a south Chicago pumpkin patch during the time of The Great Chicago Fire. The story nicely unfolds with the family being captured by the last living witch in Chicago and details how this scene began the big blaze. It also shares how Halloween was named after the heroine of the story while explaining why certain traditions were born.

Scary, Scary Halloween
'Scary, Scary Halloween' by Eve Bunting with pictures by Jan Brett (Credit: Sandpiper)

Scary, Scary Halloween

By Eve Bunting

We're brought into this carefully crafted story through a set of green eyes shining in the night sky and peering out into the Halloween scene unfolding across the lay of the land. The eyes watch from afar as different spooky characters pass by – a skeleton, ghost, witch, gremlin. Though the book has an eerie tone, the evident lack of sinister force is apparent during the progression of the story as more eyes appear to be watching warily from a safe distance. And the fun of the Halloween night is brought into fullness when the creatures are revealed as trick-or-treaters who are only dressed as scary things that go bump in the night. The narrator reveal at the end successfully breaks any remaining spook factor the wandering creatures have set. Adults and kids alike will appreciate the detailed story line and the rhythmic sentences.

Room on the Broom
'Room on the Broom' by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler (Credit: Puffin)

Room on the Broom

By Julia Donaldson

Room on the Broom follows the adventures of a generous witch and her purring cat after the witch loses her hat. With its simple rhyme scheme and light-hearted look at the non-stereotypical witch, young readers will be left smiling at the end of the tale after having been acquainted with the friendly characters picked up and swept away on this little broom-ride adventure.

Women and Children First

Great Stores

Many of these titles can be purchased locally, at the following independent bookstores...

Women and Children First
5233 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60640

The Magic Tree Bookstore
141 N. Oak Park Ave.
Oak Park, IL 60301

Anderson's Bookstores
123 West Jefferson
Naperville, IL 60540
5112 Main St
Downers Grove, IL 60515

Hyacynth Worth writes almost daily about faith, motherhood, healthy living and the intersection of the three at Undercover Mother.


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