Halloween is my favorite holiday. No surprise there for people who know me. I felt inspired to put together a Halloween book list for toddlers. For each holiday, I take time to think about and plan how to make it special and fun for my 2-year-old daughter Odette. I aim to not do anything too time consuming as I don’t really have a lot of free time on my hands, but I aim to do strategic things that have the most impact. I put up decorations, I plan some activities leading up to the holiday and on the holiday, and for Halloween this year, I made a little spot on her bookshelf of all her Halloween books and got some new ones for it too. I plan to do this for every holiday from here on out! It was nice having the books right there to read each night and it got her excited for the holiday.
In an effort to blog more and share some personal content… here is my list of Halloween books for toddlers!
The Little Ghost Who Lost Her Boo!
by Elaine Bickell and Raymond McGrath
The Little Ghost Who Lost Her Boo! is too cute and was a happy surprise. Brand new, it just came out in August, I randomly found this book through searches and I’m glad I just went for it and bought it. The illustrations are stunning! It tells the story of a little ghost who lost her boo and stops to talk to many friends along the way in search of it. Odette wanted to be ghost this Halloween and this book was a perfect fit. Her favorite part about being a ghost… saying, “boo!” I love that she picked something Halloweeny and that let her do something she doesn’t get to do in her everyday life often, spook people! A big perk, it’s the little ghost who lost her boo. As I recently saw illustrated by stacks of kids books in an Instagram story by a parenting focused account, kids books are predominately about a he, even ones about animals and objects. It ends in an interactive way reminiscent of the classic Sesame Street story The Monster at the End of this Book.
Little Owl’s Night
by Divya Srinivasan
Little Owl’s Night is my favorite board book. We read this book all year round, it’s not just a Halloween book, but it’s perfect for the season! Little Owl explores the night forest and shows the wonder of nature and the beauty of the night. The night, darkness, things spooky, and even scary don’t have to be bad. The illustrations are lovely and the simple words are poetic. I also highly recommend the other Little Owl books, Little Owl’s Day, Little Owl’s Snow, Little Owl’s Colors, and Little Owl’s 1-2-3 as well as Octopus Alone. Srinivasan has illustrated a book with Neil Gaiman too! Though heads up, it’s not really a book for kids.
The Little Kitten
by Nicola Killen
The Little Kitten is another brand new book this year. It’s a sweet story about helping others and friendship. The illustrations are beautiful (yes, a theme here) and the story has some wonder to it. It captures the magic of the Halloween season and it’s a great addition to a Halloween book collection. Upon writing this I just found there are other “Little Animal Friend” books by Killen and I’ll probably be getting the reindeer on for a Christmas bookshelf.
by Rachel Kolar and Roland Garrigue
I bought Mother Ghost when Odette was just a few months old for her first Halloween. It’s better suited for toddlers than babies but it was fun to read to her that first year. It’s just the right amount of scary and creepy. I think reading something like this that is kid level spooky can help make the world less scary in general. It can show scary things can be fun. This idea seems to be working as Odette has been obsessed with the giant blow up “tree with glowing eyes” down the street on our neighbor’s lawn. At night she’ll ask to go see it and we have gone on many evening walks to visit it. This book is a clever play on classic nursery rhymes and it’s very well done.
You’re My Little Pumpkin Pie
by Natalie Marshall
You’re My Little Pumpkin Pie is another book that’s part of a collection of holiday books. There is also You’re My Little Christmas Wish and ones for other holidays, going farther than most with You’re My Little Firecracker. If you’re gonna start the tradition of making holiday bookshelves, there are a lot of book series out there to do it with! We were gifted Marshall’s Five Little Ducks and I fell in love with her illustrations. This book is adorable! I also bought Five Little Pumpkins this year and Odette loves connecting that book to the Raffi song on the Halloween playlist I made her.
by Sandra Boynton
When I received Moo, Baa, La La La! as a gift at my bridal shower, my first impression was it looked pretty dated and 90s. But as a parent, I have totally fallen in love with Sandra Boynton’s books. They deal with emotions and differences in a positive and honest way that isn’t heavy handed. I can’t quite explain it. A good example of this quality is her book Happy Hippo, Angry Duck. Odette’s yoga teacher read it to her class to help teach about emotions. This book is quirky and playful and has those vibes too. (I also love Spooky Pookie.)
It’s Pumpkin Day, Mouse!
by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond
I fondly remember reading If You Give a Mouse a Cookie as a kid, it was one of my favorites! There are many many “If You Give…” books now and a TV show. Aside from the original, this is my top pick. This book is simple but fun and it’s another book that deals with emotions in a positive, simple, and not heavy handed way. We have fun making faces with all the different pumpkins, especially, “This pumpkin is sad,” with a big frowny face. We read this book all year round too and it has made Odette very excited for pumpkins and pumpkin carving!
Llama Llama Trick or Treat
by Anna Dewdney
Odette loves these short Llama Llama board books! She really really loves them. We read them all the time and when we read one, we have to read them all. These books are inexpensive and an easy book to pick up for a holiday bookshelf. Llama Llama I Love You and Llama Llama Easter Egg are more favorites than this one but they are all simple and playful. She loves the TV show too, I do as well, and I’m pretty picky about what we’ll let her watch at this age. Speaking of TV shows, I also recommend the Happy Halloween, Daniel Tiger! book and the Daniel Tiger books for holiday bookshelves.
What Halloween books do you recommend for toddlers? And what books do you recommend for Christmas, winter, and Valentine’s Day? (Cause I’ll be grabbing some new books for those holidays soon too.) You can read more Mom Life blogs and I hope to write some more blogs like this soon.