It’s Spooky Season once more and it’s time once again for the GeekMom Halloween Reading Roundup. As in previous years, this will be split into multiple parts, and in this final week, we’ll be looking at Picture Books. Check out the last three week’s posts for Adult, Middle-Grade, and YA recommendations.
Please note: This post contains affiliate links. Author/illustrator images are credited to themselves.
You are the Light Little Pumpkin: A First Halloween Story by Lisa Edwards, Illustrated by Kat Kalindi
Little Pumpkin: A First Halloween Story by Lisa Edwards is a very simple first Halloween picture book for your littlest spooks. Each page is filled with bright Halloween illustrations as Little Pumpkin gets ready to celebrate the season with Big Pumpkin watching over. There are owls and spiders, bats, and black cats, but nothing here is scary, it’s barely even spooky, just cute. There isn’t much of an actual story here, just some affirmative rhymes that will make this a great bedtime book for the days leading up to Halloween.
If you’re after a book for a little one’s first Halloween, then this is an ideal choice.
Read Little Pumpkin: A First Halloween Story: Amazon
Snowmen at Halloween by Caralyn Buehner, Illustrated by Mark Buehner
In Snowmen at Halloween by Caralyn Buehner, we get to imagine what Halloween might be like for snowmen who live in areas with colder climates.
The story opens with a boy and his sister making snowmen on Halloween and dressing them up using their spare costumes. After the kids return from a Halloween party and trick-or-treating trip, they pass by their snowmen and begin to wonder what they might get up to themselves that night. They imagine a Halloween parade and a huge party in the village square with pumpkin carving, apple bobbing, ghost stories, and lots of sweet treats. There’s even a hay maze and face painting. The next morning, the kids awaken to find that they’ll never know what really happened last night, but that their snowmen appear to have left them a seasonal message.
This is a fantastic fall story that features every beloved element of the Halloween season but with a unique snowy twist. The rhyming writing makes this a great bedtime story for preschoolers and even middle graders, but it’s the illustrations that really make it stand out. The book is filled with snowmen wearing costumes of all kinds, there are pirates and punks, scarecrows and sailors, cavemen, clowns, cowboys and so much more. There are even a few sight gags for adult readers, for example, the snowmen doing the face painting bears a remarkable resemblance to Bob Ross!
Snowmen at Halloween is part of the Snowmen series that also features Snowmen at Night, at Christmas, at Work, and All Year. If those books are half as good as this one, then Sophie can see herself picking up many more from the series in the future.
Halloween Yoga by Teresa Anne Power, Illustrated by Emma Allen
Sophie loves Halloween, and her sister loves yoga, so when she spotted Halloween Yoga by Teresa Anne Power she knew she had to see what it was all about.
Halloween Yoga is part of the Little Mouse Adventures series and follows Little Mouse and his best friend Opus the cat, who both live with Tammy McDoodle and her family. It’s Halloween and everyone is getting excited to go trick or treating in the evening. Once Tammy’s friends arrive in their costumes, her mom helps guide them through a series of spooky yoga poses to help them keep calm through the night. There’s the witch pose, the spooky tree, the ghost, and the black cat, plus several more. For each pose, Tammy’s mom explains how to do it and there are illustrations that show the children (plus Little Mouse and Opus) having a go themselves. After the yoga session, Tammy and her friends – human and mouse alike – head out for trick or treating, before returning home where Little Mouse teaches some of the poses to his own family before bed.
This is a very cute little yoga primer that incorporates the Halloween theme brilliantly for preschoolers and other young readers. I loved how the poses are given spooky new names (cat pose becomes black cat pose while chair pose becomes witch pose) and how Tammy’s mom explained how yoga is helpful for reducing stress, building strength, and keeping calm – something nervous youngsters might need help with on a night filled with spooks and scares.
I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this one for bedtime reading as it encourages activity, but it would be ideal for earlier in the evening at the beginning of the going-to-bed routine to help calm sugar-filled little ones down so they (and you) can get some sleep!
Read Halloween Yoga: Amazon
Pomme and the Pumpkins by Admar Kwant
Pomme and the Pumpkins by Admar Kwant is another picture book ideal for little readers who might find Halloween a little too scary as there are no spooks to be found here at all, or even any mention of Halloween at all!
One day in autumn, Pomme and her dad make pumpkin soup together, saving the seeds for planting. Pomme plays with the dried seeds through the winter before planting them in the spring. All through the year she tends to them, with a little help from a small friendly gnome, until the following autumn when her crop is finally ready for harvesting and the cycle can begin all over again.
This was a beautifully illustrated and colorful book that explores nature cycles, gardening, and growing your own produce through a story that can be enjoyed by all ages. I’d say it’s a shame that the vaguely supernatural element of the gnome is there helping (and thus taking away from the idea that anyone can grow their own vegetables), however, given that my own patch has failed to produce a single pumpkin this year, perhaps I could really benefit from a helpful garden gnome myself?!
Spot’s Pumpkin Surprise by Eric Hill
Another book that focuses on growing pumpkins rather than their Halloween connections, Spot’s Pumpkin Surprise by Eric Hill is also ideal for the littlest and most easily spooked readers who would still like to be read something that “looks Halloweeny”.
In spring, Spot and his dad plant some pumpkins in their vegetable garden. The seeds grow into beds filled with carrots, cabbages, and pumpkins too. Once they’re ready, Spot picks the biggest one and takes it inside where he works with his dad and grandpa to bake a huge pumpkin pie for the whole family.
I’ve been reading Spot books ever since I was tiny myself, and this is another great addition to the collection. While there’s not much to the story, it’s still filled with inspiration for kids to have a go at growing and baking their own food and will make for great bedtime reading in the days before Halloween and Thanksgiving too.
The Ghost with the Smelly Old Underwear by Jose Carlos Andres, Illustrated by Gomez
The Ghost with the Smelly Old Underwear by Jose Carlos Andres is a strange and rather silly story but one that I know will get a lot of giggles from young readers!
Everyone in Scvaryville lives in fear because up in the old castle lives the ghost with the smelly old underwear. The ghost pops up everywhere from the cinema to the garbage dump, to their own homes during dinnertime, yelling “I’m the ghost with the SMELLY OLD UNDERWEAR. BEWAAARE!”
One day, the people of Scaryville decide they’ve had enough of being scared, and so a number of different people head to the castle to try and stop the ghost’s antics. Mr. Redpen the teacher tries, as does Shirley the Burly and even Ms. Piter the firefighter, but they are all scared away. Finally, Old Granny Fanny decides to try, but can she figure out what the ghost wants and stop it from scaring the people of the town?
This was a very silly book that will most likely appeal to kids who love series like Aliens Love Underpants and The Dinosaur that Pooped. The repetition of the ghost yelling about his smelly old underwear with probably have kids howling with laughter as they join in themselves, so this might be one to avoid if you’re looking for a calming bedtime book (or one to read quietly in church) but it’s ideal for some fun reading antics!
Our Day of the Dead Celebration by Ana Aranda
Mexico’s Day of the Dead is traditionally celebrated on November 1st and 2nd and Our Day of the Dead Celebration by Ana Aranda shares the author’s experiences of celebrating this joyful holiday with her own family.
As the family prepares, they bake treats loved by relatives both living and departed, decorate an altar, and share stories about those who have passed on. One of the children plays the accordion that once belonged to her great-grandfather, while others bake almond cookies from a recipe that has been in the family so long no one remembers who invented it, and everyone writes poems to those they miss. Soon, the rest of the family arrives including Abuelita who knows all the stories and shares them as the family enjoys singing, dancing, and eating – we even see the spirits of the family joining in too.
This was a wonderful introduction to the Day of the Dead. The concept of dead relatives coming back to visit might initially frighten some young readers, but here it is shown as a cause for joy and happy memories and not something to be feared, just as it is for those who celebrate. Our Day of the Dead Celebration could be an especially great book to share this autumn with anyone who has recently experienced a loss, but it is a wonderful book for everyone to read in order to share in this bright and colorful festival.
- Halloween Reading Roundup 2018
- Halloween Reading Roundup 2019
- Halloween Reading Roundup 2020: Babies – Grade School, Middle Grade, YA & Adult Part One, YA & Adult Part Two
- Halloween Reading Roundup 2021: Picture Books, Middle Grade, Young Adult, Adult
GeekMom received copies of these titles for review purposes.