Halloween is one of my eldest daughter’s favourite times of the year. She loves getting dressed up in spooky outfits and carving a pumpkin. This year, we won’t be able to go trick or treating so instead I’ve decided to do a Halloween Book Party! It will be my youngest daughter’s first Halloween(!) so I was keen to include lots of spooky board books, so she can join in the fun.
With the 10-day countdown officially commencing, I thought it would be nice to share ten spooky books that will be featuring in our family Halloween Book Party.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s Creepy-Crawly Halloween by Eric Carle
I actually squealed when I first held this book, as did my daughter. The Very Hungry Caterpillar is an absolute favourite with both my girls. This gorgeous board book has the familiar style of the original story, but follows caterpillar on a spooky adventure in the woods. Children can lift the flaps to discover creepy crawlies like a very busy spider.
This board book is a bit bigger in surface area than many we own and not too chunky, which made it very nice for my one-year-old to hold. We all love it!
Published by Penguin, 3 September 2020
Vampire Peter by Ben Manley & Hannah Peck
Everyone says Peter is the baddest boy in school. He likes strange food, wears strange clothes and does strange things. In fact, Peter is a vampire. So when the class gerbil goes missing, Lucy lets Peter take the blame, even though she knows it wasn’t anything to do with him…
As you know, we are big Ben Manley fans (see my reviews of Albert Talbot and The Misadventures of Frederick). But this is our favourite Ben Manley book yet! Hannah’s illustrations are gorgeous and the speech bubbles add so much humour throughout the book.
Vampire Peter is so much more than just a spooky book, it has a fabulous message about accepting people for who they are, admitting your mistakes, and being kind to everyone. This is definitely a picture book to be enjoyed all year round, as well as at Halloween!
Published by Andersen Press, 3 September 2020
Ten Little Monsters Board by Mike Brownlow & Simon Rickerty
We adore this series by Mike and Simon and the monster edition is a MUST at our Halloween party. Every hilarious rhyming book in this series follows the same pattern: ten little [monsters] start out and one-by-one they disappear, as you count down from ten to one. Mike’s rhymes always make us laugh and Simon’s illustrations are brilliant – there are so many little details to spot on each page.
In Ten Little Monsters, we loved the robot and the scientists MUAH-HA-HA! This is a fabulous book for all year around that children will want to read again and again.
Published by Hachette, 7 September 2017
Halloween (My First Touch and Find) by Campbell Books & illustrated by Tiago Americo
This is a lovely sensory board book for little ones. The giant, sturdy flaps are great for babies. Each page has a different texture for children to enjoy. Our favourite was the furry werewolf.
Filled with questions to engage young readers, there is plenty for children to spot and count and explore on every page as they peek through and lift the flaps. Tiago’s bold illustrations are full of friendly-looking Halloween characters, creating a nice balance – it’s spooky but not scary.
Published by Macmillan, 3 September 2020
I Love Halloween by Giles Andreae & Emma Dodd
It’s Halloween today. Woo-hoo! There’s so much spooky stuff to do.
This is like the rhyming how-to guide to Halloween. All the joys of Halloween celebrations are included from making ghost cookies, preparing pumpkins and making witches hats, to dressing up in spooky costumes.
My daughter’s favourite page, unsurprisingly was carving pumpkins!
Published by Hachette, 17 September 2020
Halloween ABC illustrated by Jannie Ho
We love an alphabet book and this Halloween edition is delightful. Jannie’s illustrations are bold and striking. The contrasting colours really attracted my baby’s attention. There was a good range of entries.
My daughter said the Eyeballs were scary, and we had a chat about what Quiver meant and trying it out. Her favourite page was definitely: Owl and Pumpkin (are you seeing a pumpkin theme emerging?).
Published by Nosy Crow, 8 September 2016
Ollie’s Lost Kitten by Nicola Killen
One windy day, Ollie and her cat Pumpkin are playing outside when they discover a little lost kitten. Ollie helps the kitten find his way home, but then she realises she has lost something very precious…
Nicola’s artwork makes this picture book really stand out. There are several pages with little cut out sections that children can peek through to the next page. The design is ingenious.
Nicola has used a very limited colour palette and the foil autumn leaves are so striking. We haven’t read the other books in the series, but it read fine as a standalone picture book. My little girl absolutely loved the leaves and the fact Ollie’s cat was called Pumpkin!
Published by Simon & Schuster, 1 October 2020
Boo by Pat-a-Cake & illustrated by Zoe Waring
This is my youngest’s favourite Halloween board book (my three year old loves it too!). A spooky monster appears in the middle of each spread covering its eyes and you can pull back both arms to get a real PEEK-A-BOO experience.
This spooktacular board book is a little bit of genius and HOURS of fun! If you know a child that loves peekaboo and Halloween get your hands on a copy of this – it’s a no-brainer!
Published by Hachette, 3 September 2020
Hyde and Squeak by Fiona Ross
Would YOU dare to eat a beastly-looking jelly? Squeak the mouse just can’t resist a taste . . . Slurp! Burp! Grunt! Growl! Uh-oh! Squeak has turned into Hyde – a massive, hungry monster mouse! Look out!
Wow. What a brilliant twist on the classic tale of Jekyll and Hyde. Fiona’s illustrations are fantastic and the comic-book style works perfectly. The text is so fun to read aloud and for children to engage with, especially as Squeak is transforming into Hyde. This is a brilliant book for Halloween and one that you’ll want to read again and again.
Published by Little Tiger Press 7 September 2017
Room on the Broom: A Push, Pull and Slide Book by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler
Finally, we couldn’t have a book party without a spooky story by Julia & Axel. I was delighted to discover this push, pull and slide edition of Room on the Broom, that came out this year. Both my daughters love this series of board books. The moving mechanisms are always engaging and high quality.
This edition contains a simplified rhyming version of the classic picture book story. We loved watching the animal sits on the witch’s broomstick and escaping dragon! Our favourite part was definitely the snap tab when frog attempts to come along for the ride.
Published by Macmillan, 3 September 2020
I am very grateful to the publishers for providing me with complimentary copies of these books. This voluntary feature contains my honest opinion.