Halloween-ish Read Alouds

I love reading aloud in October. The only problem is that I don’t have enough time to share all my favorites with my students! So, instead I’ll list them here in the hopes that you might share them with the kids you  know.


For the Littlest Ones (that’d be K-1 at my school)

Wolf’s Coming by Joe Kulka
Quick! Run and hide, wolf’s coming! One of my favorite read alouds; I swear the kids are so tense they are holding their breaths at the end–and what a fun ending!

Pumpkintown, Or, Nothing is Better or Worse Than Pumpkins by Katie McKy
Five brothers, too many pumpkin seeds, and a windy night cause problems come fall.

The Teeny Tiny Ghost by Kay Winters
Did you know? Being scary doesn’t come easily to every ghost.

The Little Old Lady Who Wasn’t Scared of Anything by Linda Williams
A brave woman is followed by mysterious haunted clothing in the woods. The repetition and possibilities for students joining in and acting it out means it’s one I never skip reading.

A Beasty Story by Steven Kellogg
Mice venture into a dark, dark house. I love to stop and have the students say the colors and/or finish the rhyme. Pair this one with Wolf’s Coming (above) to talk about surprise endings.

If You’re a Monster and You Know It (paired with There was an Old Monster) by Rebecca Emberley
Monstery versions of the well-known songs. Listen to musical versions here.

Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman
Witch wants pumpkin pie but that pumpkin just won’t come off the vine. Another great one for students to chime in.

Skeleton Hiccups by Margery Cuyler
Skeleton-hic!-tries everything, but can’t get rid of those darn-hic!-hiccups!

Ghosts in the House by Kazuno Kohara
A little witch has a plan for those ghosts in her new house.


Those in the Middle (grades 2-3)

Piggie Pie by Margie Palatini
Gritch the Witch needs some fresh piggies to make pumpkin pie. Too bad those farm animals are so sneaky.

Alpha Oops! H is for Halloween by Alethea Kontis
Yes, it’s an alphabet book, but the humor with the letters (poor B!) gets the older kids giggling.

The Halloweiner by Dav Pilkey
The underdog saves Halloween night from those nasty cats.

Only a Witch Can Fly by Alison McGhee
A little witch looks forward to her first broom flight.

Dirk Bones and the Mystery of the Haunted House by Doug Cushman
Skeleton reporter Dirk Bones sleuths out a pun-laced mystery.

Frankie Stein by Lola M. Schaefer
Poor blond-haired Frankie! He doesn’t fit in at all with his monster parents.

Once Upon a Twice by Denise Doyen
Nonsense words create an atmospheric, suspenseful story of something lurking in the night.

Lost Gatos Black on Halloween, Just a Minute, and Just in Case all by Yuyi Morales
Great on audio, so students hear what the Spanish is supposed to sound like!


Big Kids (grades 4-5)

Hallowilloween: Nefarious Silliness by Calef Brown
Funny/creepy poems that beg to be read out loud.

The Widow’s Broom by Chris Van Allsburg
The widow, Minna Shaw, has a magical broom, much to the ire of her neighbors.

Aliens Are Coming! by Megan McCarthy
A nonfiction account of the 1938 Halloween night panic by Orson Welles’ radio production of The War of the Worlds. Listen to snippets of the Orson Welles’ broadcast here.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
After toddler Bod’s parents are murdered, he wanders into a graveyard, whose supernatural inhabitants decide to raise him. Listen/watch to the first chapter of this Newbery winner online here.

Goodnight Goon and The Runaway Mummy by Michael Rex
Silly parodies of the classics students remember from when they were “little.”

Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich by Adam Rex
Hilarious poems featuring well-known monsters and villians in preposterous situations, like making sandwiches. Be prepared to sing for full effect.

Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
A spooky poem for every letter of the alphabet.


Finally, I can’t mention October in the library with linking to this:

Carve a Pumpkin
Carve a Pumpkin

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