As I mentioned in this post about local Halloween events , we don’t make a big deal about Halloween here at the Yankee Homestead. When the kids get a bit older I’d like to explore the holiday’s history, but for now we just carve pumpkins in October and dress up on Halloween night.
I’m not a huge fan of all the spookiness that accompanies most Halloween celebrations and is found in most Halloween-themed children’s books. So, while we love to celebrate holidays and seasons with a collection of favorite books, Halloween is one holiday for which we have only a few recommendations…
Favorite Halloween Picture Books:
1. Cranberry Halloween (Wende & Harry Devlin)
Note: There is an entire series of Cranberry books, all of which we’ve really enjoyed. We especially love the Thanksgiving and Christmas books. Our fondness for those books is what led us to this title. It is actually a teeny bit spooky, but has never scared any of my crew.
As yet another Cranberryport holiday approaches, the characters from Cranberry Thanksgiving and Cranberry Christmas are busy raising money to rebuild the storm-swept town dock. Old seaman Mr. Whiskers is appointed treasurer over mean Mr. Grape’s protests; but when the townspeople assemble to count the money on Halloween night, neither Maggie, the little girl of the series, nor Mr. Whiskers has appeared. As readers have witnessed, they’ve been ambushed by pirates and chased to a spooky old vacant house–but Mr. Whiskers knows a way out through the springhouse, and so the two arrive at the Town Hall celebration in time to expose the pirates as Mr. Grape’s two gardeners, acting on his orders. Familiar fare, for partakers of the Devlins’ predictable cheer. [Source]
2. It’s Pumpkin Time! (Zoe Hall; Shari Halpern)
A brightly colored journey through the life of a pumpkin, from seed to jack-o-lantern. The last few years we’ve grown our own pumpkins, so this book was perfect. We tried to grow pumpkins again this year, but the blasted squash bugs got them all. We did have an abundant gourd harvest, which made up for the pumpkin loss. If your family enjoys carving pumpkins, this book is a great go-along.
3. Too Many Pumpkins (Linda White; Megan Lloyd)
What a delightful story! We just discovered it this year and are excited to add it to our personal collection. Another great go-along for pumpkin-carving, as well as pumpkin-pie-making or pumpkin-anything.
What do you do when your childhood experiences have led you to, quite frankly, hate pumpkins, and through an odd twist of circumstances you end up with a houseful of them?! Make the best of it! Too Many Pumpkins is a wonderful (and educational–watch the seeds grow!) Autumn/Halloween book without the spooks and goblins that aren’t always suitable for a bedtime story. This is a delightful read with beautiful illustrations that your children will love, and you won’t mind reading it “just one more time.” Go ahead–read it with your little Pumpkin…and then bake a pumpkin pie together. [From Amazon reviewer Christy Bagasao]
4. October (from Chicken Soup with Rice: Maurice Sendak)
Chicken Soup With Rice: A Book of Months is a collection of monthly poems celebrating a small boy’s favorite dish. By genius author/illustrator Maurice Sendak. My family adores this book!
In October I’ll be host
To witches, goblins and a ghost
I’ll serve them chicken soup on toast
Whoopy once, whoopy twice
Whoopy chicken soup with rice
More Favorite Picture Books:
- Favorite Picture Books for Fall
- Favorite Thanksgiving Stories for Children
- Favorite Christmas Books for Children
- Our Favorite Winter Poem (The More It Snows)
- Happy Winter: this year’s favorite winter book
- Favorite Winter Books for Children
- Favorite Valentine’s Day Books for Children
- Children’s Books for St. Patrick’s Day
- Favorite Children’s Books for Spring
- 11 Favorite Children’s Books about Seeds and Gardens
- Goodnight, Sleep Tight: Favorite Bedtime Books
- Excellent Nature Biography for Kids
- On-the-go Nature Guides for Kids
- Goodnight, Sleep Tight: Favorite Bedtime Books for Toddlers & Preschoolers
Kathleen Henderson is the yankee behind the homestead. Follow along as we grow real food and three boys while renovating a 20-acre farm in northern Virginia. Do you love homegrown food, Paleo-ish recipes, and natural living? You’re in good company! Let’s grow together…