31 Days of Amazing Kids' Books

31 Days: Halloween Favorites

As promised, today’s selections include some Halloween favorites. These are classic stories my mother read to me, and now I love sharing them with my girls.

Humbug Witch

I was really excited to learn that this is still in print! This is, without a doubt, my favorite Halloween book. Written and illustrated by Lorna Balian, Humbug Witch tells about a little witch who has some trouble functioning as a witch should. She certainly looks the part – check out that cover – but she just can’t get her spells to work. The ending has a fun surprise that I won’t share here, but is delightful to little children. My mother used to come and read this to my second grade classes, and once the kids got over the shock that I had a mother, they would sit enraptured while she read the story. It’s engaging for older kiddos, but sweet enough for younger ones, too.

It's Halloween

Children’s poetry and Jack Prelutsky are pretty much synonymous. His work is rich in language, but simple enough in concept that it’s accessible to beginning readers and listeners. Plus, his real-life topics give kids an instant connection to his work. I particularly love his holiday collections, this one, It’s Halloween, illustrated by Marylin Hafner, doesn’t disappoint. A couple of the poems discuss things that are a bit much for my sensitive three year old, but since it’s an anthology of sorts, it’s easy to skip those poems and move on to others that are more appropriate. Read this to a 2nd or 3rd grade class, and they’ll have some of these memorized before you know it!

Woggle of Witches

Unfortunately, A Woggle of Witches, by Adrienne Adams, does seem to be out of print. Check your libraries, though, because it’s worth a little bit of effort. (I would say, however, that it’s not worth the $50+ that some people on Amazon want to charge you for it!) This one turns the tables a bit, because the witches in this story are scared by other creatures that they see on Halloween. The green and black illustrations convey a spooky mood without gore or unnecessary fear, and it’s a great book to start discussions about how imaginary things are just that – imaginary. Adrienne Adams’ books are all delightful, in my opinion, and she has a way of addressing children without talking down to them in the way she tells her stories.

{Compensated affiliate links used for some of the titles above.}

Check back tomorrow, when I’ll be sharing a few of our favorite Halloween books from recent years. Until then, click on the picture below to see what else we’ve been reading this month!

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