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Water Cooler: Family-friendly Halloween reads

UPDATED: Wed., Oct. 21, 2020

"Jampires" by David O'Connell and Sarah McIntyre  (David O'Connell)
"Jampires" by David O'Connell and Sarah McIntyre (David O'Connell)

If you have children who love to celebrate Halloween but aren’t such big fans of being scared, here are some books they can read with silly and kid-friendly stories about Halloween festivities, flying brooms, magic scarecrows, spooky buses and scaredy cats.

Pre-K and kindergarten

“Ten Flying Brooms” written by Illanit Oliver – Ten broomsticks are missing their witches and they must search around a spooky house to find them before the clock strikes midnight. This rhyming story features favorite Halloween creatures.

“Jampires” written and illustrated by Sarah McIntyre and David O’Connell – Sam discovers that all the jam has been sucked out of his doughnuts and he discovers the culprits are jampires, friendly creatures who are lovers of all things sweet. They fly Sam to their magical land where doughnuts grow on trees and the castles are made of jammy sponge cake.

Grades 1-2

“Scarecrow Magic” written by Ed Masessa and illustrated by Matthew Myers – Magic builds in the air as the moon appears. Scarecrow comes out to play with his friends, but as the sun starts to rise playtime comes to a close.

“There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat!” written by Lucille Colandro and illustrated by Jared Lee – This old lady swallowed not just a bat, but also an owl, a cat, a goblin, a ghost and even a few bones. These repeating, catchy rhymes help children follow along and begin reading on their own.

Grades 2-3

“Horrible Harry at Halloween” written by Suzy Kline, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz – Horrible Harry brings a shocking costume to class every year. All his classmates are excited to see what he brings this time, but little do they know they are in for a big surprise.

“Geronimo Stilton: This Hotel is Haunted” written by Geronimo Stilton – With his good friend Hercule Poirat at his side, Geronimo sets out to investigate the mysterious events of the Grand Hotel in New Mouse City.

“The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything” written by Linda K. Williams and illustrated by Magan Lloyd – A cheerful old lady encounters some eerie surprises on her evening walk. As she enters the dark forest she sees pants with no one inside them wiggle after her as she walks along and shoes that clomp with no feet inside them. The old lady begins to get frightened but she faces her fears with confidence.

Grades 3-5

“The Worst Best Halloween Ever” written by Barbara Robinson – Every Halloween, the six Herdman kids wreak havoc on their town, spray-painting other kids and stealing candy and just about anything else that isn’t nailed down. The mayor has had it with the Halloween chaos and decides to cancel the holiday altogether. Discover how the Herdman family redeems this disaster and make this year’s Halloween the best ever.

“The Magic School Bus Chapter Books: The Search for the Missing Bones” written by Eva Moore and illustrated by Ted Enik – Ms. Frizzle and her class discover their skeleton costumes are missing a few bones. They take a trip to the company to get new costumes and as they wander through the building they encounter some glowing green ghosts and strange howlings.

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