October is such a fun month in elementary schools and sharing Halloween books for kids with your first grade, second grade, or third grade students can make the month fun, engaging and educational. There are so many children’s literature options for this time of year that it can be hard to find the best titles. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite mentor texts for the month of October. These books and activities are great for teaching reading comprehension strategies, writing, grammar and social emotional learning.
HALLOWEEN PICTURE BOOKS TO READ ALOUD
CLICK, CLACK, BOO
The story Click, Clack, Boo! follows the series’ favorite character, Farmer Brown. Readers learn that Farmer Brown does not like Halloween. Things like witches, pirates and jack-o’-lanterns scare him. Farmer Brown decides to put candy on the porch and stay inside on Halloween night.
Meanwhile, the farm animals are getting reading for the Halloween Party in the barn. As the different animals make their way to the party, Farmer Brown hears all kinds of noises in the night. He gets more scared each time he hears a noise, and one of them is getting closer and knocks on the door! However, when Farmer Brown hears a “quackle” he jumps out of bed and goes to the door. He finds his bowl of candy gone and a note inviting him to the party instead. When Farmer Brown shows up to the party in his pajamas, he wins best costume!
Students will love this seasonal edition to a familiar series.
Visit our blog post specifically for this book: Click, Clack Boo Activities and Lesson Ideas
Dav Pilkey’s book, The Hallo-Wiener, is about a dachshund named Oscar. All of the other dogs in Oscar’s class make fun of him for the way he looks and call him a wiener dog. Normally, the teasing would bother Oscar, but not on Halloween. He can’t wait to wear a scary costume. However, when he gets home from school he finds his mother made him a surprise, a hotdog costume!
Oscar doesn’t want to hurt his mom’s feelings so he wears the costume. Of course, the other dogs tease him for wearing it. While trick-or-treating, Oscar has a hard time keeping up with the other dogs because of the costume, and misses out on all the candy. As the other dogs head home, they pass a graveyard. That’s when they see a scary creature and they’re so scared they run into a pond.
When Oscar comes along, he can see the feet under the costume, it’s just some cats! Oscar scares off the cats and rescues his friends from the water. Oscar is no longer the wiener dog, but the Hero Sandwich!
Visit our blog post specifically for this book: The Hallo-wiener Activities and Lesson Ideas
THE LITTLE OLD LADY WHO WAS NOT AFRAID OF ANYTHING
The story The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything is about an old woman who goes for a walk in the woods. As she continues home, it begins to get dark and she runs into a pair of shoes!
The little old lady tells the shoes to get out of her way and that she is not afraid, but they continue to follow her. She also runs into pants, a shirt, gloves, and a hat on her walk. Each time she starts to walk faster, but isn’t afraid.
Finally, she runs into a big pumpkin head and runs all the way home. The clothing items follow and knock on her door. Bravely, the little old lady asks what they want and learns they want to scare her. With smart thinking, the little old lady comes up with a solution that works for her and the clothing. Students will love this classic Halloween picture book!
Visit our blog post specifically for this book: The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything Activities and Lesson Ideas
BOOKS TO READ ALOUD IN OCTOBER THAT DO NOT MENTION HALLOWEEN
I would definitely include the following books on a Halloween Books for Kids List even though they don’t actually have anything to do with the holiday. The fact that they are not “Halloween-specific” makes them wonderful picture books to read aloud to your class in the month of October if your district does not allow holiday activities, but you still want to capitalize on the engagement that comes from incorporating them into your 1st, 2nd or 3rd grade classroom.
In the story Creepy Carrots, the main character is Jasper Rabbit. Jasper loves carrots, specifically the kind from Crackenhopper Field. Jasper eats as many carrots from that field as he can, as often as he can.
One day, Jasper notices that the carrots are creepily following them. He sees them hiding in his house! This really scares Jasper, so he hatches a plan to trap the carrots in Crackenhopper Field. In a turn of events, the carrots are happy to be trapped, and it was their plan all along to get Jasper to leave them alone.
Students will love this story about a rabbit who finds himself being followed by carrots!
Visit our blog post specifically for this book: Creepy Carrots Activities and Lesson Ideas
CREEPY PAIR OF UNDERWEAR
Jasper the rabbit returns in Creepy Pair of Underwear and this time needs new underwear, so he and his mother took a trip to the underwear store. In addition to the three packs of Plain White his mother bought, Jasper picked out a pair of creepy underwear. He was so excited to wear them that he wore them to bed that night. However, once the lights were out Jasper realized the green, ghoulish glow coming from his creepy underwear. He tried to put them in the bottom of the hamper, but woke up wearing them!
Throughout the book, Jasper tried various ways to get rid of his creepy pair of underwear but they just kept coming back. Finally, Jasper buried them deep in the ground, but that’s when he realized how dark his room was without the underwear. He went back outside to dig them up and even bought more pairs of creepy underwear the next day to add to the green glow in his room.
Visit our blog post specifically for this book: Creepy Pair of Underwear Activities and Lesson Ideas
I NEED MY MONSTER
I Need My Monster is not really a Halloween book, but it is still a great October read aloud. Ethan was getting ready for bed when he found out his monster will be gone for a week. He starts to worry about how he will fall asleep without his monster, Gabe, there. Ethan needs his monster, with long, sharp claws, and a long tail in order to sleep at night. He decides to call in a substitute monster.
The first monster arrives and does not have long enough claws. The next monster has long claws but they are not ragged like his monster’s claws are. Ethan is visited by 5 monsters and none of them are scary enough, so he sends them away. Finally, Gabe, returns from his fishing trip and Ethan is so happy to see him. Gabe felt like the fish scared too easily, and likes that Ethan is a challenge. Thankfully, Ethan is able to fall asleep now that his beloved monster has returned.
Visit our blog post specifically for this book: I Need My Monster Activities and Lesson Ideas
KIDS BOOKS WITH WITCHES
No collection of Halloween Books for Kids would be complete without a few witches. Your first grade, second grade or third grade students will “cackle” at these adorable witch stories.
Piggie Pie tells the story of a grumpy witch named Gritch. One morning, Gritch wakes up and is very hungry so she decides to make her favorite meal, Piggie Pie. However, Gritch realizes she does not have the most important ingredient, pigs! She flies over to Old MacDonald Farm in search of pigs for her lunch. When she gets there, she is not able to find any pigs. She asks the hens, cows, ducks and farmer and they all tell her no pigs are there. Little does Gritch know, the clever pigs disguised themselves as the other animals.
Gritch is approached by a thin, sick looking wolf who explains that pigs are too hard to catch and tells Gritch how hungry he is. Gritch decides to invite the wolf to her house for lunch. Both head home imaging the delicious lunch they will have.
Visit our blog post specifically for this book: Piggie Pie Activities and Lesson Ideas
ROOM ON THE BROOM
Room on the Broom begins when a witch was flying through the sky with her cat on her broom when suddenly her black hat flew off. She flew her broom down to the ground and started to search for her hat. A dog came out of the bushes with her hat and asked if there was room for him to ride on the broom. The witch said yes and the three flew into the air. Throughout the ride, the witch lost her bow and wand. Each time she stopped to pick them up and met a new friend. Soon, the witch, cat, and dog were joined by a bird and frog.
However, when the frog jumped onto the broom, it broke in half and everyone fell to the ground! The witch was face to face with a dragon that wanted to eat her. Thankfully, her new friends came to the rescue and scared the dragon away. The witch was able to cast a spell and make a brand new broom, with a seat for all of her friends.
Visit our blog post specifically for this book: Room on the Broom Activities and Lesson Ideas
ALICE AND GRETA
Alice and Greta by Steven J. Simmons is the story of two witches. The two have known each other since they were in school. Alice has always chosen to use her magic to help people and spread joy. She helps a family that is stuck on a sandbar and turns a frog into a prince. Greta has always used her magic to create problems for others. She makes children’s soccer balls disappear and causes a wave to destroy a sandcastle.
One day, Greta is looking for trouble. She finds a playground with children and covers them in marshmallow goo! When Alice hears the children’s cries, she tries to help. However, Greta is quick to stop her and traps her in the goo too. Alice must think back to the most important lesson she learned in school to help save the day.
Each of those witch books would also work great for elementary classroom teachers who want to read aloud some Halloween books for kids, but are not able to explicitly mention the October 31st holiday in school.
Visit our blog post specifically for this book: Alice and Greta Activities and Lesson Ideas
HALLOWEEN BOOKS FOR KIDS FREEBIE
In addition to this list of pumpkin books for kids, we have lots of other book lists with suggestions and activities for elementary teachers in 1st grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade. You can get the book lists, monthly reading challenges and printable reading logs for free!
HALLOWEEN BOOK ACTIVITIES
If you’re excited about teaching using Halloween books for kids, pumpkin read aloud stories, October children’s literature or fall picture books we have you covered with this October read aloud bundle from the Starts With a Story Collection.
You may also be interested in the elementary teaching ideas these other October blog posts: