Favourite Halloween Picture Books
I learned about Halloween after teaching at an American international school for over ten years. While I still don’t understand all the whys and whats of Halloween, I have come to love several picture books that are a delight to read and view.
By Erica Silverman and S D Schindler
I am a sucker for a story about something BIG and Big Pumpkin has been added to the list. Not only does it include lessons on sharing, team work and ideas, it lends itself to reenactments of the story. It can also be used as introduction to science concepts such as planting and cooking. Repetition of the story line and lots of pulling also make this a joy to read. The detailed illustrations help this becomes a joyful story about Halloween sharing and friendship.
By Philippe Goossens
Knock! Knock! Knock! Who's There? is simple, yet suspenseful, yet cute, yet surprising, yet lovable. Crisp illustrations and repetitive text tell of a timid bear answering a knocking at his door throughout Halloween night. Children love to join in with the knock, knock, knocking and guessing who it might be at the door each time. This can be built upon as children make predictions and recognise patterns in the story. And of course, be prepared for a surprise ending!
By Laura Leuck and S D Schindler
Again we see S D Schindler's exquisitely detailed illustrations in another Halloween favourite One Witch. The obvious connection here is the numeracy aspect as increasing numbers of spooky creatures are invited to contribute to the bubbling caldron. Perhaps less obvious, but equally as important, are the connections that can be made to inclusion, similarities and differences, contributions of others and sharing. Rhythmic rhyming text and a visual feast make this an essential Halloween read.
Denise Fleming doesn't disappoint in her 2001 Halloween book Pumpkin Eye. Shadow and light dominate the illustrations making it visually eerie and intriguing. The text is descriptive and bold and builds vocabulary while keeping short attention spans engaged. I have not had any children show fright while listening to this story but it does elicit many questions about wicks, scales and hags!
I'd love to know your favourite Halloween picture recommendations in the comments below!