Super (not so) Scary Halloween Reads

If you haven’t already consumed your friends or scared the pants off yourself after reading Romi’s recommended Halloween reads,  then whip out your witch’s hat and strap on your bat wings; here are a few more scary reads guaranteed to bring out the ghoul in your little monsters.

Scream! series by Jack Heath (Dimity’s perennial Halloween favourite)

This is a seriously spooky series of stories for middle grade readers. All types of whacky scary and wonderful; youngsters will devour these offbeat tales beginning with The Human Flytrap, progressing to The Spider Army, The Haunted Book and finally slithering to The Squid Slayer. This series gets better and better the more involved you get. Spine chilling tension focuses on a different member of a team of four young sleuths and erstwhile mystery magnets who live in the creepy town of Axe Falls, a place teeming with unusual, nightmarish realties and reoccurring reasons to scream, often.

Josh, his sister and their friends encounter weird creatures and endless dubious going-ons, which they have to battle violently against in order to survive.  This series promises un-put-downable excitement and thrills guaranteed to increase the heart rate of 8 – 14-year-olds. The first book will have you screaming well into the night! Highly recommended.

Scholastic July 2015

Scary Hairy Party! by Claire Freedman and Sue Hendra

Bright and bodacious, this is a silly, slightly spooky story about a gang of friends invited to Monster’s party. Like all young party invitees, they want to make a good impression so troop off to Raymond’s hair saloon for a bit of primping. Unfortunately, Raymond, an eight-armed octopus takes on a bit too much at once resulting in progressively mucky mayhem.  Fortunately, Monster’s party is just the place for such barmy bouffant disasters. Fun for 4 – 6-year-olds.

Bloomsbury Books October 2017

First Day at Skeleton School by Sam Lloyd

The cast of kooky characters in this story would overfill a cauldron. Ghouls, ghosts and goblins of the night set off on their first day of Skeleton School. They have a lot to learn.  Lloyd’s rhyming verse and bigger-than-life illustrations are an enchanting combination of Transylvania meets Harry Potter, introducing young readers to all the scary schoolyard things they are likely to encounter on their first day including lunch, play, potions (well maybe not potions), even a visit to the sick bay. A scary twist makes this saucy little tale all the more alluring.

Bloomsbury Children’s Books October 2017

Zombelina School Days by Kristyn Crow and Molly Idle

Not another Zombie story you cry. Well this picture book is, but with a twist. It is bubbling with limb-losing zombie school-aged kids who love sharing their collections and talents for show-and-tell. All except Morty who struggles with stage fright. Enter stage left, Zombelina whose obsession with dance is the perfect foil to make Morty feel welcome.

Bloomsbury Books July 2017

The Lion in our Living Room by Emma Middleton and Briony Stewart

There are no blood-sucking vampires or devilish monsters lurking on the pages of this debut picture book by erstwhile illustrator, Emma Middleton. Or are there? Middleton’s lilting prose creates a teasing sense of expectation in this playful story about the relationship between a father and his two young children.

Warm and fuzzy in its delivery, this tale takes little ones on an enticing adventure laced with the prospect of play. They quiver with anticipation and feign fear as they wait in hope for the lion to appear. When he finally does, it’s all about bedtime stories and snuggles.

Stewart’s pencil drawn illustrations are subtle and light portraying every minute of this rip-roaring adventure and all the golden secretive moments with splendid humour. The visual narrative is loaded with hidden images, clues and connections to the children’s fun-loving lion. I especially love the references to imaginative play and art and craft. This is a beautiful book to share, ideal for interactive reading fun and crafting for pre-schoolers, and their fun loving Dads!

Affirm Press October 2017

Fold-up Halloween Fortune Tellers

Were you a Chatterbox / Fortune Teller fan at school? I was nuts for them but have never experienced a spooky version like the ones included in this niftier than nifty paperback collection of designs. With over 25 to make and use on your friends, these are sure to spark imaginations and have children snapping back and forth to outrun vampires and outsmart wicked witches. Chillingly illustrated, there are plenty of haunting formats to choose from with a number of blank pages for kids to fill in their own fortunes. Instructions and decorative stickers included of course. LOVE IT! This is a brilliant concept and spookalicious Halloween gift for little monsters.

Bloomsbury Activity Books October 2017



Published by

Dimity Powell

Dimity Powell likes to fill every spare moment with words. She writes and reviews stories exclusively for kids and is the Managing Editor for Kids’ Book Review. Her word webs appear in anthologies, school magazines, junior novels, as creative digital content, and picture books - you'll find them all here at Boomerang Books. Dimity is a useless tweeter, sensational pasta maker and semi-professional chook wrangler. She believes picture books are food for the soul and should be consumed at least 10 times a week.

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