Halloween Books and Fall New Releases

Depending on whether or not you, too, were flooded with TikTok videos of Halloween decor and pretend fall coziness in August, or walk into stores full of Halloween displays, or if you’re burying your head because everything is too much, this post including Halloween titles for kids may feel early or late…but let’s go with just right.

Along with some of our favorite Halloween reads with kids, I’ve included some amazing new fall board book and picture book releases.  There are so many for you and your little ones to enjoy and I sure hope you’re bringing that joy into your life.

The gifted books are indicated by the thanked publishers who are so kind and wonderful to work with and the links are all affiliate, so thank you for using them or for shopping your independent bookstore.

Halloween Reads

  • Patricia Toht’s and Jarvis’s Pick a Pumpkin
    • Wonderful rhyme and meter and feels like a how-to on having the most idyllic October.  For me, this is the Halloween book I’d make sure to have.
  • Jonathan Stutzman’s and Jay Fleck’s Tiny T. Rex and the Tricks of Treating
    • Thank you, Chronicle! This board book following the latest adventures of Tiny and Pointy is such a cute introduction to Halloween for little ones.
  • Jannie Ho’s Owl Has a Halloween Party: A Tiny Tab Book
    • Thank you, Candlewick!  Our oldest daughter has us reading this one often because, no surprise, tabs are a hit for a long time! It’s a simple concept: cute animals in cute costumes coming to Owl’s Halloween party- and it works.
  • Sandra Boynton’s Spooky Pookie
    • I think Boynton has some kind of magical connection with kids. This is a cute one following Pookie trying out some costumes and after reading it I heard our toddler quietly saying “Spooky Pookie” to herself with a little giggle.
  • Olivia Aserr’s Halloween Treat Hide-and-Seek
    • Thank you, Chronicle! I was excited to receive this one because Eggs Are Everywhere, which is the same concept, is one our daughter often takes out and “reads” through on her own, which is a sign of a winning book to me.
  • Priscilla Tey’s Twitchy Witchy Itch

    • Thank you, Candlewick!  Playful rhyme and illustrations with lots of details to explore make this a great read.  Itch the witch wants to tidy her house before her guests arrive for tea, but, in the end, she finds out that it’s being together and being yourself that’s the most important, something, I’m guessing, we could all use frequent reminders about.
  • Pete the Cat’s Five Little Pumpkins
    • I mean, Pete the Cat is always a hit with the little ones, right?
  • Julia Donaldson’s and Axel Scheffler’s Room on the Broom
    • This one is a classic for a reason and we love the movie version of it, too.
  • Flavia Z. Drago’s Gustavo the Shy Ghost
    • We received this one from Candlewick last year and I’m including it again on this list because we like it so much and it’s featuring of the Day of the Dead makes this approachable and engaging, plus Gustavo, who wants to make friends with the other monsters, but feels too shy, is so sweet.

Fall New Releases

  • Alan Lightman’s, Olga Pastuchiv’s, and Susana Chapman’s Ada and the Galaxies
    • Thank you, Candlewick! This one is so special.   The images are layers of actual photographs from the Hubble telescope with beautiful illustrations that will make you want to drop everything and go explore Maine.  We read this one the other night before bed and just had to break our bedtime routine to run outside under the beautiful stars and yell, ” Hello other people out there!”.  A magical moment I’ll always remember inspired by a magical story.  Alan Lightman is the physicist and author of Einstein’s Dreams and the story itself is so charming- a little girl visiting her grandparents in Maine and their sweet adventures together, culminating in their stargazing.  Definitely one to put on your shelves.
  • Nate Wragg’s Always Everly
    • Thank you, Harper Kids! What a cute read.  Everly is an evergreen who wants to change, just like her other tree friends are, but, naturally (stretched pun intended) needs to discover what’s special about what kind of tree she is.  Self-love is so important and this one is a heart-warmer for sure.
  • Alison Farrell’s and Kristen Tracy’s A Cub Story
    • Thank you, Chronicle! This board book, following a cub through the seasons, is so lovely and cozy and became an immediate favorite.  It reminds me a lot of two classic favorites of ours: I Am a Bunny and I Am a Mouse.  It’s peaceful and endearing and one that I think belongs on every baby’s starting bookshelf. I know we’ll be reading it over and over again (well, we already have been)  and I feel fully okay with that : ).
  • Maxine Beneba Clarke’s When We Say Black Lives Matter
    • Thank you, Candlewick! A loving, powerful voice with a wonderful mix of affirming Black children and calling on all of us.  Lines like “fear will not destroy our joy, defiance in our feet” ring with the strength of Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise” and rich illustrations make this one that’s bound to move you.
  • Chris Haughton’s Maybe…
    • Thank you, Candlewick! Haughton is an auto-author around here.  He’s one of those people who just jives with kids and we have all his books.  Right after the first read of this one, our toddler was already giggling and joking about the storyline of three mischievous monkeys who are told to not go to the mango tree because of the tigers, but keep thinking “hmm…maybe…” until…you guessed it.  I love his bold visual style and playful stories and this one is definitely another hit.
  • Anya Glazer’s What Are Sisters For?
    • Thank you, Harper Kids! I have already often been relegated the role of either Ada or Bea as we hunt for starberries in the jungle and ask each other lots of questions, so clearly this book is a hit. It’s a perfect read for siblings and all curious, imaginative kids.
  • Wade Bradford’s and Kevin Hawke’s There’s a Dodo on the Wedding Cake
    • Thank you, Candlewick! This quickly became one of our silly favorites.  It’s a lot of fun to read aloud and has our daughter fully engaged each reading.
  • Mary Lyn Ray’s and Cindy Derby’s How to Have a Birthday
    • Thank you, Candlewick! Mary Lyn Ray wrote one of our all-time favorites, The Thank You Book, and I was so excited to see her writing a book featuring birthdays after recently discovering there are surprisingly not many great books out there about birthdays. I really enjoy that this is about the joy of getting a day that is yours and all the potential ways to celebrate.  It’s warm and visually lovely and I’m so glad to have another book along with When’s My Birthday? to celebrate the magic of birthdays.
  • Dr. Shainna Ali’s and Catarina Oliveira’s Luna Finds Love Everywhere
    • Thank you, Ulysses Press!  I like how this book follows Luna through her day and prompts kids with questions while promoting emotional intelligence (Ali is a mental health counselor).  Our daughter seemed to like responding to this more than she would if we were having a conversation, so this might be a wonderful way to have your kid think and talk to you about how to handle emotions and how to find the love around them.
  • Carter Higgins’ Circle Under Berry
    • Thank you, Chronicle! Who knew a board book could bend my mind so much? This is such a cool, striking way to explore shape and color and I’ve never read anything like it.
  • Laurenne Sala’s Mi Casa is My Home
    • Thank you, Candlewick!  Follow sweet Lucia as she welcomes you into her intergenerational home in fantastic Spanglish.  A cozy celebration of Latinx family life!
  • Active ABC
    • Thank you, Chronicle!  I’ve found that ABC books work well from just one month to when kids are actually learning their letters and this one is different with its emphasis on doing.  Grab this one if you like the idea that it can be combined with actual activity, has super cute illustrations, and finger-traceable letters.
  • Karen Jameson’s and Wednesday Kirwin’s Farm Lullaby
    • Thank you, Chronicle! I just love Wednesday Kirwin’s illustration style.  There’s something so soft and soothing and almost wistful about it, kind of like the classic Little Golden books.  This gentle, rhyming story is perfect for bedtime, as the farm animals each go through their bedtime ritual.  You’ll be feeling peacefully sleepy by the end…and hopefully your little ones will be, too.
  • Gattaldo’s Fearless: The Story of Daphne Caruana Galizia, Defender of Free Speech
    • Thank you, Candlewick! Give me all the real stories about amazing women, please and thank you. I’m especially excited to read this with our daughters when they’re older and explore more about this activist journalist, but for now we’re talking about how people need to speak up for what’s right and what it means to be brave.
  • Jaye Garnett’s and Anna Daviscourt’s I Am a T-Rex and Itty Bitty Yeti
    • Thank you, Chronicle!  These finger puppet board books are the ones I keep in a diaper bag, the car, or the stroller.  They’re both a toy and a book and work wonders when you’re needing to fill that extra bit of time with a grumpy kiddo.  This one would either be perfect for the many dino-loving kids out there or cute-monster-loving ones (my personal preference is for the snow adventures with the Yeti).
  • Mara Rockliff’s and Daniel Duncan’s The Girl Who Could Fix Anything: Beatrice Shilling, World War II Engineer
    • Thank you, Candlewick! Our daughter flipped through this before I read it to her and immediately said, “She’s like me! She can use tools!,” which is exactly the world I want us all to be making.  At 3, her understanding of the story is limited, but I love that she’s already empowered by it and I look forward to seeing how this real-life story about a woman engineer in World War II who was able to solve a problem no one else could grows with her.  I also personally love learning a new piece of history for myself.  How awesome is Beatrice Shilling?
  • Benjamin Becou’s, Julie Mercier’s, and Cristian Tudera’s Do You Know? :Vehicles and Transportation and Helene Convert’s and Cristian Tudera’s Do You Know?: Space and Sky
    • Thank you, Chronicle! Did anyone else love this fact-packed books as a kid? I still love pouring over the pages with our daughter and getting to learn so much.  Books like this are so amazing at piquing your child’s curiosity and providing answers to so many of their questions.  We love having these around for a anything that’s taking longer than we might like because they’re bound to make the time go faster.
  • Britt Teckentrup’s Mr. Lion’s New Hair!
    • Thank you, Chronicle! A board book that is sure to keep your kid giggling as you turn the pages and see Mr. Lion’s various hair styles.  I really enjoy having playful books like this because they’re bound to create sweet, light-hearted moments with your child.
  • Jarrett Dapier’s and Andrea Tsurumi’s Mr. Watson’s Chickens
    • Thank you, Chronicle!  This is also what our daughter classifies as a “silly book” and it reminds me a lot of the quirkier books that I enjoyed when I was a kid, except this one includes two men living together as just a matter of course, which I’m grateful to see.  The words and story are ridiculous and fun, sure to get your little one grinning.
  • Johanna Schaible’s Once Upon a Time There Was and Will Be So Much More

    • Thank you, Candlewick! The concept of this book is fantastic. The pages get progressively smaller and then larger, following the concepts about time that the writer is introducing.  What did people do ten thousand years ago? What will you be doing tomorrow?  I love the collage illustrations and find myself moved by the possibilities that the pages bring up as the book moves forward in time.  We’ve had fun discussions around this book and I can see it ageing really well, too.

Any of these you’ll be picking up? So many fantastic ones!

If you would like to join in on the fun, please go to the submissions page!

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