It’s that spooky-ooky time of year so grab something pumpkin-spiced and get ready to curl up with a great book. From a shy Cyclops to the fine art of poison, here are our favorite new books hitting the shelves just in time for Halloween. Scroll down to see which ones you want to read with your pint-sized poltergeists. (Pssst…most of these books are just plain cute and not really scary!)

image courtesy Random House Children’s Books 

1. Duck & Goose: Honk! Quack! Boo!

Duck & Goose are at it again, and just in time for Halloween. This time we find creator Tad Hills’ lively birds dressed up for Halloween and ready for trick-or-treating, although visions of the Swamp Monster are running through their heads. Still…there’s all that candy. Find out if these two brave buddies can make the rounds and survive a dark and spooky night together. Spoiler alert: they do!

Ages: 3-7
Cost: $11.89
Shop it now.

image courtesy Random House Children’s Books 

2. The 12 Days of Halloween

Count it down! This clever adaptation of the 12 Days of Christmas includes eight black cats hissing, seven spiders crawling, six ghosts a-spooking and five bags of candy! Read it, sing it, chant it, and read it again to get into the Halloween spirit. Comes with a sheet of cute Halloween stickers, too. Written by Jenna Lettice and illustrated by Colleen Madden.

Ages: 3-7
Cost: $4.99
Buy it now.

image courtesy Amazon

3. Cy Makes a Friend

Cy (the Cyclops) is good at lots of things: he can build nearly anything from robots to toys but there is one thing he is not so great at making. Friends. This book explores the fears kids can have about finding and making new friends, and shows that with bravery, practice, confidence and patience, even a shy Cyclops monster can succeed. Offers gentle suggestions for shy kiddos trying to branch out plus it’s a clever intro to mythological creatures. Written by Anne Marie Stephens and illustrated by Tracy Subisak.

Ages: 4-8
Cost: $16.10
Get your copy here.

image courtesy Random House Children’s Books

4. There’s a Monster in Your Book

Remember Grover and There’s a Monster at the End of This Book? This new book by author Tom Fletcher and illustrator Greg Abbott is like that Sesame Street classic meets Press Here. There’s a monster in your book, and you’ve got to shake, tickle and shout to see if you can get him out.

Ages: 2-7
Cost: $17.99
Buy it now.

 

image courtesy Sterling Publishers

5. Maurice the Unbeastly       

Beasts roar and beasts destroy—except Maurice. He’s the kale eating, kind-hearted, incredibly polite beast who just doesn’t quite fit in. Mama and Papa send him off to the Abominable Academy for Brutish Beasts to learn how to scowl, snarl and howl like a pro. But Maurice just can’t stop being Maurice—and he ends up teaching everyone else (including readers) why being true to yourself is the most important thing of all.By Amy Dixon, with gorgeous illustrations by Karl James Mountford.

Ages: 3 and up
Cost: $12.11
Shop for it here.

6. How to Make Friends with a Ghost 

Want to make friends of the spectral sort? Then grab a copy of this adorable, debut picture book by Rebecca Green to find out how. You’ll need snacks (like earwax truffles) and bedtime stories. You’ll have to protect them (they are sometimes taken for marshmallows) and be loyal. If you follow the tips Green has laid out, you’ll be sure to make a ghost friend that will last a lifetime.

Ages: 4-8
Cost: $12.32
Buy it now (releases Sep. 5).

image courtesy Quirk Books 

7. The X Files: Earth Children Are Weird

The X-Files generation is grown up with kids all their own now but if you want your littles to get it when you say “The truth is out there,” you should buy this book now. The perfect spooky-ish read, based on the characters by X-Files creator Chris Carter, you’ll find Agents Fox and Mulder starring as best kid pals, who solve big mysteries (the creepy shadow? Just the family dog!) and get a few laughs in the process. But what they find in their tent just might make you think twice about turning off the lights. Beautifully illustrated by Kim Smith.

Ages: 8 and up
Cost: $13.05
Get it here.

image courtesy Random House

8. Poison: Deadly Deeds, Perilous Professions, and Murderous Medicines

For the curious kid who loves a bit of twist with their history, this non-fiction book will not just amuse, it will educate. It’s part chemistry, part quirky history and all totally true. As the title suggests, it’s all about poisons, and answers questions like “What made ‘mad hatter’ mad?” and “Who killed a Bulgarian report with a poke from a poison-tipped umbrella?” You know, everyday questions. Perfect for creating some mad-scientist themed trivia for Halloween parties and more.

Ages: 8-12
Cost: $23.99
Buy it here.

image courtesy Scholastic

9. Skeleton Tree

Author (and children’s librarian) Kim Ventrella’s debut novel will definitely have you pondering big questions about life and about death. Twelve-year-old, zombie fanatic Stanly lives with his mom and his little sister, Miren, whose health is failing. Their dad is MIA. One day, he sees a bone growing in his yard, and though he knows it’s not “normal” it doesn’t stop him from obsessively watching it grow into an entire skeleton. This will be his ticket to winning a photography and writing competition. Meanwhile, Miren sees the skeleton as a new friend. It’s a heart wrenching and beautiful novel, perfect for this skeletonic-time of year. (Releases Sep. 26).

Ages: 8-12
Cost: $16.99
Pre-order your copy here.

image courtesy Simon & Schuster 

Worth a Mention!

10. The Great Pumpkin Returns

Okay, this one has been out for a couple years but still…Charles Schulz’ Great Pumpkin is back! Peanuts fans that waited all night in the most sincere pumpkin patch with Linus will be thrilled to read this new Halloween book. All Linus needs is one faithful companion who truly believes in the Great Pumpkin, to stay with him on Halloween night. Though most of the gang don’t even want to hear about the Great Pumpkin (again) this year, Linus finds an ally in Peppermint Patty. But will it be enough to grant a visit?

Don’t miss The Legend of the Great Pumpkin, a new adaptation of the classic in holographic board-book form and You Got a Rock, Charlie Brown!—an early reader book that even comes with stickers.

Ages: 4 and up
Cost: $7.99
Buy it now.

What Halloweeny will you be reading this year? Tell us in a comment below! 

—Amber Guetebier