Ah, the imagination of a preschooler. Imaginary friends. Pretend play with dolls and superheroes. Make-believe reenactments of favorite movies (with mandatory participation by parents, of course).
But with that magical imagination also comes a very fearful period for many preschoolers. And this time of year those fears can escalate into real anxieties when zombies, skeletons and bloody corpses are inescapable. Halloween has been hard on both my older kids as three-year-olds, and navigating the season without too many nightmares has been difficult.
We love incorporating seasonal books into our holiday celebrations, but finding non-scary Halloween books can be a challenge. If you have sensitive little ones at home, here are five Halloween books for preschoolers that won’t become the stuff of nightmares.
1. Pumpkin Soup, by Helen Cooper
The illustrations are gorgeous. The story is about friendship, cooperation, and cooking. We keep this book out year round, but the pumpkin theme makes it a perfect fall favorite.
2. Littlebat’s Halloween Story, by Diane Mayr
Oh, I look forward to this book every year. No spoilers – I promise – but this little bat and his mother live in the attic of the library above the children’s section. It’s about seasons, and patience, and listening to your mother. I adore this book.
3. Room on the Broom, by Julia Donaldson
Julia Donaldson is my favorite rhyming children’s author, hands down. She’s from the UK and her books aren’t as well-known stateside, but you should probably own all of them. This witch is friendly, and the story is both sweet and funny.
4. Pumpkin Day, Pumpkin Night, by Anne Rockwell
I love this simple story. It’s great for younger preschoolers, with simple language and familiar concepts. It’s a great one to get kids excited about fall traditions like visiting the pumpkin patch, carving jack-o-lanterns, and toasting pumpkin seeds.
5. Who Will I Be? A Hallween Rebus Story, by Shirley Neitzel
This is such a fun book for emerging readers. It’s about dress-up, creativity, costumes and characters.