Kids love to hear scary stories

Get ready for Halloween

Haunted House and PumkinsCredit: Picture by Simon Howden Taken from

1. The Bones of Fred McFee tells the spooky story of two children who bring home a plastic skeleton, name him Fred McFee and hang him in their front yard.  Fred's presence immediately effects their chickens, dog, and the children themselves.  The day after Halloween Fred is gone from the tree and the children try to solve the mystery of his disappearance.

Even Bunting wrote the rhyming narration of Fred McFee's tale and Kurt Cyrus provided the wood-cut illustrations.  Bunting's choice of words are not simple, the words have the lilt of an old ghost story.  The detailed pictures add to the story's direction.  The book has a dark element to it, but one children are familiar with if they are attracted to Halloween's celebrations.  Fred McFee the skeleton, instead to just being scary, which he is, also becomes endearing to young readers.  In fact, my own children wanted to get a life-sized skeleton after reading the book a few times.  (Who they named Fred.)

EpiphanyCredit: By Danilo Rizzuti @

2. Halloween Pie has all the scary elements children relish in October.  An old witch bakes a pumpkin pie, puts the pie on the windowsill to cool and heads out on her broom.  Around midnight, as the pumpkin scent drifts over the graveyard all kinds of monsters wake up and head towards the witches house, drawn by the promise of pie.  The ghost, vampire, skeleton, banshee and zombie enter the empty house,  finish off the pumpkin pie and fall asleep.  When the witch returns home she finds the monsters transformed and the rest of the story is magic.

Michael O. Turnell wrote a story that captures the spookiness of Halloween night.  The darkness of the night seeps around the characters in the illustrations Kevin O'Malley created for the story.  All of the monster characters rising out of the wispy graveyard make the scary sounds of the Halloween season.  When the witch returns and her spell has taken hold, the story takes a sweet turn and the narrative circles back to the graveyard for a satisfying ending.  With all the monsters motivated by pie, readers crave pumpkin pie at the end and Turnell supplies a recipe on the last page.

 3. Dracula and Frankenstein Are Friends by Katherine Tegen is a wonderful story of a town full of monsters, all the famous monsters kids recognize.  Frankenstein and Dracula live on the same street and like to have tuna fish on rye at their favorite lunch place, The Creepy Cafe.  Frankenstein mentions he is considering hosting a Halloween party.  Dramatic character that he is, Dracula announces that he had already decided to have a Halloween party and, naturally, a disagreement begins.  In the end all the monsters show up and the Halloween party is a great success, with Dracula and Frankenstein friends again.

Tegen writes the story children want to read, making Dracula and Frankenstein real, giving them personalities kids can relate to.  Doug Cushman illustrated the book and adding details that make kids want to closely examine each page.  Kids love spotting their favorite monsters at Creepy Cafe and the Halloween party and delight in examining all the different monster  houses.  Although this is a Halloween book, it is not scary.  Tegen and Cushman have created a book that makes famous monsters funny and approachable.  It almost makes the reader want to visit the Creepy Cafe for a Halloween lunch.  Who would you want to see there?

Enjoy reading Best Halloween Pop Up Books!

Scary WitchCredit: by digitalart