Celebrating Halloween in Australia is slowly becoming the done thing, with Halloween merchandise in every store and plenty of kids now planning their trick-or-treat shenanigans. It’s a little controversial, with some families seeing it as commercial nonsense, or worrying about the safety of knocking on a complete stranger’s door to demand sweets. It does kind of go against everything in the Parenting 101 rule book!
But if you’d like to help set a spooky mood at your place, or keep your kids at home for a scary night in rather than a risky night out, try these kids books for Halloween!
Mildly mischievous for petrifying preschoolers
The Witch’s Britches by P. Crumble & Lucinda Gifford
Scholastic Australia RRP:$14.99
Recommended age: 2-6 years
On Ethel’s first day at witch school, a package arrives holding a special piece of underwear. Of course, as everyone knows, magic doesn’t come from wands – it comes from undies! But Ethel, thrilled with her knew britches, must also abide by one rule: Don’t lose these britches, look after them well. They’ll stop being magical if they smell. Until one windy, washing day, the britches go flying off the line, into the air and all around the town! This is a sweet, silly, colourful adventure for little ones (with no scary bits).
A spooky story for scary schoolies
Geronimo Stilton #11: It’s Halloween You ‘Fraidy Mouse
Scholastic Inc RRP:$12.99
Recommended age: 7-10 years
Another in the blockbuster series about the travel writer who likes his adventures tasty! Crumbling cheese treats – it’s Halloween. Geronimo’s nephew Benjamin has taken him to a graveyard to research his latest book. Of course, there’s nothing dodgy about going into a graveyard on Halloween… Once again, not as scary as the premise suggests, Fraidy Mouse is a rollicking tale with plenty of humour and the bright comic-style graphics kids love about this series. There’s also a bonus section featuring Halloween games and costume ideas for anyone who’s not already planning to dress as a mouse.
A Halloween read for traumatising tweens
Scream: The Human Flytrap (and series) by Jack Heath
Scholastic Australia RRP:$12.99}
Recommended age: 9-12 years
If you’re thinking of holidaying in Axe Falls, you’re sure of a big surprise! Josh and his family have moved there, to a spooky, run-down house in this seriously eerie town. His new neighbour is a troubled old lady, screaming at them to leave; whilst his new best friend, Dale, is working on a science project that’s just about to get way out of control. All around the town there are strange goings on – people disappearing and noises in the night. What has Josh stumbled into? And will he survive to tell the story?
The Scream series follows Josh, his sister and friends as they uncover the many mysteries of Axe Falls. Each book puts a different character in the lead, making this a unisex sort of series, pitched roughly at ages 9-12. A little like the old Goosebumps books, there is plenty of mystery and suspense with no seriously dark elements. It’s enough to make you look over your shoulder on a dark and stormy night, but not enough to leave a permanent scar. The adventure plots are driven by the kids, and the likely culprits are adults, like the Famous Five meets Scooby Doo. The first in the series features a cool novelty hard cover. Open it quickly – if you dare! (*Spoiler alert: it screams!)