Children's books

Halloween Picture Book Playlist by Anika Denise


Vroom Vroom…

Children’s book author, Anika Denise, is making a pit stop at Picture Book Playlist today on her MONSTER TRUCKS blog tour to offer up her mixtape of Halloween picture books for ghouls and boys.



Boo! Haiku
by Deanna Caswell and Bob Shea
August 2016, Abrams. Ages 3-5

This new hit from the winning team of Caswell and Shea (Guess Who, Haiku) cleverly combines Haiku and Halloween fun. Each spread ends with the line, “Can you guess who from this Haiku?” leading readers to discover with every page turn, which cute and spooky character is being described. Perfectly paced and charmingly illustrated, it’s a spooktacular way to introduce kids to Haiku style poetry while celebrating the sights and frights of the season.

“broom across the moon/ pointed hat at the window/ hair-raising cackle”

What the review ghouls are saying:
“This just begs to be read aloud to a group of preschoolers, who won’t be able to help shouting out their answers. More please.” –Kirkus

Pair it with this spooky party tune: I Want Candy by Bow Wow Wow



Creepy Carrots
by Aaron Reynolds and Peter Brown
August 2012, Simon & Schuster. Ages 4-8

An old favorite that has become a new classic, Creepy Carrots chronicles the noir-ish plight of Jasper, a rabbit who loves carrots—especially the ones in Crackenhopper Field. He eats them by the dozens, all day long. Until the day the carrots begin stalking him… or are they?

Humor, suspense, and a satisfying twist of an ending make Creepy Carrots a perfect selection for Halloween-themed storytimes.

“Jasper was about to help himself to a victory snack.. when he heard it. The soft… sinister… tunktunktunk of carrots creeping. He turned… but there was nothing there.”

What the review ghouls are saying:
“Serve this superbly designed title to all who relish slightly scary stories.” –Kirkus (starred review)

Pair it with this spooky party tune: The Leftovers are Coming to Get Me by Keith Munslow


Ghost In The House
by Ammi-Joan Paquette and Adam Record
July 2013 Candlewick. Ages 3-7

In this old favorite, a little ghost slip-slides through the house, encountering one by one, a mummy, a monster, a skeleton, a witch, and the scariest of all… a little boy!

The cumulative counting structure, rhythmic rhymes and adorable illustrations of wee ghoulies, make for a perfect read-aloud, with just enough suspense and spooky fun for young readers.

There’s a ghost in the house/In the creepy haunted house/On this dark, spooky night, all alone./And he goes slip-slide/With a swoop and a glide/Until suddenly he hears… a groan!”

What the review ghouls are saying:
“With its bouncy, repetitive rhymes, quirky illustrations and continual surprises, this is a ghost story to savour – and read aloud time after time.” – Inis Magazine

Pair it with this spooky party tune: original Ghostbusters theme song, by Ray Parker, Jr.


Zombie in Love
by Kelly DiPucchio and Scott Campbell
August 2011. Ages 4-8

This old favorite can be read at Halloween and Valentine’s Day, or whenever you want a good chuckle. Mortimer, a zombie, is looking for love in all the wrong places — that is, until the ghoul of his dreams shows up, Mildred.

(from Mortimer’s personal ad) “If you like taking walks in the graveyard/and falling down in the rain. If you’re not into cooking,/if you have half a brain./If you like waking up at midnight,/horror films, and voodoo,/then I’m the guy who you’ve looked for/and I’m dying to meet you!”

What the review ghouls are saying:
“This giggler will grab those children who like their zombies funny.” – School Library Journal

Pair it with this spooky party tune: I’m in Love with A Monster by Fifth Harmony


Anika Denise is the author of several critically acclaimed books for young readers including her latest, Monster Trucks, which Publishers Weekly pronounced, “a mash-up made in heaven—or maybe hell,” in a recent starred review. When not writing tales of vroom and doom, Anika can be found zipping around her hometown of Barrington, Rhode Island in her monster minivan, or reading not-so-scary stories with her husband and three kids. Anika suggests playing Michael Jackson’s Thriller, after reading Monster Trucks, because that’s the song she had in her head while writing it. To learn more about Anika’s books, visit


What the review ghouls are saying about Monster Trucks:

“These monster trucks really are monsters, and their race is sure to get cheering children on the edges of their seats…monster-truck fans won’t want to miss this Halloween showdown.” –Kirkus Reviews

* “Wragg creates some wicked vehicular hybrids…and eerie green skies and yellow moonlight set the stage for full-throttle Halloween fun.” –Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“In the energetic rhyming text…the action never stops. Vivid colors and textures give the cartoony acrylic and digital illustrations a bold and lively (despite the undead) look.” –The Horn Book

“Bright, bold illustrations bring characters like Zombie Truck, Frankentruck, and Werewolf Truck to life….with lots of movement in the text and on the pages, this is a quick seasonal storytime selection that is sure to be popular around Halloween. Monstrous fun!” –School Library Journal

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