It's easy to find Halloween picture books in the library. Just head to the holiday book section and search for the orange pumpkin stickers. While reading, you might notice an interesting pattern. Many of the best Halloween books have theme in common–self-esteem and learning to love one's own identity!
Halloween books about learning to accept oneself makes sense. Donning a literal costume on Halloween makes us think about the figurative costumes and masks we wear in real life.
But enough of philosophy. The main point is that theses Halloween picture books about self-esteem are awesome, they will make you smile—and in some cases laugh out loud.
Trick or Treat and Happy Reading! (Please note: links to purchase books are affiliate links that may earn commission.)
Herbert's First Halloween by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Steven Henry.
Herbert (who, as you can see, is a cute little pig) is nervous about his very first Halloween. His dad is very understanding and coaches him through the process of getting ready for the big day. They carve pumpkins, put together a swell tiger costume and even practice roaring. Herbert has gained so much confidence and enjoyed the big day's festivities that he even declares that next year he will be a bear!
The Hallo-Weiner by Dav Pilkey
This is truly the funniest Halloween book you will ever read. When you're a wiener dog it is pure torture to have a mom make you wear a hot-dog costume! All of Oscar's fellow dog friends make fun of him. But soon the joke is on them because the other dogs are actually scaredy-cats! Oscar, it turns out this the bravest wiener dog around and earns his friends' appreciation when he saves the night.
The Ugly Pumpkin by Dave Horowitz
What's a pumpkin to do at Halloween when he doesn't look like his fellow pumpkins? No one wants him around. As it turns out, it's best to wait until Thanksgiving when you will discover your real peer group!
MORE: Halloween audiobooks
A Tiger Called Tomás by Charlotte Zolotow, illustrated by Marta Álvarez Miguéns
Find it: Amazon
Renowned picture book author, Charlotte Zolotow penned this lovely story of the new kid in the neighborhood who is too shy to meet his neighbors until he dons a tiger costume. When he discovers that his neighbors all know him despite the costume the result is heartwarming. Zolotow's original, A Tiger Called Thomas, has been re-illustrated several times, so your library may have a different version.
Excuse Me Are You a Witch? by Emily Horn, illustrated by Pawel Pawlak.
Find it: Amazon
A little black cat named Herbert is quite lonely. He doesn't have a family or friends. And the windy, cold weather makes him feel absolutely miserable. One day he goes into a library and starts to read a book called "The Encyclopedia of Witches." He learns that witches love black cats! If only he could find a witch! So he sets off to find a witch to whom he can belong. At first it's not so easy. But when he gets back to the library, his fortunes change and he finds his place in the world.
The Bumpy Little Pumpkin by Margery Cuyler, illustrated by Will Hillenbrand.
Find it: Amazon
I adore this sweet book about the youngest witch of three sisters who wants to make a jack-o-lantern out of not-so-perfect pumpkin. Her sisters poo-poo the idea, but a few friendly animals help her out.
Gustavo the Shy Ghost
by Flavia Z. Drago
This sweet book about a not-at-all scary ghost is perfect for the day after Halloween: The Day of the Dead. Gustavo is good at some ghostly activities, but not so good at others. He has the most difficulty with those things that require him to interact with other ghosts and monsters. He has to overcome his shy nature in time for the annual celebration. Drago's folk illustrations draw upon Mexican imagery to tell the story of a ghost who learns to embrace his true self.
More Halloween books:
maryanne @ mama smiles says
These sound lovely! Thanks for giving us some fun, Halloween-themed October book ideas!
Raising a Happy Child says
We read a couple on this list, but I never thought of the self-esteem theme. I suppose you are right 🙂
Miss Courtney says
I haven't read that last one. I love any books with a library aspect!
Momand Kiddo says
What a creative idea for a Halloween list!
I am Bullyproof Music says
This is fantastic! Am going to pin, tweet etc. SO creative an approach to Halloween! We have a Scary Guy Halloween song and lesson that is self esteem based. Will be fun to pin this and our tune and videos as resources for other teachers all in one place! Self esteem Halloween-- woot toot! It even rhymes. And a happy "boo!" to all 🙂
Erica MomandKiddo says
I never thought about the rhyming aspect, but you are right. It would make a great song.
Halloween books with a great purpose, who would have thunk it? Great list. They look like really cute stories.