Happy Halloween season! With the big day coming up, I wanted to share some of my favorite just-right Halloween stories for kindergarten with you.
Why these four Halloween stories for kindergarten?
- Halloween themed, yet not scary (well, one is a little bit…)
- perceived age of characters
- appeal to young children
- special ‘it’ factor
by Sylvia Andrews, illustrated by Jennifer Plecas
Halloween characters have an all-night party in the town’s graveyard, attracting more guests as the story progresses. This story’s rocking rhythm, rhyme and onomatopoeia have kids hooked from the first page!
The special ‘it’ factor: F-U-N! Kids can’t get enough of the humor, rhyming and opportunities to chime in with the Clacka-Clacks, Booma-Booms, Shousa-Shapps and more!
The Witch Who Couldn’t Fly
by Mary Packard, illustrated by Doug Cushman
Winnie comes from a family of witches, and she has not yet mastered flying. Despite flying lessons, and knowing what spells to use, as Halloween got closer, Winnie continues to struggle. After a particularly frustrating attempt, she stomps off to her secret hiding place with her kitten, where she calms down and plans her next step – talk to Grandma.
The special ‘it’ factor: Relatable life lessons modeled, Halloween twist on The Little Engine that Could; also – it glows in the dark!
Winnie could very well be a kindergarten student, and her learning to fly could be substituted for another child’s learning to open a snack container, draw a picture, print a letter, put on a jacket or shoes independently.
Throughout the story, Winnie :
- keeps trying, is a model of persistence
- appropriately expresses her emotions
- calms herself
- goes to speak to a trusted adult about what is bothering her
- achieves her goal when helping another
My Working Mom
by Peter Glassman, illustrated by Tedd Arnold
The chatty daughter of a career-witch narrates this wildly creative story about life with a mom who flies off to meetings, takes classmates out for broom-rides and mixes questionable potions in her laboratory.
There was controversy over the portrayal of working Moms when this book was released. I’ve often wondered what difference it might have made if the title was different (and the story, substituting ‘Career Witch’ for ‘Working Mom’ remained otherwise the same).
The special ‘it’ factor: This story is set between home and school, loaded with Halloween vocabulary and normally creepy creatures are likeable and cute. Between the daughter’s matter-of-fact language weighing the pros and cons of having a witch for a mother and the zany illustrations, this story engages kids from the cover right through to the end of the story. Reading the pictures – for humor!
by Paulette Bourgeois, illustrated by Brenda Clark
Franklin and his friends are excited about Halloween. They discuss their costumes, last year’s Halloween and the haunted house at the Halloween party. After many costume changes, Franklin finally makes a decision and joins his friends.
It’s an exciting night, and Bear promised to go through the haunted house first. When the friends learn that Bear is sick at home, they realize there is a mysterious guest at the party – who can fly. Are ghosts real after all?
The special ‘it’ factors:
- Life lesson – As Bear says in the T.V. episode, “Things are only scary before you know what they are.” Knowledge and imagination have power. Little kids can be anxious for Franklin while he walks through the haunted house, but are immediately relieved when Mr. Mole reveals himself and explains how he created all of the haunted items in the house.
- Friendship and sharing – Bear has to stay in bed because he has a cold, and misses the Halloween party. Franklin and friends know that Bear’s favorite part of Halloween is the treats, so they all contribute to a bag of treats for him.
I hope you enjoyed this list and have a Happy Halloween! What are your favorite stories to read to kindergarten students?