Creepy Kids Books for Your Little Monsters
We know we don’t have to tell you that reading to your kids is a good thing. It stimulates the imagination and the intellect, and story time is a great way to bond with your little weirdos. While there are tons of kids books out there, it can be a bit challenging to find ones for little darklings who are chips off the old headstones. If like us, you have offspring who would rather hear about ghosts and monsters than teddy bears and rainbows, read on. We’ll give you some books that will sit nicely on the shelf next to Where the Wild Are, Stellaluna, and Edgar & Ellen Rare Beasts. You might even find a few you want for yourself.
The Dangerous Alphabet by Neil Gaiman
What better way to be introduced to the ABCs than having author Neil Gaiman guide you through creepy, but kid-friendly, illustrations by Gris Grimly? Two legendary storytellers for the price of one is a pretty good deal. Recommended for ages 5 and up. Get the paperback version at Think Geek//$6.99, or the hardcover version at Amazon.com//$14.29.
The Doubtful Guest by Edward Gorey
“It came seventeen years ago – and to this day it has shown no intention of going away.” This classic off-beat tale of a strange — really strange — uninvited houseguest who just will just not leave is sure to tickle little warped funny bones. Gorey’s always amazing pen and ink illustrations will grab imaginations. Recommended for ages 5 and up. As a bonus, you can help support The Gorey House museum by buying The Doubtful Guest from The Gorey Store//$10.
Little Bat, Little Spider, and Little Cat by Chronicle Books
If there’s one thing the preschool set loves more than hearing stories, it’s sticking their fingers into things. Keep those tiny digits out of their noses and inside spooky animals’ heads with these adorable interactive picture board books. Recommended for ages 2-5 years. Get any or all of these titles new from Amazon.com. Little Bat//$5, Little Spider//$6.99, and Little Cat//$4.83.
Leo: A Ghost Story by Mac Barnett
It can be really hard to make friends when you’re different. Even more so when you’re a young ghost. The family that moves into Leo’s house hates him and his mint tea. He moves, but his new best friend, Jane, thinks he’s imaginary. This deceptively simple story by Caldecott Honor-winning author Mac Barnett will warm even the coldest heart. Illustrator Christian Robinson’s gorgeous blue illustrations got the book named a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of 2015. Recommended for ages 3-8 years. Barnes & Noble //$16.99.
Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep by Jack Prelutsky
Slightly older kids will enjoy this tome featuring 12 macabre poems that deliver just the right amount of thrilling scares. Arnold Lobel’s sketchy black-and-white drawings are the perfect accompaniment. Don’t be surprised if you later find your grade-schooler huddled under the covers with a flashlight, reading this and reliving the delicious horror. Ah, memories. Recommended for ages 8-12. Amazon.com//$13.95.
Madame Marie’s Curious Cuties – A Most Unusual Alphabet Book By Samantha Marie Keck
Because you love to support indie companies as much as we do, check out this great Etsy find. Sculpter and illustrator Samantha Marie Keck wrote this whimsical alphabet book. She also drew the weirdly comical pictures for every entry from “A is for Adam Asylum” to “Z is for Ziggy Zipperface.” Each copy of the book comes signed by Keck. How cool is that? Madame Marie’s Wicked Whimsy//$15.
Doll Bones by Holly Black
Written by the author of The Spiderwick Chronicles, Doll Bones tells the story of Zach. He’s entering middle school, and his father has told him he’s too old to play make-believe games with his best friends Alice and Poppy, and their dolls. It looks like their friendship may be over, but Poppy starts dreaming about one of the dolls…and a ghost girl who says it must be taken and buried in her grave. Cue adventure. This 2014 Newbery Honor Medal winner is sure to win over your pre-teen with it’s mix of mystery, friendship and the supernatural. Recommended for ages 10 and up. Barnes & Noble //$13.19.
Dracula: A BabyLit® Counting Primer by Jennifer Adams
Why make your baby bats count bunnies and lollipops when they could count 1 castle, 2 friends (Mina and Lucy, of course), and all the way up to 10 garlic flowers? Introduce your little ones to classic literature with this clever counting primer board book. Recommend for ages 0-3 years. BabyLit//$9.99 and Amazon.com//$7.33.
The Lunch Witch #1 by Deb Lucke
Grunhilda comes from a long line of witches, but it’s hard to keep the family business going when no one believes in magic any more. What other job would allow her to use her skills in making foul concoctions and scaring brats? Why, school lunch lady, of course! Hilarity ensues as Grunhilda starts her new job, and to her surprise, finds a kindred spirit in an outcast girl named Madison. Helping people goes against everything Grunhilda believes in. Whatever will she do? Get this graphic novel written and illustrated by Deb Locke to find out. Recommended for ages 7-10. Amazon.com//$9.98.
Feature image via @yokotanji.