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Scary Picture Books

Gently scary books, some more silly than spooky, for preschool and primary grade children. For more scary picture books, check our Halloween section.

Picture Books (JE)

Ahlberg Funnybones    (Three skeletons—a grownup, a child, and a dog—take a walk at night through a dark town.)
Bee Beware of the Frog    (Mrs. Collywobbles lives on the edge of a dark, scary wood but has a pet frog to protect her from goblins, trolls, and ogres.)
Billingsley Big Bad Bunny    (When Baby Boo-Boo, a mouse dressed in a bunny suit, becomes lost in the forest, his mother follows the sound of his cries to locate him.)
Brown A Dark, Dark Tale: Story and Pictures    (Journeying through a dark, dark house, a black cat surprises the only inhabitant of the abandoned residence.)
Compestine Boy Dumplings    (When a hungry ghost threatens to gobble up a plump little boy, the boy tricks the ghost by convincing him to prepare an elaborate recipe first.)
Crimi Where's My Mummy?    (As all of the monsters are preparing for bed, Little Baby Mummy bravely searches for his mother until he sees a truly terrifying creature.)
Donaldson The Gruffalo    (A clever mouse uses the threat of a terrifying creature to keep from being eaten by a fox, an owl, and a snake—only to have to outwit that creature as well.)
Emberley Go Away, Big Green Monster!    (Die-cut pages through which bits of a monster are revealed are designed to help a child control nighttime fears of monsters.)
Galdone The Teeny-Tiny Woman: A Ghost Story    (A teeny-tiny woman finds a teeny-tiny bone in a churchyard and puts it away in her cupboard before she goes to sleep.)
Gibbons Night in the Barn    (Four boys set out to prove they are not afraid to spend the night in the big, cold, dark barn.)
Gravett Wolves    (When a young rabbit checks out a library book about wolves, he learns much more about their behavior than he wanted to know.)
Harper The Gunniwolf    (A little girl wanders deeper and deeper into the jungle, when she is suddenly confronted by the gunniwolf.)
Mayer There's a Nightmare in My Closet    (At bedtime a boy confronts the nightmare in his closet and finds him not so terrifying after all.)
McKissack Precious and the Boo Hag    (Home alone while her family works in the fields, a young girl faces up to the horrifying Boo Hag that her brother warned her about.)
Pearson We're Going on a Ghost Hunt    (Children go out at night seeking a ghost in this adaptation of "We're Going on a Bear Hunt.")
Reynolds Creepy Carrots    (Jasper Rabbit pulls carrots to eat from Crackenhopper Field each time he passes, until he begins hearing and seeing creepy carrots wherever he goes.)
Terasaki Ghosts for Breakfast    (One night, a young boy and his father investigate their frightened neighbors' report of ghosts on a nearby farm.)
Turkle Do Not Open    (Following a storm Miss Moody and her cat find an intriguing bottle washed up on the beach. Should they ignore its "do not open" warning?)
Williams The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything    (A fearless old lady must deal with a pumpkin head, a tall black hat, and other spooky objects that follow her through the dark woods.)
Wood Heckedy Peg    (A mother saves her seven children from Heckedy Peg, a witch who has changed them into different kinds of food.)

Nonfiction, Folktales & Poetry

J398.2 EU Baba Yaga Baba Yaga    (When a terrible witch vows to eat her for supper, a little girl escapes with the help of the witch's cat.)
J398.2 EU Grimm Hansel Hansel and Gretel    (A poor woodcutter's children, lost in the forest, come upon a house made of bread, cakes, and candy, occupied by a wicked witch.)
J398.2 NO Galdone The Tailypo: A Ghost Story    (A strange varmint haunts the woodsman who lopped off its tail.)
J398.2 NO Milord The Ghost on the Hearth    (Jenny is hired to help a family with cooking and cleaning, but a mysterious presence prevents her from completing her chores.)
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Last Updated 3/15