New and Noteworthy Picture Books: October 2021

October 22, 2021 | Pat

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Enter If You Dare sign on door styled like words on a tombstone, in front of another partially seen sign with clawed hands clutching it

We are dedicated to bringing the creepiest and most chilling books to our library collections! Here are some picture books we are really horrified about that will be hitting shelves soon. Most are also available as eBooks. In honour of two authors who have written more than a couple of terrifying tombs, I mean tomes, I've put a dreadful skull and crossbones beside their names with a little extra info at the bottom of the post.

In addition to all of these grotesque books and authors, you might also want to check out our curated booklist Halloween Books for Kids and Halloween eBook collection via Overdrive.


Hardly Haunted
Hardly Haunted by Jessie Sima (ages 4-8)

A once-stately old mansion sits unoccupied on a hill and has begun to fall into disrepair, but she still longs to be occupied. Why won't anyone live within her walls? Could it be because she is haunted?


How to Haunt a House
How to Haunt a House by Carolyn Crimi, illustrated by Edward Miller (ages 4-8)

A class of young ghosties has been studying haunting techniques under the renowned Madame Grey. Now they are ready for the final test: haunt three houses, scare the families from each, and they pass. What could be easier?


Little Ghoul Goes to School
Little Ghoul Goes to School by Jef Czekaj (ages 4-8)

Kids all know that the first day in a new school can be a real nightmare, and it's no exception for little ghouls! What if your teacher is really nice? What if other students are friendly, or the food is delicious and nutritious?


Looking for a Jumbie
Looking for a Jumbie by Tracey Baptiste ☠️, illustrated by Ren Amber (ages 4-8)

Naya knows that Jumbies, varied creatures of Caribbean folklore, exist 'for true' even though her Mama says they are just in stories. Tonight is a full moon and clear, and thus the perfect time for Naya who knows no fear, to prove her mother wrong.


Poultrygeist by Eric Geron, illustrated by Pete Oswald (ages 4-8)

A chicken crossed the road to get to the other side, but a careening semi spoiled their plans. Our hero is tenderized tartar and has thus arrived on THE OTHER SIDE! Fellow roadkill spirits attempt to orient the chicken to appropriate afterlife etiquette.


Vampenguin by Lucy Ruth Cummins ☠️ (ages 4-8)

A cultural exchange of sorts with a cheery narration at odds with the pictures. The Dracula family decides to spend a day at the zoo. The first stop is the penguin enclosure where curious baby Dracula slips out of his pram just as a careless zoo employee is using the enclosure door.


Vampire Peter
Vampire Peter by Ben Manley, illustrated by Hannah Peck (ages 4-9)

Peter is new to town and so weird! He eats gross food, speaks strangely, spooks, the caretaker, gets into fights and quickly picks up a reputation as the baddest boy in school. Another student seeks to avoid responsibility for their own part in Peter's troubles.


 Which Nose for Witch
Which Nose for Witch? by David Crosby, illustrated by Carolina Coroa (ages 4-9)

An important rite of passage for any growing witch is a trip to the Conk Boutique and the selection of an appropriate new nose followed up by a magical nose job. Grizelda's time has come but there are so many kinds to choose from and Grizelda can be a bit fussy.


☠️ Tracey Baptiste has also written novels about Jumbies.

☠️ Lucy Ruth Cummins illustrates widely but writes in a vein well suited for Halloween.


Previous New and Noteworthy book recommendations