Here are some picture books with spooky themes and not-so-spooky storylines.
IT'S RAINING BATS AND FROGS
Written by Rebecca Colby
Illustrated by Steven Henry
Published by Feiwel and Friends, 2015
What is the enemy of a parade? Rain, of course. And for the Witch Parade, it is no different. Filled with apt idioms and clever rhymes, a Halloween parade gets more and more chaotic as rain becomes "cats and dogs", then "hats and clogs", and "bats and frogs." Next time it's raining on your parade, be glad there are no witches nearby trying to help.
Written by Mac Barnett
Illustrated by Christian Robinson
Published by Chronicle Books, 2015
The opening spread shows an empty room with the accompanying text: "This is Leo. Most people cannot see him."
I love this! What a hook. Leo is a ghost-child who lives alone in a house, until a family moves in. Unfortunately, his friendly intentions cause the family to conclude that the house is haunted and they try to get rid of him. Leo's subsequent story is one of finding friendship and acceptance. A story not so different from ours, really.
Written by Emily Jenkins
Illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
Published by Hyperion Books for Children, 2008
While not specifically a Halloween book, THE LITTLE BIT SCARY PEOPLE draws on the idea that the unknown is scary. It takes a closer look at those who are different or grumpy or mean. The narrator imagines a place where each of the scary people are happy or loving or creative. It is a lovely medium for teaching empathy and putting yourself in someone else's shoes.