Although most characters in children’s Halloween books are green, orange or purple (and we love that), real children do make an appearance in many of this season’s spooky books. Booklovers who are interested in Halloween-themed books that feature children of color, this list of 13 books is for you.
Samurai Scarecrow: A Very Ninja Halloween (Samurai Holiday), by Rubin Pingk. Two siblings, an older brother and his little sister are in for adventure on Halloween night. 4-8 year olds will love this story illustrated in graphic novel style.
The Frightful Ride of Michael McMichael, by Bonny Becker and Mark Fearing. Our hero Michael is determined to deliver a very special gift to his grandma, but he has to endure a terrifying bus ride to get there. (appropriate for 4-8 year olds)
A Tiger Called Thomas by Charlotte Zolotow, illustrated by Diana Cain Bluthenthal. The original edition of this book did not feature a black boy, but this one does. (aimed at 5-6 year olds)
Behind the Mask by Yangsook Choi (Korean American boy). A neighborhood in the United States learns more about Korean customs and a little boy learns to appreciate the experiences of his grandfather in this story for children ages 5-8.
Sweets and Treats by Toni Trent Parker, photographs by Earl Anderson. Enjoy this picture book with photos of African-American kids in Halloween costumes. Each page contains a line of verse. For the 3-4 year old crowd.
The Closet Ghosts by Uma Krishnaswami, illustrated by Shiraaz Bhabha. Having to move to a new house is enough of a hassle, now Anu has to contend with a haunting as well. 6-8 year olds will enjoy this story.
The Bake Shop Ghost by Jacqueline Ogburn, illustrated by Marjorie A. Priceman. The ghost of the original bake shop owner has managed to scare off every subsequent owner except Annie Washington. 4-7 years olds will enjoy this spooky, spunky tale.
Leo: A Ghost Story by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Christian Robinson. What is the line between real and imaginary? A little girl and a ghost explore the boundaries and benefits of their friendship. (5-6 year olds)
Los Gatos Black on Halloween by Marisa Montes, illustrated by Yuyi Morales. 4-8 year olds will enjoy this bilingual (Spanish and English) poem about a ghoulish Halloween party
Monster Trouble by Lane Fredrickson, illustrated by Michael Robertson. Winifred Schnitzel has to figure out how to rid her room of monsters at bedtime. 4-8 year olds can join the battle with Winifred.
How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? by Margaret McNamara, illustrated by G. Brian Karas. Counting is fun for 3-7 year olds in this book that celebrates the season and mathematics.
Pumpkin Eye by Denise Fleming. Trick-or-treating, moonlight and scary characters make an engrossing story for kids from 2-4.
Marvin in the Kooky Spooky House: A Halloween Adventure by Lord Toph. Will Marvin enter the spooky house? 4-8 year olds can accompany Marvin on his Halloween adventure.
BONUS: Frightlopedia: An Encyclopedia of Everything Scary, Creepy, and Spine-Chilling, from Arachnids to Zombies, by Julie Winterbottom, illustrated by Stefano Tambellini. This is not a multicultural book, but the cover itself scared me, so I couldn’t help but to include it here. Slightly older readers, from 8-12 years old, will love the creepy thrills here.