19 Monster Books For Kids

halloween books for kids Books about monsters can be useful tools for parents while delighting children. These aren’t just books about silly and sometimes scary monsters they are about fear and conquering it.  Just like how children use pretend play to test out adult situations and roles books offer kids a chance to test out scary things in a safe place. Most of these monsters aren’t scary but even the cute ones help your child feel bigger and braver. If you have a favorite monster book that you don’t see here please take a second and leave a comment with the title and why you love it.

Monster Mess! by Margery Cuyler is a silly rhyming book about a monster who isn’t interested in scaring you, but rather cleaning up your messes. Readers follow along as the monster creeps through the house finding messes and tidying up. I personally loved it when the monster stepped on blocks, who reading this with kids hasn’t stepped on toys like Lego and screamed in pain?! I know I do, a lot so that part resonated with me . The illustrations by S.D. Schindler are done at funky angles and perspectives and adds a lot to the text. It’s not scary at all and a great monster choice for more fearful kids.

 Go Away, Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberley. Through the use of die-cut pages, a scary monster is created page by page. But once the monster is complete the reader tells it “You don’t scare me! So go away…” Now each page removes a piece of the scary monster until the end “and don’t come back.” As the child creates and then destroys the monster in the book, page by page, they see that the monster isn’t as scary as they thought. This great interactive approach gives children control of the monster and hopefully helps them to understand and control their own fears. *Reviewed by Carrie Anne
If You’re A Monster And You Know It by Rebecca and Ed Emberley is such a great monster book for families with kids of various ages. This book is a fun rearrangement of the classic children’s song  “If You Are Happy And You Know It” with appropriately monsterish sounds and actions. The illustrations with are all cut paper collages steal the show and you will find yourself reading/ singing along with the book only to go back for a second detailed look at each page. The monsters aren’t super scary but they aren’t fluffy and cute which makes them a perfect match for kids that like monsters but aren’t up to really be scared .
Welcome to Monster Town by Ryan Heshka was a book we judged by it’s cover and it didn’t quite deliver. Now don’t get me wrong it’s a visually amazing book and I think many kids will like it but it wasn’t what we were hoping it would be. The illustrations are so perfect for Halloween. I would love to turn it into a funky poster but we were hoping for a story line and really it didn’t have one. It was a look inside Monster Town that was supposed to feel like a insider look but It felt like an introduction to a really good story, but we never got the story.
Monsters Don’t Eat Broccoli by Barbara Jean Hicks is a really cute book about what monsters will and won’t eat. They will eat wheels and tractors, they will not eat broccoli. My son got into the repeating refrain ” Fum, foe, fie, fee, monsters don’t eat broccoli!”  In the end the monsters are really a set of siblings with all sorts of food on their plates including broccoli. It was fun way of opening up a talk about what foods we like and why trying new things is a good thing. Halloween is filled with treats and I’ll sneak veggies in wherever I can including bedtime reading!
The Very Worst Monster by Pat Hutchins will give you and your child a good laugh. Hazel is a horrible monster but all her family is so busy oohing and awing about how horrid her baby brother is no one notices her. This is a cute story about siblings but these siblings are competing to be the very worst monster! My son thought the monster’s antics were hilarious and I thought the sentiment about siblings was sweet. Cute book!

Twelve Terrible Things by Marty Kelley is horrifying to me, yet my son loves this book. He must have slipped it in our library bag because I have no recollection of choosing this book, and I didn’t pre read it when we got home. By then it was too late, my son was hooked on the dark humor this book delivers. The book offers up 12 terrible things, like a scary clown, a goldfish on it’s way down the toilet and monsters under the bed . The illustrations are all from the reader’s view point so the scary things are looking right at you! I am easily scared , I can’t watch horror film trailers without getting nightmares. I screamed twice reading this , my son just wanted “more more!” . I really don’t recommend this book for young kids although some older ones who like scary things will love it.

My Monster Mama Loves Me So by Laura Leuck is more my kind of monster book for kids. Imaginative illustrations by Mark Buehner kept my little man pointing out spiders, bats and owls and he loved counting the extra eyes and arms on the monsters. The story is really sweet too. It’s all the things a mama monster does throughout the day with her little monster. It’s got a good message about how love can be an action as well as a feeling!

The Monster Princess by D.J. McHale is a story about a monster Lala who so wished she could be a princess only to discover in the end that being herself is even better.  As I was reading this book I was really hoping that the three real princesses that befriend Lala would have more depth and not be the stereotypical mean girls that they are . Even after the mean princesses humiliate Lala she does the right thing and saves them when they are in danger. This book had a very predictable feel to it but I am 35 and have lived through mean girls on film many times and been on both sides of it in real life . To a young child this story is fresh and filled with good messages about doing what is right even when we are angry and hurt, discovering that what we dream about being may not be all it’s cracked up to be as well as my favorite message that there are ” All kinds of special.”

The Book That Eats People  by John Perry makes me laugh hysterically , so hard it was hard at times to read the words but it’s really really gruesome. This is not a book for kids that are squeamish, prone to imaginative nightmares or anxiety about death. That said if your child can handle a little funny horror, they will love this book. The story follows this human eating book as it wreaks havoc and gobbles people up! I beg parents to pre read this because it may be hilarious to me and my macabre little man but it may seriously frighten your child.

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak is one of those books that makes me cry just when I think of it. If you aren’t familiar with this book it’s not sad. It’s about a little boy who is acting up and gets sent to his room. While in his room his imagination runs wild and he is transported to a world where there are no rules , no parents and no consequences for bad behavior. Ultimately though Max’s heart pulls him back home where he is loved most of all, even when he’s wild. I think this is an amazing love story about parents and children and unconditional love.

Molly’s Monsters by Teddy Slater is a counting book in monster’s clothes. The book is about a little girl named Molly who is just trying to sleep when her room is flooded with monsters. They come in progressively larger groups and my son liked  counting to make sure the text was correct. My favorite part was that the first monster to arrive and the last to leave , never does leave and instead snuggles into bed with Molly. I also like that to get these pesky visitors to leave she turns on the light and makes a scary face and scares them. Clever.

When a Monster Is Born by Sean Taylor is funny, my son didn’t find it as funny as I did but he still laughed and didn’t seem scared any of it. The story is about a monster and all the life changing choices he faces every day like whether to eat a principal or run through a wall of a school. This book feels like a choose your own adventure book, it’s fun , repetitive and silly. There is quite a bit of talk about monsters eating people , though nothing too gory.

Monster Math by Anne Miranda is a math lesson turned into a fun and entertaining storybook. You can simply read the book or you can have your little mathematician help you guess how many new monsters arrive and leave on each page. The illustrations are adorable and even if the math skills are above your toddler or preschoolers heads they will still enjoy the book.

Goodnight Goon: A Petrifying Parody by Michael Rex. We loved this book, as big Goodnight Moon fans we were all laughing reading this before bed. My almost 3 year old thought that this was the funniest book ever made and would correct the book often with the original text .

My Friend the Monster by Elanor Taylor is a sweet and not at all scary look at a friendship between a little fox and the monster who lives under his bed. The monster was left behind by a previous owner of the house that the little fox moves into. This is a sad monster but with a little time and patience the monster and the little fox make new friends and all is well. The monster even gets his own bed in the little fox’s bedroom so he doesn’t have to live under the bed anymore.

Go to Bed, Monster! by Natasha Wing is a book anyone who’s ever struggled with bedtime will instantly relate to. The little girl in the book Lucy isn’t sleepy so she draws a monster but soon his refusal to go to bed even after she is sleepy backfires. I like this book, and despite his refusal to believe the monster was a monster not a dinosaur my son really likes this book and it got read 5 times today!

Leonardo, the Terrible Monster  by Mo Willems Leonardo is a terrible monster. His attempts to scare people only elicits giggles. Then Leonardo has a idea. He decides he’s going to find the most scardy-cat kid in the whole world and scare the tuna salad out of him. But when he does, he doesn’t feel so great. Now he has a new idea, instead of being a terrible monster he will be a wonderful friend. This is another wonderful tale by Mo Willems. The large book format allows for great use of space around his images and words. Mo Willems has the ability to write wonderful children stories that entertain both children and adults alike. * Review by Carrie Anne

Creepy Monsters, Sleepy Monsters by Jane Yolen is a sweet monster book with minimal text and very rich illustrations by Kelly Murphy.  The story is really about the daily wind down and bedtime for two monsters. You and your child will absolutely relate to them on one page or another ( or all). These little monsters are just like our little monsters resisting bedtime, trying to avoid baths… well you know the daily struggle. My daughter was not into the book but my son liked it even though I’d gear it towards the 2-4 crowd. We chose our favorite monsters on each page and found interesting details like the recipe for tentacle soup on the page where the mom is making dinner . Cute, your child will relate to it and it’s not at all scary!

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