Halloween Advent Calendar With Books

Countdown to Halloween with books! This Halloween Advent Calendar idea is fun for kids and families, easy to put together, and great for a budget.

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One of my great loves in life is reading– books of all kinds. I also love Halloween. Not the scary, ghoulish, gory kind, but the fun costumes, trick or treating, sugar cookies, and pumpkins-on-the-porch kind. To celebrate both of these, I created a Halloween Book Countdown—a really fun way to count down the thirty-one days to Halloween, starting with October 1st.  We started this years ago, and love it!

Halloween Book Countdown: Fun & Easy Halloween Tradition

Celebrating Halloween is so fun, and can be done the whole month long. Some of our favorite traditions are during the Halloween season–making festive treats like Halloween Pretzel Mummies and “Booing” our neighbors. One of our favorites is counting down to Halloween day with a books, just like our Christmas Book Advent.

It’s fun and easy. You don’t need to buy 31 Halloween books–we check ours out from the library, making it a very inexpensive (basically free) way to celebrate this spooky season with your kids and family.

A Halloween Book Countdown means cozy nights snuggled up together, a good book, and just maybe a cup of hot chocolate. Perfection.

Halloween Book Countdown: Fun & Easy Halloween Tradition


  • Halloween books–from your own library, new books, library books
  • White cardstock for printing tags
  • Wrapping paper
  • Basket, bin, or crate–big enough for 31 books. (Check the dollar store!)

How it works

Gather thirty-one Halloween books, and then either wrap them up and number them, or place them in a cute basket or crate. Every day beginning October 1st, we choose one of the books to read. How my kids love this long-loved tradition, and it’s the perfect way to help celebrate the fun part of Halloween.

Make a list of some of your favorite Halloween books, along with a few others you want to try, then head to the library. I’m working on collecting our own set, but until then, the library is the perfect resource. It usually has all the titles I’m looking for, plus others that are new to us, which I love.

Tip: It’s a good idea to head to your library right around the first of the month, to make sure you have a good selection. Checkout dates vary from library to library (we’ve had two, three, and four weeks), but most of them offer renewals, so you could have the books for the entire month. If they don’t offer renewals on holiday books, you can always go a couple of times that month to stock up. It’s totally worth it!!

You can use a tub, crate, basket, or even a space on your bookshelf to keep your books. This method is nice if you want your kids to be able to choose their own book each night. I also like wrapping them up in paper and placing a number on them, for more of a surprise. Honestly, it doesn’t have to be anything fancy to be fun–using a basket you already have is perfect too!

Halloween Book Countdown: Fun & Easy Halloween Tradition

My first bin that I used years ago looked like this…just a simple black plastic tote that I think was from the Dollar Store! With a bit of ribbon on the handles, and a vinyl label, it was ready to go.

Halloween Book Countdown | oldsaltfarm.com

Download countdown numbers

Click on the button to download the spooky number tags.

How to print

Download tags above, then print on to white card stock. Cut them out and adhere each one to a wrapped Halloween book.


Are you able to find 31 books each year?

Yes. For the first few years I used almost all library books, since we didn’t own many. I try to collect one or two a year, and then over the years I’ve had to check out fewer books. When we lived in a town with a smaller library, I’d drive to one that had a larger selection. But I’ve never had trouble finding books to borrow.

Do you have to wrap and number the books?

No, not at all. If you want to get the books and place them in a basket in the corner of your family room and read one per night without the wrapping, that totally works. There have been years that we did it that way, and my kids were happy. They really love just sitting down each night and reading together, and the ongoing tradition.

What are your favorite Halloween books?

A bunch of my favorites are listed below!

31 favorite Halloween books

Here is a list of 31 Halloween books that we love for our Halloween Book Countdown! (Most of these books are targeted for ages 3-8.) For older children, tweens, and teens, reading a spooky chapter book each night works really well too. But actually my kids still love the picture books, even as they’ve gotten older!

The book featured in the pictures? One of our most favorites!!  B is for Boo!

More Halloween ideas

Owl Cupcakes | Spiderweb Brownies | Trick-or-treat Printable Tag

Owl Cupcakes | Fall or Halloween Treats
Spooky Spiderweb Brownies | Easy Halloween Treats

Now that you’ve made it this far, we are pretty much best friends! 🖤 If you make this project, or have a question, I’d love you to leave me a comment below. Make sure you follow me on InstagramPinterest, and Facebook!

*Originally posted 2011.

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  1. You should find the book "The Hallo-Wiener" by Dav Pilkey (It's a kids book about a dachshund.) It's the cutest trick or treating story, complete with mischievous scaredy cats! My daughter and I love it!

  2. I love this idea! I'm going to share this on my blog if you don't mind, all credit to you of course. :)



  3. I really love this idea. Thank you for sharing. You have such fun, creative ideas. I love looking at your blog and getting inspired.

  4. Our very favorite halloween book is "Where's my Mummy" by Carolyn Crimi. It's an absolutely adorable story about a little mummy playing hide and seek with his mummy just before bedtime! I'd let you borrow it…but it is well loved. *M* has them on sale now.

  5. I must tell you I think you are so cute! I love your blog and all your fun ideas. In my opinion, you have the BEST crafty blog in blogland! Thanks for always sharing your ideas. Also, CONGRATS on running your first half marathon! You will now officially be addicted! I have done some halfs but my first full is on Saturday!

  6. Our youngest girl loves "Black Cat Creeping" for some reason. Pages are torn and crinkled and taped back together, but it keeps on making an appearance each and every Halloween! Love your idea.

  7. Ooohh thanks for the list. One of my very favorite things about fall is TOO MANY PUMPKINS. That is one of my all time favorite children's books.

  8. I so love your blog and am your newest addict! I did a post featuring your poppy clips and told everyone where to find your great tutorial.
    :) Erin

  9. Well, she pulled and she tugged and she pulled, first she pulled hard and then she pulled harder but the pumpkin just sat! Drat, said the witch! Big Pumpkin is my favorite, I also love to read Humbug Witch and The Little Old Woman Who not afaird of anything! YOu picked all my pre-k favorites!

  10. ok, So I have been lurking around your site for some time now and I love all of your ideas, and apprantly so did someone else in my town, because almost all of these books were already checked out today when I looked online! I hope they return them soon! Thanks for the great idea.

  11. Calandra–I have a vinyl company that I have used for years, and their link is in my right side bar.

  12. Thanks! I've never scrolled over to the right side before. Now I have more to explore. I will go check them out. Again, Thank you.

  13. What a great idea!! I buy my nieces and nephews a new holiday book every holiday for all holidays. They love it! I will pass this idea on to my sister in law she will love it.. they should almost have enough to fill a basket. I may have to make the container and send it with their new books this year:)

  14. LOVE the suggestions of books!!!

    I received this blog award today and I'm paying it forward to you! I hope you will pay it forward as well :)

    Have a great day!!

  15. Great idea! We're going to do it for Christmas too!

    The Runaway Pumpking is another great Halloween book.

  16. My all time favorite Halloween book was one that my Great Grandmother used to read to me.

    A Woggle if Witches by Adrienne Adams

    I love love love this book!

  17. This is such a great idea. Especially with how cheap you can get some halloween books through scholastic!

  18. We also LOVE Halloween books (and I totally agree with getting them cheap through scholastic). Our current favorite is from the library, though…."John Pig's Halloween". Happy Fall!

  19. What a great idea?! Seriously I love it, do you mind if I copy you? I think that i would like to do one for Christmas too, leading up to the nativity story of course! Love it, thanks for sharing!

  20. Frankie Stein (Lola M Schaefer) and (on your list) Skeleton Hiccups are my favorite to read in the library during Halloween ; D I also made a cute skeleton out of milk jugs to assist me in reading Skeleton Hiccups, I bring him to school with me during October and the students love him. Mr. Bottle Bones is from the family fun website: http://familyfun.go.com/crafts/mr-bottle-bones-665134/

  21. My all time favorite:
    12. Big Pumpkin, Erica Silverman
    Have you heard the cd/tape of the story?

  22. My family has lots and lots of books and one of our FAVORITES is called Spookley the square pumpkin. It is about a pumpking that is different from all the others but learns that different was good! I LOVE books like these that have a good message for my kiddos! BTW LOVE, LOVE, LOVVVVVE your blog!!!!!!

  23. Thanks for posting. I have been following your blog for a while now, after seeing it off of someone elses blog, and I think it is just adorable. Thanks for sharing– I would love to do this myself one day!

  24. This is such a great idea! I love Room on the Broom. I had a few to add, but after scrolling through the comments others suggested them too. Some that I didn't see, Skippyjon Jones in Mummy Trouble, by Judy Schachner, and The Widow's Broom, by Chirs Van Allsburg.

  25. Love this idea! Have you done it for christmas too? If so I would love an idea list for books–

  26. Such a fabulous idea – I do something similar at Christmas. Thanks for posting your book list, too! I featured your idea here. So fun!

  27. you inspired you to make my own list! :) I linked back to this post :)

    check out my countdown to All Hallows Eve: http://lettersnumbersandbooksohmy.blogspot.com/2011/10/31-books-countdown-to-all-hallows-eve.html

  28. Here is a link to some of my favorite books for October.

  29. In a Dark, Dark Wood, An Old Tale with a New Twist by David Carter. It has a pop up ghost in the back of the book. So fun.

  30. Your post came just in time! We live in India and I just started homeschooling. I was thinking to myself as I pulled out our ONE halloween book that I needed to find more, but I'd rather have them recomended that just surf the web. And up your feed popped on my google page! OH! our one book is The biggest pumpkin ever By Steven Kroll. It is so cute and special because we have a video of my mom reading it my kids the night before we moved here almost 1 year ago! so special. Thanks for adding more to the month! ~Heidi

  31. Kierste,

    I just love your blog! We have the Halloween book you show, my daughter loved it when she was little and I still have it memorized because she used to have me read it to her so much!

    Thanks for being so inspiring!
    Have a great day!

  32. Awesome list of Halloween themed books! Thank you so much for sharing. My son is becoming as Halloween crazy as me and anything to help foster his love of reading I am all for. :)

    1. You are so welcome!! This is such a fun tradition–I hope you love it as much as we do! And I’m with you–anything to help kids love to read is the best! xoxo

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