These magical and colorful creatures are scary, fluffy, and most of all, a great reading pal for your young readers. Some of our favorite monster books teach us about friendship, overcoming challenges, and learning lessons, while others depict adventures and ancient mythologies.
Here are 28 books for kids featuring the creepiest creatures, brilliant illustrations, and colorful characters to get your kids excited about reading.
1. Are You My Monster?
Author Amanda Noll has a knack for writing non-fiction and picture books about monsters. Her previous award-winning book I Need My Monster was so well received that she wrote this 4-book series about a young boy and his monster. This book tells the story of a boy who drew a picture of a monster and is now looking for him amidst all the monsters that make their way under his bed.
2. Spider Sandwiches
This colorful picture book illustrates the grossest meals you and your kids have ever seen! Max the monster loves to eat the slimiest, hairiest, stickiest creatures he can find, but his favorite food is spider sandwiches. How many pages can you turn before you get hungry...or sick!?
3. The Monsters' Monster
Patrick McDonnell, well-known picture book author, gives us this cute monster book featuring 3 endearing creatures who think they are the scariest creatures in the world...until they meet giant Frankenstein. Will these 3 monsters learn what it means to share and care from this unexpected teacher?
4. Monster School
This fantastic rhyming book for kids tells the story of a kindergarten class filled with the future of fear-inducing creatures. The little zombies, vampires, and witches at Monster School have their own distinct personalities and perspectives that aren't so different than human kids. This cast of characters will captivate your young reader, and the poetic structure is great for read-aloud time.
Barbara Cantini gives us this 4 book series following the sweet and lonely Ghoulia as she desperately tries to make a friend (well, a friend besides her dog Tragedy). This young zombie girl decides to wait for Halloween to venture out amongst the living kids all dressed up in scary costumes to hopefully meet someone who wants to be her friend.
6. Creature vs. Teacher
This silly book is jam-packed with rhymes that will get your kids thinking about monsters in a new way. This charming nonfiction book accounts Frankenstein's attempts at getting the attention of his gender-neutral professor in their lab. With cute illustrations and complex characters, your kids will relate to and fall in love with these two unique individuals.
7. Goodnight, Little Monster
This collection of picture books illustrates bedtime for monsters. What do they do to get ready for sleep? You'll be surprised to know it is very similar to how your kids get ready, except the fact that their bedtime snack contains beetles and not warm milk! One of our favorite monster books to read to our little ones before bed.
8. The Atlas of Monsters: Mythical Creatures from Around the World
This book about mythology is full of adventure with the reader following clues, maps, codes, and notes left by the mysterious explorer Cornelius Walters. This atlas will hopefully uncover the location of some of the world's most mysterious and creepy monsters, but is there something dark hiding inside these cryptic codes?
9. The Monster at the End of This Book
This classic children's book by Jon Stone, from the Sesame Street franchise, features Grover, a loveable, singing, blue monster who is scared to see what is on the last page of this book. The charming illustrations and cute story lead us to the end where we get to see what kind of scary monster is waiting for us.
10. Hattie and Hudson
Chris Van Dusen tells the heartfelt story of a young explorer girl named Hattie and a misunderstood sea creature Hattie meets on the lake and named Hudson. This brilliant story of friendship and acceptance shows how hard it is to be different, and how kindness and open-mindedness can lead to new and amazing things!
11. This Book Is Full of Monsters
This book about monsters by Guido Van Genechten has a uniquely terrible monster on each and every page. A great book for Halloween to give your kids creative costume ideas, or read before bedtime to inspire spook-tacular dreams.
12. Little Monsters Guide to Learning How to be Safe Online
This informative and cute book is a guide for how to be safe online. Kids today are getting online at a very young age so it's important they have knowledge regarding privacy, personal information, passwords, dangerous websites, and more. This amazing book presents all the basics so your kids can surf the web safely.
13. Nighty Night, Little Green Monster
This space-themed book features a little green monster getting ready for sleep. A book with lots of interactive pages, great for bedtime stories. As the little monster goes to sleep, so will your kids!
14. The Adventurer's Guild
This 3 book series by Nick Eliopulos is perfect for older kids, with creature-filled stories of adventure, danger, and of course lots of scary monsters. This series will teach your kids about bravery, friendship, and overcoming challenges.
15. Even Monsters Need Haircuts
This hilarious book by Matthew McElligott tells the adorable story of a kid barber with the most unlikely of clients. As the titles put it, even monsters need to take care of themselves. Whether that is a haircut, a horn polish, or a nice head wax to make their monstrous features shine, this young stylist has got you covered!
16. The Notebook of Doom
This monster-inspired 13 book series by Troy Cummings is just the beginning of his books about monsters. This series is designed for new readers, has plenty of colored illustrations, and a horrible monster on each page. The main character Alexander discovers a special notebook with information about all the amazing monsters around him, can he find them?
This creative and clever novel tells the story of a moody boy who turns into a grumpy monster when things don't go his way. From tantrums to pouting, this relatable character may resemble your little monster! Read it together and show them just how their crankiness looks to others and maybe next time something bad happens you can avoid your own Crankenstein.
18. There's a Monster in Your Book
This delightful search-and-find book will have your kids fighting over who gets to search for the little monster hiding inside the pages! Author and social media presence Tom Fletcher gives us the perfect bedtime read along that will be a repeat hit for many nights to come.
19. The Color Monster: A Story About Emotions
This educational and inspirational novel tells the cute story of the color monster trying to understand his emotions. With the help of a little friend, he learns how to control his emotions, accept how he is feeling, and become self-aware. This concept book is great for teaching kids about their feelings in a visual and inter-connected way.
20. Ten Creepy Monsters
This silly book of rhymes and classic monsters will have your kids giggling along and delighted by the beautiful illustrations. We have 10 witches, zombies, werewolves, and mummies, now we have 9...who will disappear next?
21. Monster, Be Good!
This clever picture book is secretly a guide to help your kids learn how to be good little monsters. The concept story has options and gaps for readers to fill in what the monster should do next and what types of behaviors and reactions are acceptable and which are not.
22. Looking for a Jumbie
This Caribbean folklore-inspired illustration book is a great way to include culture and diversity in books in your home or school library. A young girl Naya, sets out on an exciting adventure looking for the mysterious and supposedly fictitious Jumbie monster. Will she find it? And if she does, will she be happy she did?
23. How to Talk Monster
This adorably ridiculous book has its own monster language and dictionary so your new reader can learn to talk with their own monster. It's a story of how special friendship is, and how it can blossom between the most unlikely pairs.
24. Romping Monsters, Stomping Monsters
This action-filled picture book will have your kids up and running around like all the monsters in the story. Set at a playground with all sorts of obstacles, balls, and activities for the monsters to do. Young readers can read the simple sentences aloud and act out what they see in the colorful pictures.
25. Glad Monster, Sad Monster
This die-cut book associates emotions with visual representations and contexts so your kids can understand and explore their feelings and moods. The pages are sectioned and colored according to the different sensations each monster is feeling.
26. Alfred's Book of Monsters
This dark and gloomy book set in the Victorian era tells the story of a young, strange little boy curious about monsters. He finds a mysterious book about monsters and has the brilliant idea to invite them to afternoon tea. This idea is not approved by his old, traditional aunt, but of course, he will invite them anyway.
27. Boo Stew
This twist on a classic fairytale was written by award-winning author Donna Washington. A new outlook on Goldilocks, Curly Locks is an adorable girl with a knack for cooking terribly awful food. One day her dish disappears...turns out monsters like her cooking! Can she control these creepy creatures and keep them away from the rest of the fearful town?
28. My Teacher is a Monster!
This unique and creative picture book shows that there is more to people than meets the eye. Little Bobby hates his teacher, thinks she is a monster, until one day he sees her in the park and realizes everyone has challenges to face and some monsters aren't really monsters at all.