Not Too Scary Stories

Boo! Do you like to be scared, but just a little bit? These semi-scary stories are for younger children, mostly in picture book format.

Compiled by:
Children's Services staff
A Beasty Story

Bill Martin
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Mar)

Some mice venture into the dark, dark woods where they find a dark brown house leading past other dark colors to a spooky surprise.

A Dark, Dark Tale

Ruth Brown
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Br)

A black cat journeys through a dark, dark house.

A Very Hairy Scary Story

Rick Walton
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Wa)

Upon realizing that she has stayed at her friend's house longer than she should have, Sarah decides to sneak home rather than call her father and finds herself in a night filled with hairy, scary animals.


Pete Seeger
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 398.2 Abiyoyo See)

Banished from the town for making mischief, a little boy and his father are welcomed back when they find away to make the dreaded giant Abiyoyo disappear. Also look for Abiyoyo Returns.

Bedtime for Monsters

Ed Vere
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Ver)

A hungry monster seeks a different kind of bedtime snack.

Boo! Made You Jump!

Lauren Child
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Charlie Ing)
Charlie and Lola

Charlie and Lola have fun on Halloween!

Can't Scare Me!

Ashley Bryan
(Juvenile Nonfiction - 398.2 Tukama tootles Bry)

A fearless little boy ignores Grandma's warning about nighttime monsters until he runs away and meets the two-headed giant's three-headed brother.

Dare You!

James Mayhew
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Ma)

Susie and Harry find some spooky surprises when they tiptoe outside in the middle of the night.

Dracula's Cat; And, Frankenstein's Dog

Jan Wahl
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Wa)

Two famous monsters' pets give their views of life with their masters.

Four Scary Stories

Tony Johnston
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Jo)

An imp, a goblin, a scalawag, and a boy tell each other scary stories.


Janet Ahlberg
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Ah)

Three skeletons--a grownup, a child, and a dog--take a walk at night through a dark town.


Robert Bright
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Br)

A series of books about a harmless little ghost.

Ghost's Hour, Spook's Hour

Eve Bunting
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Bun)

Scary incidents at midnight give Biff the dog and his master a fright, but all can be explained.

Ghosts for Breakfast

Stanley Terasaki
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Te)

A young boy and his father investigate their neighbors' reports of ghosts on a nearby farm.

Go Away, Big Green Monster!

Ed Emberley
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Em)

Die-cut pages allow readers to manipulate a monster's features.

Goblin Walk

Tony Johnston
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Jo)

A little goblin has a series of frightening experiences while walking through the woods to his grandmother's house.

Granny Greenteeth and the Noise in the Night

Kenn Compton
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Co)

No one will help Granny find out what's making the noise under her bed.


Calef Brown
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 811.54 Bro)

Silly poems about nefarious Halloween monsters!

Harry and the Terrible Whatzit

Dick Gackenbach
(Juvenile Early Readers - J-ER Ga)

When Harry goes to the cellar to search for his mother, he confronts the terrible two-headed Whatzit.

Heckedy Peg

Audrey Wood
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Wo)

A mother saves her seven children from Heckedy Peg, a witch who has changed them into different kinds of food.

Hilda Hen's Scary Night

Mary Wormall
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Wo)

During her nighttime journey to the henhouse Hilda Hen finds unexpected courage within herself as she tiptoes past a snake, runs from a fox, and swims a lake.

Jethro and Joel Were a Troll

Bill Peet
(Juvenile Picture Books - J Ej Pe)

A two-headed troll goes on a rampage through the countryside.

King of the Cats

Paul Galdone
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 398.2 King Of The Cats Gal)

As the gravedigger tells his wife how a band of cats marched into the cemetery, their own cat, listens with a strange intensity.

Knock! Knock!

Jan Wahl
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Wa)

Little witch sitting alone at her spinning wheel hears a knock at her door, but the various body parts that enter are not much company.

Knock, Knock! Who's There?

Sally Grindley
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Gr)

Many scary creatures knock on the door and ask to be let in, but the door only opens for Daddy.

Monster Stew

Mitra Modarressi
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Mo)

Three tales featuring a variety of monsters.

My Mama Says There Aren't Any Zombies, Ghosts, Vampires, Creatures, Demons, Monsters, Fiends, Goblins, Or Things

Judith Viorst
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Vi)

Can Nick trust his mother's word that there are no goblins and such lurking in the night?

Night of the Gargoyles

Eve Bunting
(Juvenile Picture Books - J Bun)

The gargoyles that adorn the walls of a museum come to life and frighten the night watchman.

One Scary Night
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej On)

Black and white illustrations narrate this spooky walk through the woods.

One Witch

Laura Leuck
(Juvenile Holiday - Ej Le)

A witch goes around to her fiendish friends -- from two cats to ten werewolves -- to gather the ingredients to make gruesome stew for her party.

Piggie Pie

Margie Palatini
(juvenile Picture Books - Ej Pa)

Gritch the witch flies to a farm for some pigs to make a piggie pie, but when she arrives she can't find a single porker.

Scared Silly!: a Book for the Brave
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 810.8 Sc)

An illustrated collection of spooky stories, poems, and riddles. Compiled and illustrated by Marc Brown.

Scary Stories to Read When It's Dark
(Juvenile Early Readers - J-ER Sc)
Reading rainbow readers

A collection of not so scary stories for early readers.

Spooky Night

Natalie Savage Carlson
(Juvenile Holiday Picture Books - Ej Ca)

A black cat has a variety of adventures.

The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree

Stan Berenstain
(Juvenile Early Readers - J-ER Be)

One by one, three bears have second thoughts about exploring inside a spooky old tree.

The Big Stew

Ben Shecter
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Sh)

Two people get carried away making stew and turn into witches.

The Bones of Fred McFee

Eve Bunting
(Juvenile Holiday Picture Books - Ej Bu)

A toy skeleton at Halloween provides menace and mystery.

The Boo! Book

Nathaniel Lachenmeyer
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Lac)

Explains how to recognize a haunted book, and what to do when one finds one.

The Dark at the Top of the Stairs

Sam McBratney
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Mcb)

An old mouse agrees to show three young mice the "monster" at the top of stairs.

The Ghost of Nicholas Greebe

Tony Johnston
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Jo)

The ghost of a farmer haunts his widow's house after a dog takes one of his bones on a long journey.

The Ghost-Eye Tree

Bill Martin
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Mar)

Walking down a dark road one night, a brother and sister argue over who is afraid of the dread Ghost-Eye tree.

The Ghosts in the Cellar

Jacques Duquennoy
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Du)

Silly adventures about friendly ghosts.

The Haunted House: 24 Strange Little Animals

Percy Graham
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Pe)

When their bus breaks down, a group of unusual creatures must spend the night in a deserted house where everything seems very frightening--until the following morning.

The Horrible Spookhouse

Kicki Stridh
(Juvenile Holiday - Ej St)

A girl lost in the woods wanders into a haunted house, where she disappoints the monsters and other inhabitants because she refuses to be frightened of them.

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything

Linda Williams
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Wi)

Our heroine must deal with a pumpkin head, a tall black hat, and other spooky objects that follow her through the dark woods.

The Night Walker

Richard Thompson
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Th)

As a boy's pouch fills with treasure from the wilderness, he hears behind him strange sounds that get louder and louder. Could it be the dreaded Night Walker? Or, has his imagination carried him too far?

The Spooky Book

Steve Patschke
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Pat)

In a dark house, Andrew gets scared while reading a spooky book in which a girl is reading a spooky book in a scary house.

The Taily Po: a Ghost Story

Joanna Galdone
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 398.2 Tailypo Gal)

A strange varmint haunts the woodsman who lopped off its tail.

The Teeny-Tiny Woman: a Ghost Story

Paul Galdone
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 398.2 Teeny Tiny Gal)

A teeny-tiny woman finds a teeny-tiny bone in a churchyard and puts it away in her cupboard before going to sleep.

The Widow's Broom

Chris Van Allsburg
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Van)

A witch's worn-out broom serves a widow well, until her neighbors decide the thing is wicked and dangerous.

Tony Johnston
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Jo)

A witch's hat causes its owner some problems when it turns into a bat, a rat, a cat, and still won't behave after that.

There are Monsters Everywhere

Mercer Mayer
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Ma)

A boy who is certain that his house is filled with monsters takes a karate class in order to vanquish them.

There's a Monster Under My Bed

James Howe
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej How)

Simon is sure there are monsters under his bed in the night--he can even hear them breathing.

There's a Nightmare in My Closet

Mercer Mayer

A child believes that there is a nightmare hiding in his bedroom closet but no one takes him seriously.

There's Something in My Attic

Mercer Mayer
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej May)

Convinced there is something making noise in the attic at night, a brave little girl sneaks up the stairs, lasso in hand, to capture it.

This Book is Haunted

Joanne Rocklin
(Juvenile Early Readers - J-ER Ro)

A not-too-scary ghost tells six short stories.

Two Terrible Frights

Jim Aylesworth
(Juvenile Picture books - Ej Ay)

A little mouse and a little person meet while getting a snack at bedtime and scare each other.

What Was I Scared Of? : A Glow-in-the-Dark Encounter

Dr. Seuss
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Seu)

The narrator is frightened by a pair of pale green pants with no one inside that seems to be following him, until the two meet and discover that they have nothing to fear. Features illustrations that glow in the dark.

What's Under My Bed?

James Stevenson
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej St)

Grandpa tells his two young houseguests a story about his own childhood when he was scared at bedtime.

Where the Wild Things Are

Maurice Sendak
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Sen)

The classic story of a little boy, sent to bed without his supper, who sails to the land of the wild things.

Whistling Dixie

Marcia Vaughan
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Va)

Dixie Lee brings home an alligator, a snake, and an owl as pets to protect her family from such spooky creatures as the churn-turners, the bogeyman, and the mist-sisters.