These not so scary monster books for kids are perfect for talking about cute and silly monsters with young children. If you’re looking for other amazing books we can’t get enough of, check out our list of the best preschool books!
Whether you have a child who loves monsters or needs help to overcome their fear of monsters, these monster picture books are sure to help. They are also great for monster lesson plans or Halloween time too! Check out our Halloween kid songs for spook-free singing and dancing.
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The Best Not So Scary Monster Books
Classic Monster Books
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
There cannot be a list of monster books for kids without including the classic Where the Wild Things Are! I have been reading and enjoying this book since I was a child. Now I have the pleasure of sharing it with my own little “wild things”. Not only does the story have such a sweet message of parental love, but it also shows just how powerful one’s imagination can be!
In this gorgeously illustrated book, Max starts all kinds of mischief while in costume. This earns him the name “wild thing” from his mother. He is banished to bed without dinner. While in his room, he begins a fantastic adventure through the woods and across the ocean to the land “where the wild things are”. Max tames the wild beasts and becomes king to the yellow-eyed terrible clawed creatures. After a few pages depicting a wild rumpus of fun, Max realizes that he is lonely and hungry. He returns to his room to find his supper waiting for him—still warm.
Goodnight, Little Monster by Helen Ketteman and Illustrated by Bonnie Leick
It’s time for bed, Little Monster! What do little monsters do before bed? You guessed it, howl at the moon, scrub his scales, and enjoy a delicious snack of worm juice and baked beetle bread. Little Monster’s mom is just like all moms out there, time to tuck him in and turn on the soft glow of the night light. We don’t want Little Monster to be scared of the dark!
What do you do when you are faced with the prospect of being eaten? Why, you make up a scary, hungry monster in an effort to frighten your predators away. That’s exactly what the mouse in this story does! Mouse reveals that the gruffalo is a beast with terrifying claws, and frightening tusks in its frightful jaws. But not to worry, there is no such thing as a gruffalo…right? This classic tale of a “frightening” beast is a kid favorite that will be begged to be read over and over!
Monster Books for Emotions & Behavior
The Color Monster: A Story About Emotions by Anna Llenas
This monster needs some serious help in managing his emotions! But don’t worry, his new friend helps him figure out all those feelings and help him manage those strong emotions. This adorable monster learns how to name his feelings and sort through the emotional “colors” we all experience.
Love Monster by Rachel Bright
How can you not fall in love with the Love Monster? He is a slightly hairy monster trying to fit in with all the cute and fluffy monsters, however, he’s feeling left out. Love Monster is determined to find someone who will love him for exactly who he is. This book takes you on his adventure to find love and although it wasn’t easy, Love Monster finds true love where he least expects it.
Monster, Be Good! by Natalie Marshall
This is a great bedtime read with fun and colorful illustrations! Monster, Be Good! encourages the reader to conquer bedtime fears by encouraging them to re-direct the bad behavior of the monsters in the book.
This book also offers various opportunities to discuss personal life lessons about behavior, such as: taking turns, social-emotional skills, handling bulling, and more.
Glad Monster, Sad Monster by Ed Emberley
Just like you and me, monsters have all kinds of different feelings! This creative die-cut book takes kids on a journey through the emotions and moods we all face. These funny monster masks will have you feeling nothing but silly by the time you’re done reading!
Quit Calling Me a Monster! Hardcover by Jory John
Although technically a “monster”, Floyd Peterson is tired of being categorized as one. Quit Calling Me a Monster! is a great read-aloud and lead-in for conversations (or lessons) about how to treat others. This book is funny and interactive while tackling the heavier concept of stereotyping.
Books That Will Make You Love Monsters!
Go Away, Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley
This is a great book about encouraging children to take control of their fears! As we read we build the monster piece by piece before then scaring him away piece by piece. It is easy and amusing to read and re-read this interactive book over and over again.
Not only are action songs fun, but they are also great for practicing sequencing, concentration, pretend play, and building gross motor skills. This book is a fun take on the classic “If You’re Happy and You Know It” song. It encourages the readers to move around like monsters while navigating through the bright eye-catching pages.
We get to participate by joining them in snorting and growling, smacking our claws, stomping our paws, and twitching our tails! This would be a great addition to a monster theme and/or storytime!
Elmer and the Monster by David McKee
Elmer the elephant helps his friends to realize that sometimes we let our imagination scare us more than the actual “monsters”. In fact, Elmer shows them that if we open ourselves up to cautiously facing our fears, we may even come to realize that there isn’t anything to be scared of at all.
This is another fabulous book that can be used as a tool to start a conversation about bedtime fears and/or facing the unknown things that might scare us.
Hey, That’s My Monster! by Amanda Noll and Illustrated by Howard McWilliam
This book is a clever twist on the typical monster under the bed book. We find poor little Ethan terribly distraught when his monster leaves a note under the bed that he has to move on to a new bed and a new kid. How will Ethan sleep without his monster under the bed with all his cute little snorts and sounds? Ethan soon figures out that his younger sister may just have his monster, especially since she keeps climbing out of bed every night! An adorable read and a smart way to model that monsters aren’t scary and we are only as fearful as our imaginations allow us to be.
Scaredy Boo! by Claire Freedman
This is an adorable book about understanding and overcoming your fears! Scaredy Boo is a monster who is afraid of everything—to the point that he is missing out on having fun adventures with his fellow monsters! In the book, Scaredy Boo is encouraged by another monster to talk about and investigate the things that frighten him. Scaredy Boo realizes that by overcoming his fears he is less lonely and can experience fun new adventures with his friends.
Monster Needs a Costume by Paul Czajak and Illustrated by Weny Grieb
This loveable Monster is so excited for Halloween Night, but he just cannot decide on just one costume. After he spends days trying on costume after costume, he finally overcomes his frustration and creatively creates the perfect costume! This book has a delightful lesson on not giving up and using your imagination to solve problems. This book also has some new and interesting vocabulary words due to the nature of his various personas throughout the book and makes this book even more enjoyable!
Books about Monster Appetites: What do monsters eat?
Monsters Don’t Eat Broccoli by Barbara Jean Hicks and Illustrated by Sue Hendra
Monsters don’t like broccoli. That’s all. They’d rather snack on tractors or a rocket ship or two, or tender trailer tidbits, or a wheely, steely stew. Wait a minute! Monsters do enjoy a snack or two of green leaves and tall trees. Maybe they do like broccoli! Perhaps broccoli (and all vegetables) aren’t so bad, but rather quite yummy!
Spider Sandwiches by Claire Freedman and Illustrator by Sue Hendra
Max is a monster with a large and very interesting appetite! The things Max eats are laugh-out-loud gross. Since he is so incredibly hungry, the “yummy” combinations seem to go on and on. Spider Sandwiches is an extremely entertaining read with some truly fabulous illustrations. This book also presents some great vocabulary opportunities to include words such as appetite, scrumptious, and massive. After reading this book, why not make a spider squishy bag with the kids?
Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds and Illustrated by Peter Brown
Creepy Carrots is a great “spooky” tale about the insatiable Jasper Rabbit who is being stalked by giant living monster carrots! Jasper cannot get enough of the carrots growing at Crackenhopper Farm–until they start following him! Nobody believes poor Jasper. But he knows that the giant creepy carrots exist, and so he devises a plan to keep them away from him.
The illustrations in this book are genius! Everything is depicted in black, white, and grey, except for the pop of orange color seen throughout the book.
What are some of your favorite monster books for kids? We’d love to add them to our list. See below for our list of other books that we think are great for preschoolers!
Best of Books
- Best Books About Farm Animals
- Best Ocean Books for Kids
- Best Read-Aloud Preschool Books
- Best Rhyming Books for Kids
- Best Yoga Books for Kids
- Best Friendship Books for Kids
Books for Social/Emotional Growth