Exciting Halloween Books to Read as a Family

Halloween Books to Read as a Family

Get into the Halloween spirit and have some family reading time with these spooky books that will be exciting for the whole family to read. These recommendations are for a wide age range of children, but all are something fun to read aloud on a spooky evening.

Note: Not all kids will love reading scary books! Sometimes it can be helpful to read reviews or to read a book before sharing it with your kids. While my 7-year-old loves anything we read together, my 9-year-old would rather read anything else. All books are linked to their Goodreads page, which will take you to loads of reviews to check out before reading.

Do you enjoy reading classics? Check out my list of Classic Books to Read This Halloween.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through the provided links, this blog will receive a small commission to put towards the maintenance of this blog. All thoughts are my own.

Exciting Halloween Books to Read as a Family

Neil Gaiman The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Whimsical and a little creepy, The Graveyard Book is a story about Nobody Owens, who not only lives in a graveyard but is being raised by the ghosts in that graveyard. With Gaiman’s rich writing, this story is bound to be a family favourite. For younger readers, Nobody (“Bod”) may have a bit of a scary backstory, but the story is still unique and spellbinding.

Rise of the Balloon Goons (The Notebook of Doom, #1) by Troy Cummings

A story about Alexander, a new boy in town, and his interactions with various monsters around town. With monsters that are more silly than scary, this book is sure to entrance your child who may be new to reading. This is the first book in a long series and a Branches book, which is perfect for young readers. Opening line: “Once there was a pile of bones.

The Notebook of Doom Rise of the Balloon Goons Troy Cummings

Coraline Neil Gaiman

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Maybe you’ve seen the wonderful movie based on this book, but even if you have, you have to give the book a read. Coraline is wonderfully creepy and engaging, with images that will stick in your head and maybe make you want to explore your own home a little more thoroughly. This has a much different feel from The Graveyard Book, but with Gaiman’s beautiful writing, it still has his usual charm.

The Witches by Roald Dahl

When you read the synopsis for The Witches by beloved children’s author Roald Dahl, you might think there’s no way this book is suitable for kids: ” … there’s nothing a witch loathes quite as much as children and she’ll wield all kinds of terrifying powers to get rid of them.” However, Dahl writes with such wit and charm that you won’t help but laugh your way through this spooky read. With the recent obsession with all things witches, this is definitely one way to fulfill the appetite.

The Witches Roald Dahl

A Tale Dark and Grimm Adam Gidwitz

A Tale Dark & Grimm (A Tale Dark & Grimm, #1) by Adam Gidwitz

This is the story of Hansel and Gretel and their adventures through various fairytales. It might not be classified specifically as a creepy or scary book, but the quirky and mischievous children have a bit of Halloween charm to them. However, when you think of fairytales, think of the original Grimm fairytales, not the Disney ones. There is definitely blood and gore in this book, so be warned!

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

When you start to read A Monster Calls, you will definitely get a scary story kind of vibe, but by the end, you’ll realize how a beautiful story with a monster can be. This book is stunningly illustrated and the perfect read-aloud book for a family. It’s sad, but charming, and has a message about death that will hit hard for adults and children alike.

A Monster Calls Patrick Ness

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Alvin Schwartz

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (Scary Stories, #1) by Alvin Schwartz

This series is definitely not for the faint of heart. It is morbid and scary and will have you looking in your closet and under the bed — and only part of that will be because of the stories, the other part will be because of the truly horrifying illustrations. This is not a book for your toddlers or younger children, but older kids who might want to tap into the nostalgia of what might have scared their parents when they were young. Traditional ghost stories and folklore fill the pages and you might want to leave the light on when you read!

The Haunted House Next Door (Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol, #1) by Andrés Miedoso

Just like The Notebook of Doom, this is another fun series about a new kid in town. Andrés moves into his new home with his family and all is well until he meets his neighbour, Desmond, who is a ghost hunter. Based on the title, my 9-year-old actually hid the book so we couldn’t read it, but I unearthed it and read it with my 7-year-old who LOVED it. There are ghosts, but nothing that should ruin your night. It is also part of a long series of Andrés’ and Desmond’s ghostly adventures.

Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol The Haunted House Next Door Andres Miedoso

Small Spaces Katherine Arden

Small Spaces (Small Spaces, #1) by Katherine Arden

This is the story of Ollie, who recently experienced the loss of her parents. She encounters a woman who is about to throw a book into a river and, book lover that she is, Ollie rescues the book, brings it home, and starts to read. This book might not be super spooky, but Arden’s stunning writing puts forth an eerie atmosphere that might give you chills. Like A Monster Calls, this story will bring forth emotions, but also enchant you with an otherwordly charm.

Have you read any of the books on this list? What are some scary books you like to read with your kids during Halloween? I’d love to get more recommendations!

Updates & Changes

Hello readers!

You may have already noticed a few changes on the blog – the header has changed and there are some new links available. Over the coming weeks, there will be a new addition and a few changes to Hygge Dreamer.

In the past, I had been a book blogger. I hadn’t done it in years and I’ve been missing it – especially now that I’ve gotten back into reading again. I love being able to talk about books with people, but the people in my house include a non-reader and two kids who are either learning to read, or reading Dog Man over and over again. Of course, learning to read is amazing and I see nothing wrong with rereading, but when it comes to talking mysteries and horror books and classics, I can’t do it with my kids and my husband, the non-reader, might listen but won’t give much helpful feedback.

So, I will be sharing things like book lists and book reviews, and various other bookish posts. There will still be crochet and knitting patterns, but those aren’t something I can crank out every week. I feel that bringing in the books will help fill in the gaps on the blog and help me get back into that world of books again. I’ve missed it terribly!

I will also try and post more knitting and crochet content, even if it isn’t a pattern. I’ve always had problems balancing out my hobbies so hopefully, this will help with that. As for the business of Hygge Dreamer where I actually create items for people, I am still taking orders and will focus more on custom orders for now since I am working now and have less time to mass produce.

I hope you continue to stick around for the new content and share your thoughts on books as well! I’d love to see readers take part in the discussion.

Easy Pumpkins Crochet Pattern

It’s that time of year again when the leaves start falling, the days start getting shorter (and cooler!), and the smell of pumpkin spice is in the air. Fall!

I am in no way a summer person; I can’t tolerate the heat and I get really grumpy. But fall is another thing. It’s like spring for me, I want to clean and decorate, and I get so happy about the season finally changing!

With fall decorating comes one thing: pumpkins!

These little pumpkins won’t rot on you like the real thing, and with a variety of colours you can be a little dreamy (pastels), a little traditional (pumpkin coloured), or a little moody (jewel tones).

For me, I wanted to go a little moody with a touch of tradition, using Lion Brand’s Heartland yarn. I was dreaming of charcoal and deep purple coloured pumpkins and this yarn did not disappoint.

What you’ll need:

  • Lion Brand Heartland Yarn (100% Acrylic, 251yd/230m per 5oz/142g skein). Colours shown are Great Smoky Mountains, Yosemite, and Hot Springs.
  • 5.0mm (H) crochet hook (see note)
  • Measuring tape
  • Tapestry needle
  • Polyfil, or stuffing of your choice
  • Various sizes of wood branch pieces (see note)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Twine (optional)


  1. Ch-1 at the beginning of the row is NOT considered a stitch.
  2. While a 5.0mm hook is recommended, if your tension is really loose you might want to go down a hook size. If your tension is really loose, you might see the polyfil more when your pumpkin is finished.
  3. Wood branch pieces can be found in your backyard in most cases, but if you can’t find any you can always use a cinnamon stick.

What size do I make?

This is really based on your gauge, but for my own gauge, I have about 3.6 half-double crochet stitches per inch. For this pattern, I’m making a 5″ pumpkin but also made a 2.5″, 4″, and 5-3/4″ pumpkin by chaining the following:

  • 2.5″ – initial chain 10 (crochet until ~6″ long)
  • 4″ – initial chain 15 (crochet until ~10″ long)
  • 5″ – initial chain 19 (crochet until ~13″ long)
  • 5-3/4″ – initial chain 24 (crochet until ~15″ long)

Gauge really doesn’t matter for this pattern as this is just decoration, but knowing your initial width is helpful in order to make your piece long enough before assembly.


Using your colour of choice, chain 19.

Round 1: Hdc in second chain from hook, hdc across, turn. (18 hdc)

Round 2: Ch-1, hdc across, turn. (18 hdc)

Repeat round two until your piece is approximately 12.5″-13.5″ across. This does not have to be precise, but you do want your piece’s height to be just slightly less than 3 times the width.


First, we’re going to want to stitch up our fabric to make a tube. Fold your piece in half so the short sides are lined up and chain 1. You’re going to face it so your hook is on the back side (image 1) and slip stitch up the side to close, going through both loops on both sides (image 2). Fasten off. Don’t worry about weaving in ends – they’ll be hidden inside. Keep your piece with the wrong side (i.e. the one with your slip stitch seam – image 3) facing outward.

While you could keep a really long end and use it to sew up one end of the tube, I prefer to take a length of yarn, about 15″, and weave it in and out of the bumps (image 4) along the edge like a running or gathering stitch. As you make your way around the edge (image 5), weave your yarn through your first loop and then pull tightly, but gently, and double knot (image 6).

Now you can flip it so it’s right-side out and tuck all your ends inside (image 7). Just like with the first outer edge, you’re going to take a length of yarn and weave it in and out of the bumps along the edge like a running stitch, but this time don’t pull it tight (image 7). Stuff your pumpkin with polyfil (image 8), then pull your running stitch ends tight (but be gentle so you don’t snap your yarn!) and double knot, leaving one end short as we won’t need it until the end (image 9). You’ll want it long enough that you can pull it through to the other end (i.e.the butt) of your pumpkin.

We’re almost done!

Now, with your long piece of yarn, you’re going to make sections on your pumpkin. Currently, your yarn is coming out of the top of your pumpkin, so you’re going to want to put your darning needle through the top of your pumpkin (image 10) and out the bottom (image 11), and then back around the outside to go back through the top (image 12). Pull tightly and you’ll see your first section forming. To make it symmetrical, I like to now go through the bottom and then bring the yarn around the opposite side so the pumpkin now has two equal sections. Continue in this manner until you have 6 or 8 sections. I like to do a mix of both for my pumpkins so they’re all a little unique.

Once you’ve finished your sections, your yarn will be coming out of the bottom of your pumpkin. Pull your other end through to the bottom and double knot the two together. Thread them both through your darning needle and poke them from the bottom to the top. Trim them short.

Now your pumpkin just needs a top! My favourite top is an actual piece of wood, which most people will be able to find in the backyard. You can also use a cinnamon stick. Trim it down to fit your pumpkin, then put a dab of hot glue on one end and push it gently into the top of your pumpkin.

You can now leave your pumpkin as is or tie a piece of twine around the stem.

And now you have a cute little pumpkin!

Now you can start your fall decorating …

… or make a whole family of pumpkins. Happy crocheting!

Seaside Sunglasses Pouch

It’s almost summertime! Sunshiny days full of lemonade, bonfires, friends, family, trips to the zoo, trips to the spray park, and so much more!

But what is one thing that is a MUST-HAVE for summertime? Sunglasses!

Now, this isn’t a post about the importance of proper eyewear when out in the sun, but rather a post about what you need to PROTECT that eyewear.

Enter, the Seaside Sunglasses Pouch!

This pouch came about after I had made a simple pouch for myself and then my mom asked me to make her a couple pouches for her own sunglasses. I had a few issues with my own pouch and decided to work on a fresh, new pattern for hers.

My goals were to have a pouch that worked well with variegated or self-striping yarn, as well as one that looked cute with a tie and tassels because any boho tassels on my yarn creations are life. #bohotasselsforever

This pouch is perfect to throw in your bag to keep your sunglasses free from damage, plus it’s super cute and I’m sure all of your friends will want you to make one for them after they see how cute yours is. Any reason to crochet, right?

Seaside Sunglasses Pouch


Begin cluster: Chain 2, (Yarn over, insert hook into stitch, pull up a loop, yarn over, pull through first 2 loops on hook) 3 times, yarn over, pull through all 4 loops on hook.

Cluster: (Yarn over, insert hook into stitch, pull up a loop, yarn over, pull through first 2 loops on hook) 4 times, yarn over, pull through all 5 loops on hook.


  • 100% cotton yarn, worsted weight (I used Bernat Handicrafter in ‘On the Sea’)
  • 4.0mm (G) crochet hook
  • 5.5mm (I) crochet hook
  • Scissors
  • Tapestry needle


Using the larger hook, leave a long tail and chain 24. Join with a slip stitch to make a ring.

Round 1: Chain 1, sc in same, sc around, join. (24 sc)

Round 2: Ch 1, sc in same, dc in next, (sc, dc) around, join. (12 sc, 12 dc)

Round 3: Ch 1, dc in same, sc in next (dc, sc) around, join. (12 sc, 12 dc)

Round 4: Begin cluster, ch 1, skip 1, (cluster, ch 1, skip 1) around, join to the first cluster. (12 clusters, 12 ch-1)

Round 5-16: Repeat rounds 1-4.

At this point, your pouch should be approximately 6.5″ high. If you want your pouch longer, feel free to repeat rounds 1-4 until your pouch is about 1-1/4″ shorter than the desired length.

Rounds 17-19: Repeat rounds 1-3.

Round 20: Ch 1, sc in same, ch 1, skip 1, (sc, ch 1, skip 1) around, join to first sc. Fasten off. (12 sc, 12 ch-1)

Flip your pouch so it is wrong-side out and whip stitch the bottom together, going through the outer loops only. Weave in your ends.


Using the smaller hook, chain 60 and fasten off. Before weaving in the ends of your tie, thread it in and out through the chain spaces on the top of your pouch.

You can leave your drawstring as is and weave in your ends, or you could add tassels. I just wrapped my yarn around my hand about 30 times and tied the top with the end of my drawstring to attach it. Finish off your tassel and cut off the bottom of it so it’s about 2″ long on the bottom.

I also added wood beads, though it was tricky to add them to the chain – I used my darning needle to try and stuff the chain into the hole on the bead and that worked! I did my first tassel and drew the bead down to the top of the tassel and made a knot on TOP of the bead to secure it. Then, I strung my drawstring through the chain spaces, added my next bead, and finished the second tassel.


Working in the Third Loop

One of the things I love about crochet is how many stitches there are that create wonderful texture. Even something as simple as alternating single and double crochets, for example, can create something pleasing to the eye–something different from rows with only, say, single crochet. That’s not said to knock projects in single crochet because they can also be elegant and beautiful, but for me, personally, I LOVE texture.

Working in the third loop can be confusing to crocheters. Isn’t there only two loops? As in, the two you crochet through for more stitches? These loops ARE definitely important, but working in the third loop can create something completely different and add some texture to your project.

But what is the third loop? The third loop is something you’ll see when working in half-double crochet. When you work a half-double crochet (by yarning over, inserting your hook into the stitch, pulling up a loop, yarning over again, and pulling through all 3 loops on the hook) you are creating TWO sets of loops: the set on the top that you would normally work through, and a set below, created by the yarn over, that creates an additional loop on either side of your project. This loop, located right below your main top loops, is the third loop.

The third loop will ALWAYS be worked on the side of your piece you are currently working on. Here is a row of half-double crochets with the third loop marked:

And here is a row of single crochets being worked through the third loop:

As you can see, the top loops that create the v-stitchc aren’t being worked through at all, ONLY the loop BELOW those top two — that is the third loop. For this particular pattern shown in the photos, in the photo above, the round is currently on the wrong side. This pushes those top v-stitches towards the front of the work.

If you had been told to work a row of single crochets, not being asked to work through the third loop, these are the loops you’d be working through:

If you worked through both loops, you wouldn’t see a big difference when you turn to the opposite side. Below, however, is what the right side will look like after the third loop was worked through on the previous round:

As you can see, it creates a nice, textured ridge on the right side of the work. If you had worked a row of half-double crochets on the WRONG SIDE, and then worked through the third loop on the RIGHT SIDE, this ridge would appear on the wrong side of the work so you always want to pay attention that you are on the correct side of your work.

(This is when a lobster-claw progress keeper comes in handy! Even advanced crocheters will use one to mark the front of their work.)

So, if you want a lovely ridge on the right side of your work from working through the third loop, you will want to first work your row of half-double crochets on the right side:

And then, work in the third loop on the wrong side, when you flip your work to continue your next row. Here’s what your right side looks like after two rounds of working through the back loop:

Note: This tutorial is based on working a piece flat and working with single crochets in the third loop. There are plenty of patterns that use the third loop in many different ways, but this is how I’m showing it. If I use another way in a pattern, I will link a turtorial to this post.

Unless it is noted by the designer, you will be working into the third loop on the side that particular round is on. As the loop does show up on the front AND back of your work, this can be a little confusing. For this tutorial, I am showing you working in the third loop on the working side. That is, you will always SEE the third loop on the same side – wrong or right – you’re working on.

Do you like working through the third loop? I’ll admit, it never used to be a technique I’d go to, but I’m loving it more and more lately. If you have any questions, or if you feel like any of my information is inaccurate, please let me know in the comments below!


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