Enjoy these books celebrating and honoring different holidays of the year from the well-known holidays to the odd, funny, and wacky holidays. Try these read-alouds for October holidays. Read a book a day with the students.
Books for Kids About October Holidays
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October 1st: Balloons Around the World Day
Can you imagine a farmer who grows balloons? Well, Harvey Potter is that farmer! Harvey Potter’s Balloon Farm by Mark Buehner was a favorite book of my kids when I was teaching in the classroom.
October 2nd: National Name Your Car Day
Does your car have a name? Imagine if you could not only name your car but custom build a dream car. That is just what Chris Van Dusen does in If I Built a Car. How about a swimming pool in the backseat? Children will love to tell what they would include in their very own dream car.
October 3rd: National Fruit at Work Day
A Song of Frutas by Margarita Engle takes us to Cuba where a child visits her abuelo who is a street vendor. She enjoys singing with him to sell their fruit.
October 4th: National Taco Day
Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin is a hilarious tale of having lots of tacos on hand for dragons. But, caution…if there are tacos there may be spicy salsa. And, guess what happens if a dragon has spicy salsa?
And, check out these activities to go with the book.—-> Dragons Love Tacos Book Activities
October 5th: Do Something Nice Day
Pass it On by Sophy Henn is a beautiful message to share kindness all around from a smile to a laugh.
For more books about kindness, check out this list.—> Books About Kindness
October 6th: National Plus Size Appreciation Day
Bodies are Cool by Tyeler Feder celebrates bodies of all shapes, sizes, colors, and features. We are all unique and we are all COOL. This book deserves a spot on every bookshelf in homes, counselor offices, doctor’s offices, and classrooms.
October 7th: You Matter to Me Day
The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig is a story about a very quiet boy named Brian who goes mostly unnoticed in his school. Then, a new boy joins the class and Brian is the first person to make him feel welcome. The two join together on a project and both shine.
October 8th: World Octopus Day
An octopus is eager to get back to its home in the sea after being captured and taken to an aquarium. Can this escape artist succeed? Find out in The Octopus Escapes by Maile Meloy.
October 9th: Fire Prevention Day and Indigenous Peoples’ Day
In I’m Brave by the McMullans, we learn about some of the tools that you will find on a fire truck.
We Are Still Here!: Native American Truths Everyone Should Know by Traci Sorell definitely draws on Dr. Reese’s point of choosing books in the present tense which also shines a light on history and concerns of today.
Check out even more books about Native Americans.—-> Books by Native American Authors and Illustrators
October 10th: World Porridge Day
Jan Brett is a masterful illustrator so her version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears will give the children lots to look at while reading aloud.
And enjoy these variations of the story.—>Goldilocks and the Three Bears Variations
October 11th: “You Go Girl” Day
She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World is the first in a series of She Persisted books by Chelsea Clinton. In this book, we meet Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Clara Lemlich, and more women.
October 12th: Farmers Day
Before We Eat: From Farm to Table by Pat Brisson is a story that showcases the many hands that help to get food from the field to our tables.
October 13th: National M&M Day
Grab some M&Ms and get to counting with The M and M’s Brand Counting Book by Barbara Barbieri McGrath. The book is out of print but you can probably find a copy at the library. There are other books in the series too by the same author.
October 14th: National Bookshop Day
Good Night, Little Bookstore by Amy Cherrix is an ode to all bookstores.
“Good night, picture books, comics and more. Good night, good night, little bookstore.”
It’s time to put the bookstore to bed for the night in this lovely and beautifully illustrated story that celebrates bookstores.
October 15th: National Mushroom Day
How does a fungus feed?
Can a fungus weigh as much as a whale?
What season will you find the most mushrooms?
All of these questions and more can be found in Humongous Fungus by Lynne Bodd.
October 16th: Dictionary Day
I’m super picky when it comes to dictionaries for kids. They have to describe the word in kid-friendly terms in order for me to recommend them. Well…The Dictionary of Difficult Words by Jane Solomon is one I can recommend! It has over 400 words that will challenge those who love to learn new and unusual words. My kids and I have been picking one a day to talk about and try to incorporate into our vocabulary.
October 17th: Black Poetry Day
Just Like Me by Vanessa Brantley-Newton is a beautiful collection of poetry about finding your unique self.
October 18th: Alaska Day
If you dropped the Three Bears in Alaska you get Alaska’s Three Bears by Shelley Gill.
October 19th: National New Friends Day
Making friends when a language barrier exists can be a bit challenging. In The Word for Friend by Aidan Cassie we meet Kemala the pangolin (I don’t think I’ve read another picture book with a pangolin as a character.) who is excited to meet new friends at her new school. But, she soon discovers that she doesn’t understand her classmates and they don’t understand her. But, she does meet someone and it turns out that friendship can be a universal language.
For more books about friends, check out this book list.—> Books About Friends
October 20th: International Chefs Day
Alice Waters Cooks Up a Food Revolution by Diane Stanley is a feast. Alice Waters is known for using fresh ingredients to create amazing flavorful foods in her restaurant. She started a food revolution that can be seen in communities across the world now.
I loved that she created a set menu concept and that the menu would change every day based on what was available, in season, and tasted the best. Fresh and local all the way!
October 21st: Count Your Buttons Day
Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin is the tale of Pete the Cat who is wearing his favorite shirt with the four groovy buttons. When Pete loses a button, he doesn’t cry. Goodness no, he just keeps singing his song. This is such a fun book to sing and countdown with Pete as he loses all of his groovy buttons.
Try these book activities to go with the book.—> Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons
October 22nd: National Color Day
Swatch: The Girl Who Loved Color by Julia Denos is the story of a girl who adores colors. In fact, she is a color tamer.
For more books about colors, check out this list.—-> Books About Colors
October 23rd: International Snow Leopard Day
Snow Leopard Ghost of the Mountain by Justin Anderson showcases the elusive species in the high mountains. The book also urges us to protect them too.
October 24th: National Food Day
Our Food: A Healthy Serving of Science and Poems by Grace Lin introduces us to each food group, what eating healthy looks like, and more.
October 25th: National Fine Art Appreciation Day
There are a lot of hands who help bring an art exhibition to life from the artist to the curator. Learn about all the jobs someone interested in art could hold in this interesting and informative book.
Children will learn about art handlers who pack up the art to ready it for shipping, a curator who makes miniature versions of the art to decide where each piece should go in the exhibit, and more people in the art world. Check out Making a Great Exhibition by Dora Globus and Rose Blake.
For more books about art, check out this list.—> Books About Art
October 26th: National Pumpkin Day
How to Help a Pumpkin Grow by Ashley Wolff is a rhyming tale of a group of animals working together to grow, harvest, and create with pumpkins.
There are lots of books about pumpkins.—> Books About Pumpkins for Kids
October 27th: National Black Cat Day
When the waistline slows you down it is time to train like a sumo wrestler in Sumo Kitty by David Biedrzycki. This is a fun read-aloud that will get lots of chuckles.
For more books about cats, see this big list.—> Books About Cats
October 28th: National Immigrants Day
My Two Border Towns by David Bowles is the story of a father and son who travel to the other side. It’s a city super close to their city in the USA. It’s just across the Rio Grande on US-Mexico border. They are free to travel between the two countries because they have a passport. They visit family, share food, play, and make purchases.
On their way back, we learn about a stop they make on the bridge. It’s a spot filled with refugees stuck between the two countries. The boy and his father share basic necessities with one of the families and the boy dreams of a time when the people will no longer be stuck and instead free to come into the USA. Such a moving story to discuss immigration, refugees, families, hardships, and love with students.
October 29th: Read for the Record Day
Here is the 2023 book for Read for the Record Day!
With Lots of Love by Jenny Torres Sanchez is the story of Rocio and her family who have moved from Central America to the United States. Rocio is really missing her Abuela including her cooking, pinata making, and her hugs. But, Abuela finds a way to send a special package to Rocio just in time for her birthday.
Use these book activities to go with the story.—> With Lots of Love Book Activities
October 30th: Buy a Donut Day
Do you remember the classic book by Pat Hutchins, The Doorbell Rang? Each time the doorbell rings, the kids have to redivide the cookies so everyone can get some. Well,Dozens of Doughnuts by Carrie Finison has a similar vibe making it a fun partner read to The Doorbell Rang.
In Dozens of Doughnuts, Bear is looking forward to a tasty treat before settling down for a long nap, but the doorbell keeps ringing. And with each opening of the door is another hungry animal to feed. Will Bear get any doughnuts?
October 31st: Halloween
Get ready for a Halloween twist on the traditional tale, Stone Soup in Bone Soup by Alyssa Satin Capucilli. It’s Halloween morning and three witches are in need of a treat. But, the cupboard only turns up a bone. Perfect, for making bone soup. They visit different creatures’ houses collecting items for their bone soup. Adding the eye of a giant, the juice of a toad, and other tantalizing ingredients, they have the makings of bone soup. There is even a recipe at the end of the book to craft your own bone soup!
For more Halloween books and activities, see this big list.—> Halloween Books for Kids
Printable List of October Holiday Books
Grab a printable list of the books to enjoy with the kids.