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Five great Halloween-themed children's e-books for tablets

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by Rick.Broida)
at 11:00AM Friday October 18, 2013
under Stuff We Like

It's that time of year: costumes, pumpkins, candy, and, best of all, Halloween books. When my kids were younger, we'd pull out a special bin of them when the calendar struck October, then enjoy a month of reading these special stories before they'd get packed away until next year. (The books, not the kids.)

Of course, who needs a bin when you've got a tablet? These days you can read lots of Halloween-themed classics--old and new alike--with just a few taps. What's more, most of these e-book apps offer interactive features that their paper counterparts can't match.

Here's a look at five great Halloween e-books for kids and adults to enjoy together. They're best viewed on tablets, but you can also load most of them onto your smartphone for when you need a quick diversion at a restaurant, waiting in line somewhere, or the like.

Though it's hard to beat the animated TV special that airs every year around this time, Loud Crow Interactive's app comes close.

Not only will kids hear the story (narrated by Peter Robbins, the original voice of Charlie Brown), they'll also be able to tap interactive elements along the way. And the app offers various activities like pumpkin-carving and costume dress-up.

Gotta love the Little Critter books, and this Oceanhouse Media edition brings the story to life with narration--theirs or yours! Yep, the app lets you record your voice (iOS version only) so your child can listen to you read the story even if you're too busy or not around.

It also teaches words and pictures by saying aloud each item when a child taps on it. The Little Critter e-books typically sell for $2-3 apiece, but this one is currently on sale for 99 cents.

The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin (Android, iOS, Kindle, Nook)
Also on sale for Halloween, this tale of "tolerance and self-acceptance" teaches an important message while telling a great story. Like the Little Critter book, it offers multiple reading options, tap-and-hear page elements, and the option to record your own voice (iOS version only).

More than just an interactive storybook, Story Theater lets readers create their own stories using a puppet theater, complete with props, costumes, backdrops, and music. Girls (and boys, if they're into princesses) can record their own stories and then play them back.

Isn't every Scooby-Doo story suitable for Halloween? In this iPad-only title, Scooby, Shaggy, and the gang work to solve--believe it or not--a Halloween mystery. In addition to the interactive story, the app offers puzzles, stickers, "Zoinks Points," and even a photo op with Scooby himself.

Have you found a particularly great Halloween e-book? Tell me about it in the comments!

Veteran technology writer Rick Broida is the author of numerous books, blogs, and features. He lends his money-saving expertise to CNET and, and also writes for PC World and Wired.