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The Halloween Tree Hardcover – 1972
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Bradbury's stories about children are always attended by dread--of change, adulthood, death. The Halloween Tree, while sweeter than his adult literature, is also touched at moments by the cold specter of loss--which is only fitting, of course, for a holiday in honor of the waning of the sun.
This is a superb book for adults to read to children, a way to teach them, quite painlessly, about customs and imagery related to Halloween from ancient Egypt, Mediterranean cultures, Celtic Druidism, Mexico, and even a cathedral in Paris. (One caveat, though: Bradbury unfortunately perpetuates a couple of misconceptions about Samhain, or summer's end, the Halloween of ancient Celts and contemporary pagans.) This beautiful reprint edition has the original black-and-white illustrations and a new color painting on the dust jacket. --Fiona Webster
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Throughout his life, Bradbury liked to recount the story of meeting a carnival magician, Mr. Electrico, in 1932. At the end of his performance Electrico reached out to the twelve-year-old Bradbury, touched the boy with his sword, and commanded, "Live forever!" Bradbury later said, "I decided that was the greatest idea I had ever heard. I started writing every day. I never stopped."
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Eight young boys congregate to go trick-or-treating on Halloween night; the only one missing is Pipkin, the universal favorite (Bradbury devotes an entire chapter to singing Pip's praises). Pipkin does show up, but he acts strangely and isn't wearing a costume. When they show up at the House, a haunted edifice, they find the sinister, skeletal Mr. Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud and an enormous tree hung with jack-o-lanterns -- a Halloween tree. Pipkin appears nearby, and then is carried off into the darkness.
To save Pip, Moundshroud takes the boys on a strange trip through time and space, through history and across the world. He shows them the death-related rituals that spawned Halloween: Egypt's mummies, the Celtic Samhain and its lord of the dead, the Christian All Hallows Eve, the Mexican El Dia De Muerte, and others. Through time and across the world, they chase Pipkin and try to save him -- but what can they do against death?
Halloween books are generally the realm of the under-eight crowd. At a certain point in life, it's just hard to recapture that magic -- it's like a darker version of Christmas. But Ray Bradbury, who has been captivating people with his dark-edged fantasy for years, presents a uniquely gothic, uplifting story in this book.
Ray Bradbury's deft touch keeps this particular story from becoming too leaden and heavy-handed.Read more ›
of this work when I was only nine years old. (That was 14
years ago for those of you who are wondering.) The book was
a gift from my father, and little did he know at the time,
that he gave me an example of some of the finest writing I
have had the opportuniy to read, and a source of inspriation
for my own writing. Ray Bradbury's command of the Englih
language creates poetry within prose. The story is descriptive
and lyrical, the characters vibrant and fantastic (especially
Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud, but you'll just have to read
the book to find out who he is). I wish you as many happy
readings of the Halloween Tree as I have had over the years.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a story I read many years ago; however, the book was lost and when I attempted to repurchase, was out of print. Read morePublished 5 days ago by DeeArr1
one of bradburys best for all ages want to know about halloween this is the bookPublished 13 days ago by yawaysvoice
Definitely a YA book, I would say for 11-12 year olds, though would be great to read aloud to younger kids. Read morePublished 1 month ago by R. Taylor
This book was a deliciously visceral surf through the dark history of man kind's fear of the great unknown hereafter. Thank you Ray Bradbury 🎃🌙💀Published 1 month ago by Kyle Icke
This was one of my favorite Halloween movies as a kid so I was glad to finally get the book. There are a few differences and it's not a very long book but it's a very good read.Published 2 months ago by Amanda Rederburg