Book Review: The Halloween Tree

THE HALLOWEEN TREE | Ray Bradbury
First published 01.01.1972 | Yearling
Rating: 4/5 stars

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On Halloween night, eight costumed boys meet, ready to head out for a night of tricks and treats. They realize their friend Pipkin hasn’t met up with them and decide to head to his house. Pipkin tells them to go on ahead and he will meet them at the haunted house outside of town. Pipkin never shows. Instead, they are greeted by Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud, who takes them on a journey through the origins of Halloween while searching for their lost friend Pipkin.

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There must have been a thousand pumpkins on this tree, hung high and on every branch. A thousand smiles. A thousand grimaces. A twice-times-a-thousand glares and winks and blinks and meetings of fresh-cut eyes.

Mr. Moundshroud takes the boys to the Halloween Tree, where they will start their journey through time. They will come together and form the tail of kite to fly through the sky, as they search through time and space for Pipkin. They will see mummies in ancient Egypt, cavemen discovering fire, Druid rite, the persecution of witches, and the gargoyles of Notre Dame. Eventually they will arrive in Mexico, just in time to celebrate Dia de los Muertos. Here they will face the ultimate decision to save Pipkin.

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When you reach the stars, boy, yes, and live there forever, all the fears will go, and Death himself will die.

THE HALLOWEEN TREE is a delightful children’s book that can still capture the hearts of a Halloween-loving adult! Bradbury had created an exciting journey through the history and evolution of Halloween traditions. Each stop along the way has something new, exciting, and occasionally scary interaction to offer. Bradbury’s writing style is a uniquely captivating one, which almost at times feels poetic. His detailed descriptions of locations and characters truly sweep the reader up into the story. I highly recommend picking up the illustrated edition of this one, as it makes the story even more enjoyable. THE HALLOWEEN TREE is an exciting, fast-paced Halloween read that would be perfect for readers of any genre!

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