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The Halloween Tree

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A fast-moving, eerie tale set on Halloween night...

Eight costumed boys running to meet their friend Pipkin at the haunted house outside town encounter instead the huge and cadaverous Mr. Moundshroud. As Pipkin scrambles to join them, he is swept away by a dark Something, and Moundshroud leads the boys on the tail of a kite through time and space to search the past for their friend and the meaning of Halloween.

145 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1972

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About the author

Ray Bradbury

2,215 books22.1k followers
Ray Douglas Bradbury, American novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright, screenwriter and poet, was born August 22, 1920 in Waukegan, Illinois. He graduated from a Los Angeles high school in 1938. Although his formal education ended there, he became a "student of life," selling newspapers on L.A. street corners from 1938 to 1942, spending his nights in the public library and his days at the typewriter. He became a full-time writer in 1943, and contributed numerous short stories to periodicals before publishing a collection of them, Dark Carnival, in 1947.

His reputation as a writer of courage and vision was established with the publication of The Martian Chronicles in 1950, which describes the first attempts of Earth people to conquer and colonize Mars, and the unintended consequences. Next came The Illustrated Man and then, in 1953, Fahrenheit 451, which many consider to be Bradbury's masterpiece, a scathing indictment of censorship set in a future world where the written word is forbidden. In an attempt to salvage their history and culture, a group of rebels memorize entire works of literature and philosophy as their books are burned by the totalitarian state. Other works include The October Country, Dandelion Wine, A Medicine for Melancholy, Something Wicked This Way Comes, I Sing the Body Electric!, Quicker Than the Eye, and Driving Blind. In all, Bradbury has published more than thirty books, close to 600 short stories, and numerous poems, essays, and plays. His short stories have appeared in more than 1,000 school curriculum "recommended reading" anthologies.

Ray Bradbury's work has been included in four Best American Short Story collections. He has been awarded the O. Henry Memorial Award, the Benjamin Franklin Award, the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Grand Master Award from the Science Fiction Writers of America, the PEN Center USA West Lifetime Achievement Award, among others. In November 2000, the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters was conferred upon Mr. Bradbury at the 2000 National Book Awards Ceremony in New York City.

Ray Bradbury has never confined his vision to the purely literary. He has been nominated for an Academy Award (for his animated film Icarus Montgolfier Wright), and has won an Emmy Award (for his teleplay of The Halloween Tree). He adapted sixty-five of his stories for television's Ray Bradbury Theater. He was the creative consultant on the United States Pavilion at the 1964 New York World's Fair. In 1982 he created the interior metaphors for the Spaceship Earth display at Epcot Center, Disney World, and later contributed to the conception of the Orbitron space ride at Euro-Disney, France.

Married since 1947, Mr. Bradbury and his wife Maggie lived in Los Angeles with their numerous cats. Together, they raised four daughters and had eight grandchildren. Sadly, Maggie passed away in November of 2003.

On the occasion of his 80th birthday in August 2000, Bradbury said, "The great fun in my life has been getting up every morning and rushing to the typewriter because some new idea has hit me. The feeling I have every day is very much the same as it was when I was twelve. In any event, here I am, eighty years old, feeling no different, full of a great sense of joy, and glad for the long life that has been allowed me. I have good plans for the next ten or twenty years, and I hope you'll come along."

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,696 reviews
Profile Image for Kenny.
507 reviews937 followers
November 1, 2022
They thought of All Hallows' Night and the billion ghosts awandering the lonely lanes in cold winds and strange smokes.
The Halloween Tree ~~ Ray Bradbury

I have a tradition of reading Charles Dickens every December. It may be a short story or a full length novel, but December is meant for Dickens. After having read Bradbury's The Halloween Tree, I have decided that I will now read Ray Bradbury every October. October is meant for Bradbury .

There is so much to love about this book ~~ The Halloween Tree is the story of eight friends who, on Halloween, try to find their missing ring leader, Pipkin. The search leads the friends to an old, dark, Gothic, mansion, haunted of course, with a tree covered in lit jack-o-lanterns, the Halloween tree. It is here we meet Moundshroud who offers to help them find Pipkin, but they need to learn the truth about Halloween first. From here, we are given a tour of Halloween and Halloween-like celebrations from around the world, from Ancient Egypt to modern-day Mexico.

Bradbury is a masterful storyteller. What is amazing here is Bradbury takes the concept of death and the ending of one’s own life from a personal to a worldly discussion. More than that, we learn what it is like to live and grow and even mor importantly, about the fluidity of life ~~ not an easy task to be sure.

There is so much more I could say here, but I don't want to spoil this for others. This is a book to read and reread many times. I consider The Halloween Tree a classic and a wonderful surprise for me.

October 18, 2021 : The Halloween Tree is one of those rare books where the reader gets more detail and insight with each reading. This is Bradbury at his best.


October 31, 2022 ~~ What a great way to end my October reading journey with my annual reading of The Halloween Tree. It gets better with each reading. This is Bradbury at his best!

Profile Image for Matthew.
1,219 reviews9,006 followers
November 1, 2020
My first thought after finishing The Halloween Tree is that it should be a Halloween tradition in the same way A Christmas Carol by Dickens is a Christmas tradition. They are both stories of how characters have forgotten the meaning of the season and the mysterious supernatural spirits that help them find it again. In The Halloween Tree, it is a group of boys dressed as the usual Halloween characters (mummy, skeleton, grim reaper, etc.) who don't know anything more about Halloween than it is costumes and Trick or Treating. Then, they run into the mysterious Mr. Moundshroud who takes them on a journey to show them why they dress up and what Halloween really is.

I love Bradbury and I love his writing. That was no different with The Halloween Tree. The flow of the book was perfect and I was enthralled every step of the way. He is so good at combining reality with fantasy - it is always a pleasure to read one of his works. I can't say that everyone will have the same experience with this book, but if you are a Bradbury fan, you CANNOT go wrong giving this one a try.

Another fascinating thing about this one is that it is non-fiction in a way as well. As the characters journey through time to learn the meaning of Halloween, they learn the history of the superstitions that combined to create the Halloween we know today. From Egyptian tombs, to Druidic rituals, to witch hunts, to the towers of Notre Dame, to the Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico - you are definitely going to learn something along the way!

And, finally, after all that a very harrowing "what would you do?" climax. All of this in a novella length story. A lot is packed in here so that you can get a complete and fulfilling Halloween experience in a short period of time.

I don't know if everyone will agree that this is Halloween perfection, but it is pretty darn close!

Bonus: our 2020 Jack-o'-lanterns as designed by my 8 and 6 year old:

Profile Image for Dan Schwent.
3,005 reviews10.6k followers
October 26, 2016
When their friend Pipkin is snatched away, his eight friends, with the mysterious Mr. Moundshroud, go looking for him, crossing time and space and learning all about Halloween.

Apart from some of his short stories, I've never ready any Bradbury. Since we're on the cusp of Halloween, I gave this a shot.

This is a cute, fun story. Mr. Moundshroud teaches the boys about Halloween across the ages while they look for their missing friend Pipkin. There aren't a lot of childrens' books that reference druids, mummies, witches, gargoyles, and the day of the dead. It brought back memories of Halloweens past for me.

The prose is poetic and flows like water from a hose. Some of it has an almost Doctor Seussian flair. I'm not surprised there's an animated version. The book screams to be a cartoon.

Bradbury's influence on later authors can be felt in this one. I notice some phrasing that Stephen King has echoed but the writing shouted Neil Gaiman at me. Coraline, The Graveyard Book, practically all of Gaiman's prose owes a debt to Ray Bradbury. Hell, The Sandman probably also has some Bradbury in his family tree.

I probably missed the window for perfect enjoyment of this book by decades. Even so, I enjoyed it quite a bit. 3.5 out of 5 stars. Now I really want to track down the animated version. Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Moundshroud!
Profile Image for Lyn.
1,883 reviews16.6k followers
October 31, 2019
The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury is a short novel by the grandmaster that uses as a premise a group of trick or treating boys traveling through time chasing a mysteriously missing friends to create a vehicle for examining the roots and sources of Halloween.

Probably written for a juvenile or young adult audience, Bradbury demonstrates his range and imagination to craft a story that is as entertaining as any of his more recognized works.

The character Moundshroud, most likely as a personification of Death, is certainly a memorable Bradbury creation.

Profile Image for Maciek.
567 reviews3,412 followers
October 17, 2014
This book and I have a history, and one which I wasn't even aware of until I have actually read it. Years and years ago, I saw an opening snippet of a Halloween movie on Cartoon Network - it was October and they had Halloween-themed cartoons running all day long, from the Addams Family to special episodes of Scooby Doo...but this one caught my attention: it was a full length animation, and the opening scene featured a bird's eye view on a small town, where dusk had just began to fall, and the skies were fiery red. For some reason I didn't get to watch the rest of it, and for years remembered just this image of burning red sky and a sense of autumnal mystery - I couldn't find the title of this film as all this happened when the internet was still in its infancy. But this image had never completely left my mind, and after reading this book something in the back of my head urged me to see if it was ever adapted for the screen - and lo and behold, I learned that in 1993 Hanna-Barbera has turned it into a feature-length animated film, written and narrated by Bradbury himself, and it was since often shown on Cartoon Network during Halloween. I even saw the opening on YouTube, and it matches what I remember almost to the letter.
Can you believe? After so many years I've finally found my long forgotten cartoon, which as a boy I thought I'd never see again (for some reason it didn't occur to me to just look for it a year later - perhaps because after October and Winter arrived Summer, which at this age was like beginning to live in a completely new world). I'm older now, but that boy is still there somewhere within me, and he is very happy. Special thanks go to Ziba for introducing me to this book and urging me to read it - thank you! :)

The Halloween Tree is another of Ray Bradbury's ode to youth and boyhood - and a true Halloween special. Bradbury wrote in simple but elegant language, and his words are filled with nostalgia for the earlier, simpler time of youth and childhood, and the sense of mystery and adventure which were all around when the days turned shorter and colder, leaves fell from the trees and whispers of ghosts began to circulate. Eight friends dress up in Halloween costumes - there's the skeleton, a mummy, a witch, even Mr. Death himself - but they're missing the group favorite and their leader, Pipkin; he looks unwell, but has never missed a Halloween and tells them that he will meet up with them as they go on. The group arrives at a mysterious Gothic mansion with a gigantic tree hung with Jack-O-Lanterns; they discover that the house is inhabited by an equally mysterious man named Moundshroud. Just then Pipkin appears, but is snatched away from them by unknown forces and dragged into the dark, unknown space; Mr. Moundshroud invites the group on a strange journey through time and across the world, the only chance to save their friend.

The structure is similar to Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, where Ebenezer Scrooge is taken by various ghost to experience the Past, the Present, and the Yet To Come - but AChristmas Carol is a story of another season and another man, focused solely on Scrooge and his relationship with others. The Halloween Tree, while giving plenty of attention to Pipkin, is focused much more on Halloween and its origins - from the ancient traditions of the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, through the Celts and the medieval times in Britain and France, to the Mexican Día de Muertos. Civilizations which created these customs have long since disappeared, but their tradition survived and influenced the holiday and its celebration, and are all elements of this story.

Joe Mugnaini illustrations are delightful and I wish there were more of them. Still, I think that The Halloween Tree is a story which would shine when listened to - as told by someone who understands autumn and Halloween and cares about both deeply, and delights in telling stories to an engaged audience of young and old children. It's a short novella which can be read in one sitting, but paints a great tribute to the season - the warmth of summer and its lush green disappeared, but in their place arrived mystery and the multitude of sensations which you can't experience at any other time of the year. I don't think anyone can dislike this book, but I think plenty of us autumn people will end enjoying it greatly.
Profile Image for Johann (jobis89).
674 reviews4,306 followers
October 30, 2020
"There must have been a thousand pumpkins on this tree, hung high and on every branch. A thousand smiles. A thousand grimaces."

Eight young boys learn about the origin stories of Halloween with the help of a mysterious character called Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud. However, their friend, Pipkin, has been whisked away and the friends will have an important decision to make with regards to whether he lives or dies.

This is one of those children's books that can still be enjoyed as an adult. It's nostalgic, heartfelt and a whole lot of fun! Moundshroud helps the children travel through space and time to teach them about the origin of Halloween, from Ancient Egyptian traditions to The Day of the Dead in Mexico. Bradbury's prose is poetic and beautiful, and his descriptions of both Halloween and autumn are mesmerising.

There's also beautiful illustrations in my edition by Joe Mugnaini (not sure if they're in all editions), but they're a lovely addition to the story.

My only negative really is that at times it felt a bit rushed as Moundshroud and the children moved around from each place. I felt like I wanted to spend more time in each location and learn even more! But I guess the story is meant to be fast-paced and keep you on your toes. This is a fun Halloween read and I'm excited for more Bradbury!
Profile Image for Kay .
2,044 reviews772 followers
October 22, 2021
What a great way to get your Halloween spirit going! This little book is a history of Halloween from different cultures. It's a children's book (8-12), but what do I care, it's a lot of fun. Mummies, gargoyles, witches, ghosts, and catacombs! The characters' names are amusing like Tom Skeleton, Joe Pipkin, and Mr. Moundshroud - he takes the children on a magical journey to look for a missing friend.

I borrowed the book and audio from the library and I like them both, but wish there were more illustrations in the book.🎃⚰️
Profile Image for Trish.
2,021 reviews3,437 followers
October 15, 2017
It's big, it's broad ...
It's broad, it's bright ...
It fills the sky of All Hallow's Night ...
The strangest sight you've ever seen.
The monster Tree on Halloween.

The leaves have burned to gold and red
The grass is brown, the old year dead,
But hang the harvest high, Oh see!
The candle constellations on the Halloween Tree!

The stars they turn, the candles burn
And the mouse-leaves scurry on the cold wind bourne,
And a mob of smiles shine down on thee
From the gourds hung high on the Halloween Tree.

The smile of the Witch, and the smile of the Cat,
The smile of the Beast, the smile of the Bat,
The smile of the Reaper taking his fee
All cut and glimmer on the Halloween Tree..."

October has always been my favourite time of year. The autumn colours, the usually sunny but fresh air - it all looks and feels so cozy. At some point I also heard about Halloween or All Hallow's Eve (it wasn't celebrated here for a long time) and it has quickly become my favourite "holiday" of the year. Carving pumpkins, using hundreds of candles, watching and reading spooky movies and stories ... there is just a special atmosphere about it.

Nevertheless, despite what many cynics say, this is not a holiday invented by the sugar industry. All Hallows Eve has had many names throughout the centuries and was (still is, in fact) celebrated all over the world and always for the same reason: the fear of darkness and hope for the light (sun) to come back. In fact, many years ago, November 1st used to be New Year's!

This book is full of the energy of children running around, playing in heaps of leaves, trick-or-treating, carving pumpkins and laughing all the while. Bradbury seems to have many different voices, depending on what kind of story he's telling, and this is one of pure joy. The book tells of Halloween, its history throughout time and space, and of hope and friendship through the children that need to save their friend with the help of the mysterious Mr. Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud (his identity is in the name). He takes them on a journey to learn about human history, the history of darkness vs light, fear vs hope, to make them see ... well, find out for yourselves.

This book has so many great messages. From what witches really are, to the fate of any form of belief (even if it has become one of the biggest religions in all the world), to cultural differences that still tell of the commonalities, to the value of a human life. And all with this incredible charm and vitality, perfectly capturing the spirit of Halloween!

Accompanying this great tale are wonderful black-and-white illustrations by Joseph Mugnaini.

I cannot even adequately put in words what this little book means to me. I think I shall read it every October from now on. It's THAT GOOD, invoking the spirit of autumn in general and Halloween especially. Just the right amount of childish joy for all things spooky (because make no mistake: there is enough spookiness in this) as well as intelligent excursions into dark and deep topics. Trick and treat indeed!
Profile Image for Candi.
623 reviews4,719 followers
October 22, 2015
This was a fun and quirky read for Halloween. Ray Bradbury has a great way of painting a myriad of images in his writing. I adored the illustrations by Joseph Mugnaini! When I started this book, I was hooked immediately and thought this was going to be my 5 star Halloween book for the year. "The wind outside nested in each tree, prowled the sidewalks in invisible treads like unseen cats. Tom Skelton shivered. Anyone could see that the wind was a special wind this night, and the darkness took on a special feel because it was All Hallows' Eve. Everything seemed cut from soft black velvet or gold or orange velvet. Smoke panted up out of a thousand chimneys like the plumes of funeral parades." I had an awesome feeling of nostalgia as the story was set up and the boys dressed in their costumes and prepared themselves for a night of thrills and adventure.

Meeting at the haunted house on the outskirts of town, the boys realize that one of their own, the magnificent Pipkin, is in danger. In order to save him, they must travel back in time with the frightfully fantastic Mr. Moundshroud. Here the reader journeys and learns about the history of Halloween through the ages and across the continents right along with this pack of boys. I thought this was a very clever idea. However, it was at this point that I lost a bit of interest in the story. Too much information was thrown at me too quickly and everything became a bit too chaotic! I wanted to sit back and really learn a bit more about each place and time, but before I knew it, I was rushed on to the next!

Well, I'm glad to say I have finally read this book, and I am not sorry that I did - it certainly provided some entertainment. I just wish I could regurgitate some of what I learned about Halloween, but I'm afraid Mr. Moundshroud's grandiose efforts were a bit lost on me!
Profile Image for Eloy Cryptkeeper.
296 reviews197 followers
October 16, 2021
"-¿Qué significa en verdad la palabra «Bruja»?
—Ingenio —dijo Mortajosario—. Inteligencia. Eso quiere decir. Conocimiento. De modo que cualquier hombre, cualquier mujer, con medio cerebro y ganas de saber algo tenía aptitudes, ¿eh? Y así a cualquiera demasiado despierto, que no se ocultaba bastante, lo llamaban…
—¡Brujo! —dijeron los niños a coro(...)
¡Sí, inocentes pajarillos, sí, criaturas!, todos los pueblos tienen una bruja residente. Todos los pueblos esconden a algún sacerdote pagano de la antigua Grecia, a algún adorador romano de dioses minúsculos que corren por los caminos, se esconden en las alcantarillas, se entierran en cavernas para escapar de los cristianos. En todos los villorrios, chico, en todas las granjas de mala muerte que puedas encontrar se ocultan antiguas religiones. Habéis visto cómo fueron mutilados y talados los druidas ¿eh? Ellos se ocultaban de los romanos. Y ahora son los romanos, que alimentaban con cristianos a los leones, quienes corren a esconderse. Así es como todos esos descoyuntados cultos menores de todos los gustos y tipos, luchan por sobrevivir"

»Y empezasteis a vivir más y a tener más tiempo y a distanciar las muertes, y a desprenderos del miedo, y a tener por fin sólo unos días especiales cada año para pensar en la noche y el amanecer y en la primavera y el otoño y en nacer y morir.
»Todo se suma y se complementa. Cuatro mil años atrás, cien años atrás, este año, un lugar u otro, pero las celebraciones son siempre la
—La Fiesta de Samhain…
—El Día de los Muertos Queridos…
—Todas las Almas. Todos los Santos.
—El Día de los Muertos.
—El Día de Todos los Santos.
—La Fiesta de las Brujas.

Un Libro con una capa totalmente representativa de la infancia, su magia, la complicidad. Ambientada en esta época tan especial para tantas personas (por diferentes motivos).
Otra capa ilustrativa sobre las raíces de la "celebración": Los solsticios, las cosechas , la relación de las diferentes culturas con la muerte y sus muertos. Desde los egipcios, griegos, druidas, etc.
Y la otra capa es la verdaderamente lúgubre: Utilizando e trasfondo histórico para poner de manifiesto y en evidencia el ser humano "obrando": Cultos/religiones pisoteando a otras. opacando según su conveniencia y apropiándose de lo que les sea de utilidad . La cacería de Brujas, etc.
Todo hilvanado y envuelto por la pluma característica de Bradbury .
Profile Image for Gabrielle.
1,018 reviews1,184 followers
October 20, 2019
Spooktober read #7!

I don’t mind that I didn’t get Dr. Seuss books when I was a kid: I would have probably disliked them. But I am vaguely upset that no one thought to read me “The Halloween Tree”: I already loved that holiday more than Christmas by the time I was six, and I know I would have been equally terrified and thrilled by this lovely story.

I had been meaning to get a copy for a while when I found this amazing edition, illustrated by the great Gris Grimly (who gave me the best “Frankenstein” adaptation ever: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...) himself. His whimsical and creepy style is the perfect visual companion for Bradbury’s tale about the origins of Halloween.

Tom Skleton and his friends are all ready to go trick or treating on their favorite night of the year, but their friend Pipkin is missing! With the help of the strange but friendly Mr. Mountshroud, the boys will go on a magical adventure through time, to better understand the meaning of the customs of Halloween - and rescue their friend!

Bradbury's prose is always so lovely, light and poetic with just a hint of bittersweetness. The boys don't only learn the story behind leaving out treats, celebrating the dead or remembering the beliefs of other cultures; they also learn about a few darker truths along the way.

Grimly's gorgeously whimsical and creepy art work couldn't have been a more perfect complement to the story: his adorable jack-o-lanterns, his terrifying Samhaim and his intriguing rendition of Mr. Mountshroud bring the words to life brilliantly.

Without this book, Tim Burton would not be Tim Burton, nor would Neil Gaiman be Neil Gaiman, me thinks. A great little Halloween adventure for everyone.
Profile Image for Ginger.
792 reviews378 followers
October 31, 2021

The Halloween Tree is a wonderfully written and atmospheric book by Ray Bradbury.
Bradbury takes us on a whimsical ride with a group of boys during Halloween night.

Tom Skelton seems to be the ringleader of the 8 boys, and they are missing one friend, Joe Pipkin. All 8 boys are dressed up in many different costumes from an ape, a mummy, a skeleton, a witch, a gargoyle, to many others.

When the group of boys notice that Pipkin hasn’t shown up, they go to his house to check on him.
Pipkin is not only one of the most adventurous and fun loving of them all, but he loves Halloween!

Where's Pipkin and why hasn't he shown up?!

Turns out Pipkin isn’t doing well but he tells the group to meet him by the spooky house in town. The boys head to the house and not only do they find a huge tree decorated with jack-o-lanterns, but they come across a character known as Mr. Moundshroud.

When they meet this man, the boys start a journey across all parts of the world from Egypt, Greece, Paris, to Mexico.
We learn not only the origins of the Halloween holiday, but we are introduced to life, death and how religion created some of our favorite Halloween images from the witch, the mummy, to the grim reaper.
We find out how these topics shape our fears, beliefs and traditions throughout the world.

I really loved this book!
It should become a tradition to read or listen to it every year during this time.

If you are looking for a book that has all the atmosphere of Halloween, check this one out. I was not disappointed and I really didn’t want this one to end!
Profile Image for La loca de los libros .
314 reviews168 followers
November 4, 2022
En la Noche de Brujas, un grupo de amigos se reúne como cada año para recorrer las calles del pueblo al grito de "¡Truco o Trato!", pero algo no va bien, uno de los amigos de la pandilla, Pipkin (casi, casi, calabaza en inglés) parece no encontrarse bien y les dice que luego se encontrará con ellos en una casa que parece estar plagada de fantasmas, la llamada Casa Fantasmal de la Cañada.
Allí conocerán a un curioso personaje, a Carapacho Clavícula Mortajosario, quien les enseñará los orígenes de esta popular fiesta en un viaje fantástico que cambiará para siempre sus vidas.
Pasando por los primeros hombres de las cavernas, a los egipcios, antiguos dioses druidas, hasta las gárgolas de Notre Dame para llegar a un último destino, México y su luminoso Día de los muertos donde los cementerios se llenan de vida al caer la noche para recordar a los que ya no están 💜💀
Es alucinante la descripción que hace Bradbury al comienzo de esta historia de La Casa Fantasmal, lo que esconde, y su entorno, ese Árbol de las Brujas rebosante de calabazas 🎃🎃🎃🎃

La ambientación me ha parecido magnífica, con ese aire juvenil te transporta irremediablemente a la niñez; disfraces, máscaras, y olor a caramelo lo inundan todo.
La narración es muy peculiar, haciendo énfasis o repitiendo algunas palabras y con muchas exclamaciones, pero no es algo que me haya impedido disfrutar de la lectura, es más, muchos de los pasajes se los leía a nuestras peques y les encantaba, por eso pienso que es ideal para iniciar en la lectura a los más jóvenes y de paso aprender sobre los orígenes de esta fiesta. Sea cual sea el nombre que recibe esta celebración es siempre la misma; La fiesta de Samhain, El día de los muertos, Todos los Santos, La fiesta de las Brujas... lo mismo al fin y al cabo, aquí y en cualquier parte del mundo.

🔝Me ha encantado mi estreno con este célebre escritor muy conocido por sus novelas de ciencia ficción como Crónicas marcianas o Fahrenheit 451.
A lo largo de sus diecinueve capítulos de corta extensión, exceptuando el último, conoceremos todos los entresijos de esta festividad que a mi personalmente me encanta, como por ejemplo el por qué de los disfraces entre otras muchas cuestiones, aderezado con una bonita historia donde prima la verdadera amistad.
Es sin duda, una pequeña novela muy tierna y con cero terror, alguna descripción tétrica pero nada más.
No tardaré en volver a leer algo más del autor.

💛🎃 Acérquense, dejen que Mortajosario les guíe a La Comarca Ignota y les muestre el origen de La Fiesta de las Brujas🔮.
Quedarán envueltos en esta mágica historia 😍

🎃 "Recuerdos, eso son los espectros, [...]
Podían ahuyentar a los lobos, pero no a los recuerdos, no a los fantasmas."

📖 Próxima lectura:
"Voces en la oscuridad. Vol.1" - Junji Ito.

📚 https://www.facebook.com/LaLocadelosL... 📚
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 5 books4,107 followers
October 17, 2017
Mr. Moundshroud proves to be a delightfully light (read leaves on the wind) Virgil as he takes a group of kids on a roaring fast ride through time on Hallow's Eve to give us the "real" rundown on mummies, witches, druids, and all the creepy crawlies of history, summing things up with a quintessential Bradburian moral *and* prosaic reveal.

It's perfect for what it is: a totally fast YA ride that might get even better justice as a full production Spielberg production with a gazillion dollars behind it, with Disney and Lucasfilms playing a big role, with Neil Gaiman providing about a thousand hours worth of consultancy to boot.

Sound good? Yep! It needs a lot of firepower to amp it up and make it look absolutely spectacular and feel like it has the depth of ages. It feels like Mary Poppins and Bednobs and Broomsticks would if they were actually good movies. And maybe it could be an excellent movie, too!

But for me, I feel like I should have loved this long before I ever watched Nightmare Before Christmas.

It's all about timing. At my late age, I want to start taking exception to some of the conclusions that Bradbury makes, nitpick about the history, complain about the lack of girls, and give a horribly injust condemnation to the book because it lacks the whole modern Halloween and horror awesomeness that us moderns have to offer.

For shame! Shame on me!

But then, that's also the reason why I mentioned bringing in a bunch of the heavy hitters of today to update the tale. I'm sure THIS is one of those old books that could be turned into something special again for a whole new generation. It already has magic. :)
Profile Image for Gianfranco Mancini.
2,210 reviews794 followers
October 19, 2020

"But," whispered Tom, "oh, look. Whať's up in that tree!"
For the Tree was hung with a variety of pumpkins of every shape and size and a number of tints and hues of smoky yellow or bright orange.
"A pumpkin tree," someone said.
"No," said Tom.
The wind blew among the high branches and tossed their bright burdens, softly.
"A Halloween Tree," said Tom.
And he was right.

Before Coronavirus pandemic stroke the world, I used to visit bookstores on weekends with my now 6 years old daughter.
I started reading comics when I was 3 years old and books on 5, so I was worried about she not liking to read until last year, when she started loving Disney comics and books for kids about norse mythology, dinosaurs, and,  her most favourite one ever, Neil Gaiman's illustrated Fortunately, the Milk, so much that we own two copies of it, in english and italian.
Last week we found the courage at last to visit again a couple of bookstores after months, with our surgical masks on and a bottle of sanitizing gel at hand.
It was then that she choose this book and we purchased it, after making her promise to make me read it first and check if it was going to be too much creepy for her.
This classic was a quick, wonderful experience for me, a real delight to read, a suggestive journey through Halloween's history with strong Tim Burton's vibes: Tom Skelton's character here inspired a lot The Nightmare before Christmas' Jack Skellington and much more.
A real blast of a creepy, eerie read, and I'm sure little Giorgia is going to love it too in a few years.
Higly recommended to readers of (almost) all ages loving carved pumpkins, monsters, and trick or treats.

Happy Halloween.
Profile Image for Calista.
4,079 reviews31.3k followers
October 9, 2020
It's too bad I didn't do a review of this when I read this. It wouldn't hurt me to own this and read it again.

I love the feeling and tone Ray Bradbury sets up for this Halloween night romp. It's a large group of boys feeling the Halloween spirit on the night and the language Ray uses is flowery, purple prose I think they call it. He evokes the spirit of Halloween in this story. I remember savoring this little story. It's a gem.

The boys run through the ruins of times to explore to beginnings, origins of Halloween. Egypt, Greece, Celtic rites and Day of the Dead are all explored in this story. I know there is a movie Ray helped produce that won and Emmy and I haven't see it. I would love to see it this year. I wish Netflix and the other channels would put more old stuff on there like this.

Listen to this name: Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud. He is the mysterious character that seems to be leading the boys on the journey.

I love a story that can set a mood and make you feel something. It was crackling in my spine the whole time.
Profile Image for Darwin8u.
1,599 reviews8,732 followers
October 27, 2019
“Suddenly the day was gone,
night came out from under each tree and spread.”

― Ray Bradbury, The Halloween Tree


It was nice to read this and remember that before Stranger Things and before Neil Gaiman there was Ray Bradbury. Not one of his great novels, but still seasonally important. The plot seemed a bit too contrived. But how can you not adore a book that transports you from Egypt, to Greece, to Rome, to Druid England, to the top of Notre Dame, to Mexico celebrating Día De Los Muertos? The Halloween Tree is an obvious metaphor for the stemma of traditions that bleed down into what is today Halloween. Bradbury does seem to be everywhere I go at Halloween. I see him when I read Neil Gaiman, when I watch Stranger Things, when I look at Mugnaini art (and Mugnaini's descendants: see Burton/Selick's Nightmare Before Christmas), when I listen to Danny Elfman & Oingo Boingo.

Anyway, I'm also amazed going back to Ray Bradbury how much poetry there is in his prose. He was one of those storytellers who can't help but write beyond most of his audience. I only now have REALLY started to appreciate how wonderful a writer Bradbury is. That is one of the reasons I'm going back and reading a lot of his novels. The guy can WRITE the shit out of a pumpkin.
Profile Image for Lori.
371 reviews439 followers
November 11, 2019
"This is Halloween Halloween Halloween
This is Halloween
Halloween Halloween Halloween Halloween"

Okay, wrong reference, sort of, because surely Ray Bradbury's Tom Skelton of "The Halloween Tree" influenced Tim Burton's Jack Skellington, star of "The Nightmare Before Christmas." What I know is both are brilliant. What I didn't know is Bradbury first wrote The Halloween Tree as a script for an animated screenplay that was never made, then he had it published as a book and ultimately wrote a different script for a feature-length animated version that was produced in 1993 which I only just learned exists. And there's candy left to eat while watching!

It's a charming book suitable for tweens or younger (only you know your children's abilities and maturity levels) and older kids, say, in their nineties. This is a classic, a must-read for everyone who loves Halloween, a great adventure and/or lovely writing. At times Bradbury's prose is beautifully poetic. That's hard to sustain for an entire book and he can't, but it makes the best passages that much more special and surprising and they're throughout the story so you don't have to wait long.

Eight boys set out on their annual trick or treating trek but missing their beloved leader, Pipkin. They go towards the town's very haunted-looking house which Pipkin scoped out and pass The Halloween Tree, lit with a bounty of carved pumpkin faces and somehow sings a song to greet them. From there it's on to the creepy old house with its gargoyles and parapets where once inside theymeet the very tall, bony man named Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud.

"'A fine name,'" said Mr. Moundshroud. "'Lads, look at yourselves. Why are you, boy, wearing that Skull face? And you, boy, carrying a scythe, and you, lad, made up like a Witch? And you, you, you!'" He thrust his bony finger at each mask. "'You don't know, do you?'"

He promises to help them find Pipkin and show them "'The Undiscovered Country. Out there. Look long, look deep, make a feast. The Past, boys the Past. Oh, it's dark, yes, and full of nightmare. Everything that Halloween ever was lies buried there...'"

And so begins their journey through the history of Halloween from the discovery of fire to ancient Egypt, Druids, Witch hysteria, the building of Notre Dame (where we're treated to especially lovely language when the gargoyles are added) and more until, after joining a Day of the Dead feast, they're deposited back home. On every journey through time Pipkin proves elusive, can be heard or seen or in between, adding mystery to the history. In the end all is solved and sorted, none of them will ever be the same and Halloween will be even more special.

I've read this many times but it's been too long. The original illustrations are my sentimental favorite but Gus Grimley's here add a different take and they're fine folk art, some black and white and some in color. There is prose and proems and songs and chants and I'm never going to go so many years without reading it again because it tickles the memories, seduces the senses and while reminding us of its origins brings every past Halloween into the present with all its sweetness and joy. This is Halloween!

It's a day you can be anything you want and stuff yourself with candy till you're sick. Then on to flirty costumes and fun parties and maybe TP'ing the nasty neighbors' trees. One day some will have the fun of costuming and taking their own littlies trick or treating. And later on, when the sun is going down, if you're lucky you'll get to sit on the porch surrounded by carved pumpkins and delight in the kids coming up the steps to collect their candy corn and chocolates. This is Halloween!
Profile Image for Magrat Ajostiernos.
580 reviews4,087 followers
October 31, 2018
Es una pena que no leyera esta historia con 10 años porque me hubiera encantado.... en cambio ahora me ha sabido a poco. Creo que esperaba demasiado de Bradbury por lo que me gusta el autor, pero esta no deja de ser una historia infantil oscurilla. Aún así, me ha resultado entretenida, y el camino que recorren los personajes por las tradiciones de Halloween muy interesante. Lectura curiosa pero tampoco para tirar voladores.
Profile Image for Jennelle.
73 reviews155 followers
September 19, 2021
This should be tradition!!

I've seen the movie many times but never read the book. It's an amazing work of art that should be read yearly on Halloween just as 'A visit from St. Nicholas' is read at Christmas.

"On Halloween night,eight boys are led on an incredible journey into the past by a mysterious " spirit" Moundshroud. Riding a dark autumn wind from ancient Egypt to the land of Celtic druids, from Mexico to a cathedral in Paris, they will witness the haunting beginnings of the holiday called Halloween."
Profile Image for Coos Burton.
787 reviews1,342 followers
March 20, 2017
Cuando era más chica, "The Halloween Tree" era una de mis películas favoritas para ver durante el mes de Octubre. Recuerdo sentarme en un sillón mullido y no despegar la vista del televisor hasta que la película terminara. Algo así me sucedió cuando decidí leer este libro.

Demoré la lectura para poder disfrutarlo en ésta época, ya que tenía deseos de leerlo apenas pude encontrarlo, pero realmente creía que necesitaba saborearlo ahora. No me arrepiento de ello, a medida que leía algunos recuerdos se me venían a la cabeza y los ojos se me humedecían (si, así de sentimental). Estaba segura de que iba a terminar siendo uno de mis libros favoritos, y no le erré.

Moundshroud es un personaje siniestro y carismático que guía a un grupo de chicos en un viaje histórico que recordarán por el resto de sus vidas. Los alienta a enfrentarse a aquello que creían conocer, y les muestra un lado que no conocían del Halloween y de las criaturas que encarnan en la noche de truco o trato. Sin duda, una aventura asombrosa que me alegra haber leído.

Lo disfruté tanto que sinceramente me gustaría que todo el mundo se diera la oportunidad de leerlo, más ahora, aprovechando que estamos a pocos días de Halloween. Es un libro hermoso, dotado de muchísima información sobre historia, todo bellamente plasmado con una rica descripción para cada situación. Por momentos, realmente sentía que volaba con la cometa, que era un personaje más observando todo desde un rincón.
Profile Image for Mariana.
392 reviews1,775 followers
September 7, 2017
Si tuviera que elegir una lectura clásica para el día de brujas, una que leyera cada año alrededor de una fogata, definitivamente sería este libro.

La pluma de Ray Bradbury nos ofrece una narración macabra pero ingeniosa, enrtretenida y a la vez ilustrativa.

Para quienes no lo sepan, The Halloween Tree, es la historia de un grupo de niños que durante la noche del 31 de octubre emprenden un viaje a través del tiempo y del espacio, mientras observan y participan en diversas tradiciones que tienen que ver con la festividad de los muertos.

Egipto, Gran Bretaña, Italia, Francia y México son algunos de los lugares que -de la mano de su misterioso guía- el grupo recorre para observar las maneras de conmemorar a los difuntos.

Sin embargo, esta obra no es meramente un recorrido cultural; mientras el viaje transcurre, los niños están intentando salvar a uno de sus amigos de un peligro inminente.

Bradbury nos presenta un clásico con tintes algo infantiles pero siempre macabros, tal como la celebración a la cual está dedicada el libro. Aquí están presentes los elementos de diversas tradiciones y mitologías pero a la vez, el autor nos ofrece una nueva leyenda, un nuevo personaje que se suma al folklore de la festividad: Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud y su árbol iluminado con miles de calabazas.
October 26, 2021
The Halloween Tree is a young adult novel by Ray Bradbury that tells the tale of eight boys trick-or-treating on Halloween. They soon discover that something is not right with the ninth boy in the story, their friend Pipkin, billed as the greatest child ever born of this Earth. His house isn't decorated for Halloween this year, and when he comes out of his house to greet them he's not even in a costume, and is clutching his side with his hand as if he's in pain.

Pipkin goes away from them, and the rest of the boys soon end up on a magical journey through the different time periods of history, guided by the mysterious and seemingly shape-shifting Moundshroud, to discover the origins of Halloween and rescue their friend Pipkin from danger.

Simply put, this book just wasn't for me. The tale was told in a very disjointed and confusing manner, with Bradbury all but throwing cavemen, the Druids, Christianity, witches, the Romans, Samhain, the Mexican Day of the Dead, and more at the reader, along with his kitchen sink, and leaving the reader to try to make sense of it all and figure out what the true origin of Halloween is. Then, something like ten pages from the end of the entire book, Bradbury tries to bring it all together and explain how the events you just spent the first 170 pages reading all tie together. By then I had long lost interest, and ended up looking up the origins of Halloween on Wikipedia and other online websites. For me, those helped explain the tale of Halloween more clearly than The Halloween Tree, and so for me this one was more of a trick than a treat.

2.5 stars
Profile Image for Jessaka.
908 reviews136 followers
October 23, 2022

What an amazing poetic writer, one that can weave a fantasy story that I can actually visualize. Eight boys get together to go trick or treating, and then they realize that one of them is missing. They feel it in their bones, they begin sniffing, he is not with them. So they go to his house, and he answers the door, and it is obvious that he is ill, so he tells them to meet him at an old spooky mansion that is just outside of town. He will be okay; he will be there.

The boys go trick or treating before they went to the old house. Ah, how nostalgic. Who doesn’t remember going out at night and knocking on doors? Every kid knew who was giving out the best candy, and they would let others who were trick or treating know, but the best was not candied apples or popcorn, and the kids would let you know who was giving them out as well, so you would know not to knock on that person’s door. And who doesn’t remember the best decorated houses, where the yard ornaments had ghosts and ghouls, witches and goblins, spiders and their webs and pumpkins galore, where the owner of the house opened the door dressed as a witch or a ghost, and scared you to death? And then the next day you learned which teacher had an outhouse placed on his front lawn and had to find his own way to remove it.

But this story isn’t really about the boys trick or treating, not that they didn’t do that. It is about their coming upon the house that their sick friend Pipkin told them about, and how they walked upon the creaky front porch and had concern that the porch would cave in and send them into the deep darkness, maybe into hell itself. It is how the face on the door knocker would come alive and grab them. Well, I know, this is my story and so it doesn’t follow quite the same line of reasoning as Bradbury’s. I have my own fears about creaking porches and door knockers; the kids had theirs, but I am not far off. But I can tell you for sure that the door was tall and thin like a coffin and just as scary, and the man who answered the door scared them, so they ran, and if they had not ran, I would have told them to run as fast as they can.

Here is what they saw when they came upon this house, and while I have entered empty houses, I would have never walked up to this one:

“...Until they stood at last by a crumbling wall, looking up and up and still farther up at the great tombyard top of the old house. For that's what it seemed. The high mountain peak of the mansion was littered with what looked like black bones or iron rods, and enough chimneys to choke out smoke signals from three dozen fires on sooty hearths hidden far below in dim bowels of this monster place. With so many chimneys, the roof seemed a vast cemetery, each chimney signifying the burial place of some old god of fire or enchantress of steam, smoke, and firefly spark, even as they watched, a kind of bleak exhalation of soot breathed up out of some four dozen flues, darkening the sky still more, and putting out some few stars.”

And, I forgot, when the old scary man answered the door he said HE HAD NO TREATS, ONLY TRICKS. Tricks? That can’t be good.

And ran they did, but they only made it to the back yard where they found the most interesting tall Halloween tree that had a thousand pumpkins on it of all sizes, pumpkins that had different faces on each one and that lit up when it saw them coming. Now I would have been drawn to this tree. I love pumpkin patches, so why not a pumpkin laden tree with autumn colored leaves in gold, red, brown, orange, some green and a lot of yellow? Yes, why not?

And on this night they went on wild adventures and learned how Halloween is practiced in other countries, Mexico’s being the best to me for I had been there, The Day of the Dead, when families make tamales and take them to the cemetery to eat while sitting on the graves with candles glowing everywhere, and priests walking by to collect money for prayers for those dead.

And if you really want to scare kids yourself at Halloween, make them Bones of the Dead cookies, and then tell them that they have to eat them in front of you because if they don’t, the cookies will have disappeared by the time they got them home. Don’t tell them that it is because they will crumble in their candy bags. Maybe most kids will eat them, but some may be leery, thinking that they may be poison, but then maybe by the end of the evening you may have some of these cookies leftover for yourself.

Here is the recipe:


3 c. sugar
2 t. lemon juice
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/8 t. salt
3 eggs
A few drops of almond extract
2 c. flour
2 c. finely chopped almonds Powdered sugar, for dusting

Mix sugar, lemon juice, baking powder, and salt. Add eggs and almond extract. Mix until spongy, about 3 minutes. Mix in flour and almonds. Roll dough into ropes the thickness of a fat pencil. Cut into 2-inch lengths. This will make cookies about 2 1/2 inches long by 1 1/4 inches wide when baked. Space 3 inches apart on buttered baking sheets. Bake at 300 degrees for 15 minutes or until very lightly browned. Cool. Dust with powdered sugar.
Profile Image for Gregor Xane.
Author 19 books328 followers
October 4, 2014
I often find Ray Bradbury's writing a bit precious. At some point in his career it seems to me that he became more concerned with being a GREAT AUTHOR than simply telling a great story. And, yes, I felt that way sometimes while listening to The Halloween Tree.


And that's a rather large 'BUT.'

But, with The Halloween Tree he did manage to pull off the gorgeous poetic prose, the grand imagery, while telling a wonderful story. I don't use the word 'wonderful' often in a serious manner, but here it fits. There seems to be no other word to describe this book.

Every word seems perfectly chosen, each sentence, paragraph, and scene, meticulously crafted to evoke the spirit of Halloween and the feeling of being a young boy.

I listened to Bronson Pinchot's excellent narration, Bradbury's hypnotic meditation on death and rebirth, and let the grandest Halloween vistas build and burn in my mind, endlessly reforming and shattering, reassembling and disintegrating, painting themselves over and over, only to be washed away a thousand times.

I cannot imagine a book that more perfectly captures the soul of the holiday.

Don't even ask me what price I'd pay to be a boy again, running wild through the streets with my older brothers on Halloween night. I'm afraid of what my answer might be.

Highest possible recommendation!

Profile Image for Cheri.
1,802 reviews2,385 followers
October 18, 2020

There’s much about this that has that nostalgic note that I recall from Stephen King’s Stand By Me, with some spine tingling, breath holding moments, but they are relatively mild. Still, this reads more like a fond reminiscence of bygone days, the kind of night that boys long grown into men would recall many, many years later.

Halloween, despite our conventional association with trick-or-treating and candy, has an element of spookiness, depending on your age, or at least it is supposed to. It is, after all, associated with all of the frightful association with skeletons and darkness, as well as the camaraderie of childhood - in this case a group of young boys, friends, dressed in their scary costumes set out for what they think will be a typical Halloween evening.

But this Halloween is more a nod to the ancient rituals that are blended into this holiday that we’ve managed to alter from death rituals and witches that vary from culture to culture and turned it into a childhood dream. In Bradbury’s vision he blends the nostalgia for these years with a story that will send a chill up your spine, but leave you with a smile on your face.

As a child, I remember going out early in the evening and filling pillowcases with candy in our neighborhood, and inevitably someone’s parent (never mine) would be cajoled into driving us to other, more populated neighborhoods where we could fill up our pillowcases again. I’m sure I gave more than half of mine to one brother or another, but for me the joy was in the evening spent among friends, and candy was just an added bonus.

Profile Image for María.
192 reviews87 followers
October 31, 2019
Libro infantil que nos habla sobre los orígenes de la fiesta de Halloween.
Entrañable, divertido pero también oscuro en algunos momentos, me parece ideal para leer en estas fechas.
Profile Image for Katherine.
392 reviews
October 12, 2022
"- Pero, deteneos a pensar. ¿Qué significa la palabra bruja?
- Bueno... - dijo Tom cohibido.
- Ingenio - dijo Mortajosario-. Inteligencia. Eso quiere decir. Conocimiento. De modo que cualquier hombre, cualquier mujer, con medio cerebro y ganas de saber algo, tenía aptitudes, ¿eh? Y así a cualquiera demasiado despierto, que no se ocultaba bastante, lo llaman...
- ¡Brujo! - dijeron los niños a coro. "

Una relectura muy entretenida. Me ha encantado volver a estas páginas y dar ese alucinante viaje que nos regala el autor dentro de este libro.

Un grupo de amigos entrañables que tendrán el viaje de sus vidas, con inquietantes e inexplicables situaciones que nos dejarán un recuerdo de la amistad, del valor, de la unión y de la inocencia de la edad. Y sobre todo de lo espectacular que escribe Ray Bradbury.

Historia que nos da una aventura maravillosa por la festividad de Halloween en varias partes del mundo. Ideal para esta época del año.
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