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The Halloween Tree

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  22,493 ratings  ·  2,704 reviews
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 thei
Paperback, 145 pages
Published September 7th 1999 by Yearling (first published 1972)
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Raja99 Pardon me for jumping in. The dramatized version resembles a radio adaptation; there are quite a few deletions from the text (including some of my fav…morePardon me for jumping in. The dramatized version resembles a radio adaptation; there are quite a few deletions from the text (including some of my favorite descriptive passages), some parts where one character describes to another what both of them can see (but the audience can't), and a fair amount of music that I personally found overdramatic. But tastes differ.(less)
Steve Wilhite I also haven't seen any direct attributions, but I can't imagine that both Tim Burton and Neil Gaiman weren't heavily influenced by this book, among m…moreI also haven't seen any direct attributions, but I can't imagine that both Tim Burton and Neil Gaiman weren't heavily influenced by this book, among many others in Bradbury's oeuvre. The possible connection to "Nightmare Before Christmas" actually struck me even before Moundshroud makes his entrance, when we're first introduced to Tom Skelton.(less)

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Average rating 3.82  · 
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Kenny McCool
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 Hallowe
Dan Schwent
Oct 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016, 2016-books
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 dru
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Welllll, that was different! 🎃

Happy Reading!

Mel 🖤🐺🐾
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 cos ...more
Aug 26, 2012 rated it liked it
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 personificati
Oct 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
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 sk ...more
Johann (jobis89)
Oct 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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 no
Oct 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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.

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 ...more
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
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 “Frankenste
Oct 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
“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 Ha
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, o
Paul O'Neill
Jul 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'll be reading more Bradbury!

The writing in this is phenomenal, it's delight to read. I'm not sure why, but the images in my head when reading this were very Tim Burton-esque.

What are some of his other works that I should check out? Besides Fahreinheit 451 that is...
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
"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 diffe
Gianfranco Mancini

"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

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. I
Gregor Xane
Sep 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 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
Mariah Roze
I struggled a lot with how this book was written, because of that I had a hard time following alone with what was going on.

I plan on watching the movie though, and I hope I enjoy that wayyy more!
¸¸.•*¨*•♫ Mrs. Buttercup •*¨*•♫♪
And it was the afternoon of Halloween.
And all the houses shut against a cool wind.
And the town was full of cold sunlight.
But suddenly, the day was gone.
Night came out from under each tree and spread.

A Halloween Carol! Love the idea, I wonder why I never read this book when I was a kid!
When October approaches, I find that the best stories that put me in the "Halloween mood" are stories for kids; I mean, Halloween is a holiday we associate with our early years, so it's only natural that the atmos
Jenny (Reading Envy)
This was a fun little Halloween read, about a three hour audiobook read by Bronson Pinchot. It starts with a bunch of 11-12 year old boys on Halloween night, assembling for trick-or-treating, and veers off into a boys adventure novel that also has elements of American Gods. I loved the Halloween tree and will look for one this year. :)

Oct 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
Story 4.5 Stars
Narration 5.0 Stars

Magical and prosaic. They don't write like this anymore... too bad.

Recommended if you still appreciate literature.
Sep 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this story so as to participate in the Literary Horror Group's October read. I have long been planning to read more of Ray Bradbury's work, so I jumped on this opportunity. (Mostly thanks to Edward Lorn through whose contest I won the audiobook version. Thanks again, Ed!)

I enjoyed this fanciful tale even though it wasn't a bit scary. In fact, I would categorize this as more of a dark fantasy, though labels are just labels, in the end. As was true of the 2 other Bradbury stories I'v
Alex Telander
THE HALLOWEEN TREE BY RAY BRADBURY: I read this book every October because it’s the perfect Halloween book. It’s taken me a couple of readings, but I now finally realize that The Halloween Tree is the equivalent for Halloween what A Christmas Carol is for Christmas: an enchanting journey into the history of Halloween where one leans much and is changed by it.

A group of eight boys are on their way out to trick or treat on Halloween, all in different costumes – skeleton, mummy, gargoyle, etc. – an
Michael Jandrok
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have an idea that certain books have a time about them, a temporal space in which they can be savored for maximum impact and delight. Some authors give me that same sense. Even some GENRES appear to have a window of opportunity within the Wheel of the Year making them more appealing and instinctual when it comes down to choosing that next read off of that never dwindling TBR pile. Ray Bradbury is one of those authors for me, his general work seeming to compel me to pick him out as the summer b ...more
aPriL does feral sometimes
‘The Halloween Tree’ is a scary tale either meant for, or to be read to, little boys of eleven or twelve. The novel is about the imagery that different cultures from Egypt to Rome to the Middle Ages to Mexico have developed to represent Death through the ages. It is more poetry than prose, an Impressionist painting of history in words.

A young friend, Pipkin, has appendicitis and has been hospitalized. Usually he has led the friends trick ‘n treating on Halloween, but not this year. The usual gan
Wayne Barrett

At my age I can no longer climb trees like a monkey or sail through the air, leaping over hedges as I sprint down the street. At least, not physically. But because of writers like Ray Bradbury, I can still do these things in my mind. I can escape into the far reaches of my mind and become a boy again, leaping, running... and being able to lose myself in the innocence of fantasy and make-believe.
This is a great adventure and glimpse into the heart of All Hallows Eve. And it is done masterfully t
Rachel Bea

...I think I could quote this book forever...

Night and day. Summer and winter, boys. Seedtime and harvest. Life and death. That’s what Halloween is, all rolled up in one. Noon and midnight. Being born, boys. Rolling over, playing dead like dogs, lads. And getting up again, barking, racing through thousands of years of death each day and each night Halloween, boys, every night, every single night dark and fearful until at last you made it and hid in cities and towns a
MissBecka Gee
Oct 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to MissBecka by: Alisha
I watched the cartoon and if possible it now makes even less sense lol.
I did enjoy the fact that Ray Bradbury could totally be a voice double for Donald Sutherland and that Leonard Nimoy voiced Moundshroud.

Original Review
What the fuck did I just read?
This book made zero sense.

And yet...I enjoyed the adventure.
Nov 01, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, horror, fantasy
It was good, just not the Bradbury I’m accustomed to. Made me think about the origins of Halloween, which is the whole point. Best part by far came near the end – where meaningful Bradbury surfaced.
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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 ...more

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“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. From kitchen windows drifted two pumpkin smells: gourds being cut, pies being baked.”
“Suddenly the day was gone,
night came out from under each tree and spread.”
More quotes…