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The Halloween Tree

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  18,563 ratings  ·  2,156 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 ...more
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…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…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)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.84  · 
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Kenny
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


cover

I've 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 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
...more
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
...more
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Welllll, that was different!



Happy Reading!

Mel
...more
Lyn
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
...more
Maciek
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 ...more
Trish
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.

The
...more
Candi
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
Bradley
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
...more
Darwin8u
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

description

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
...more
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...
Gabrielle
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 “
...more
Lori
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, 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
...more
Johann (jobis89)
Oct 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
"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
...more
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.

BUT...

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
...more
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!
MissBecka
Oct 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to MissBecka by: Alisha
Update:
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.
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. :)

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. –
...more
¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪SomeBunny Reads (Phoenix)•*¨*•♫♪
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
...more
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
...more
Rachel Bea
Vivid
Imaginative
Fantastic
Dark

...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
...more
Char
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
...more
Ron
Nov 01, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, fantasy, horror
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.
James
Sep 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this limited edition version of bradbury's halloween tree that was printed in 2004 is absolutely the version worth reading, entirely for the inclusion of his first submitted typescript.

see, knopf was interested in a straight-up juvenile book. bradbury wanted to write "a book for children of all ages." so, when the first knopf edition was published in 1972, there were a ton of cuts, largely to bradbury's wonderful descriptive passages.

also included are a ton of supplemental materials, including
...more
Jess (Primrose)
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This will most definitely be an October read for me around Halloween from this year forward. It's a read every year kind of book. Only Ray Bradbury, in the spirit of a traditional holiday tale, can weave the magic of Halloween into a tale with a dark meaningful moral at the end.

I was utterly enchanted moving through the ages of time with the boys and Mr. Moundshroud as the the group searched for the elusive, wisp like Pipkin. Tears sprang to my eyes as Tom briefly questions Mr. Moundshroud at
...more
Aqsa (On Hiatus)
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Aqsa (On Hiatus) by: Kristina
3.75

description

Read for March Reading Sprint-2019 in Buddy Reads.

So obviously I didn’t know anything about Halloween other than what I saw in a couple of movies and I was excited to read this. I had already read his book Fahrenheit 451 last year and loved it, but this isn’t anything like it. It seemed like some other writer.

"Suddenly the day was gone, night came out from under each tree and spread."

We follow 8 boys as they leave their homes and go to various houses shouting Trick-or-Treat when they
...more
❄️✨ Kat ✨❄️
3.5

"O Mr. Moundshroud, will we EVER stop being afraid of nights and death?"
"When you reach the stars, boy, yes, and live there forever, all the fears will go, and Death himself will die."


On Halloween night, 8 boys go to their friend Pipkin's house so they can go trick-or-treating. When Pipkin comes out, he's not quite himself, and tells them to go to the house of Haunts at the end of the ravine. Skeptically, they head there, and knock on the Marley-esque knocker, where they meet Mr. Moundshroud.
...more
Edward Lorn
Oct 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Halloween Tree, by Ray Bradbury, is to Halloween what Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol is to Christmas. If the novella is not required reading, it should be. This short book proves that Halloween is so much more than a holiday created by candy bar companies, and is most certainly not a satanic celebration. From the tombs of Egypt to the underworld of Mexico during Dia de Los Muertos, Bradbury whisks us away on an autumnal wind. The journey is poignant and purposeful. What exactly would ...more
Cameron Chaney
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade, spooky, 2018
I read The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury a couple of Halloweens ago and it has been one of my favorite Halloween stories since. While it can be a bit wordy in usual Bradbury fashion, the story is beautiful and totally captures what the season is all about. I decided to listen to the full-cast audiobook this Halloween and really liked it as well. The added songs were a little cringey, but I thought it was a cute production overall. Recommended!
Celeste
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Full review now posted!

This was such a perfect little book to help foster the Halloween spirit.

Ray Bradbury is a master of atmosphere. One of the most atmospheric Halloween books I’ve ever read is Something Wicked This Way Comes, and this tiny book spins just a compelling a spell. Bradbury just had an amazing grasp on what makes Halloween special. It’s a little dated, but in my opinion that just upped the nostalgia factor.

A group of boys is taken on a journey through time and space to understand
...more
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17,370 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 ...more
“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.”
128 likes
“Suddenly the day was gone,
night came out from under each tree and spread.”
82 likes
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