Saturday, October 20, 2007

Trick... or Treat?

Ray Bradbury’s Halloween classic is back, thirty-five years since it first whisked readers far beyond the usual pumpkins, costumes, and candy, deep into the mysteries of this spookiest of all nights.

Join the sinister Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud as he takes eight trick-or-treaters on an unforgettable journey to find their missing friend, Pip. Travel through space and time, from the tombs of ancient Egypt to the gargoyles of Notre Dame cathedral, all the way to the cemeteries of Mexico on El Dia de Los Muertos, the Day of the Dead! Is Pip still alive? And if so, can his friends save him before it’s too late?

Get ready to shiver and shriek, gasp and giggle your way through this fantastic tale. Master storyteller Ray Bradbury’s fantasy is a treat for all to savor – not just at Halloween but at any time of the year.

I’ve read Ray Bradbury’s most popular work, Fahrenheit 451 but never actually got around to reading anything else by him until one of my online book groups (Children’s Books of Yesterday) chose The Halloween Tree as our October book. It was such an interesting and unique story! I especially liked the illustrations by Joseph Mugnaini but my favorite thing was Bradbury's illustrative descriptions. It made the story almost poetic (even if it did make the book a little harder to read).

The Halloween Tree was originally written with children or "young adults" in mind as the target audience but since I found some the wording a bit difficult to grasp in some places, I’m sure not many children would be able to decipher it or get much enjoyment out of it. From what I’ve heard, more adults like the story than kids anyway and it’s not hard to see why!

I did enjoy the animated movie based on the book and I think it translated the story better to children. There are a few differences between the book and the movie but for the most part, the film stayed true to the original source and managed to keep the same feel of the book (spooky but not really scary).

This was a fabulous book (and movie) and should be shared with the entire family... especially when "everything seems cut from soft black velvet or gold or orange velvet". And "smoke pants up out of a thousand chimneys like the plumes of funeral parades" because "the wind is a special wind..., and the darkness takes on a special feel [when] it is All Hallow’s Eve."

Related Reviews
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
The Halloween Tree (1993)

Reminder: As always, the pictures are also links to various things (information & etc.)


  1. This sounds like it would be a good Halloween read. :-) I am not familiar with it or the movie. Thanks for the great review!

  2. I've not heard of this it as scary as the cover ~~shivers~~

    Have a great day!

  3. I am ashamed to say I didn't know this was a book. I have the animated movie and watch it every year on Halloween. It is great!

  4. This looks pretty good. I haven't read or heard of the book or movie. Interesting find, Jen.




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