My Copy: 9780375803017 (image from bn.com)
I’m not sure what I was expecting when I read this book. I certainly wasn’t expecting it to be such a short book for younger readers. Though now that I have read it, it feels like a milder cousin of Something Wicked This Way Comes with a semi-educational aura woven through the story the way only Ray Bradbury can.
The Halloween Tree involves eight trick-or-treating boys going out that night to the spookiest place they can find, and a bit concerned about the neighborhood legend, Pip, and his non-involvement this year. When Pip tries to come with them and disappears, the boys are met by a Mr. Moundshroud who apparently lives in the haunted house at the edge of town…and where the Halloween Tree has sprung up. Only he can help them, it seems, and only on this Halloween night. We wonder what’s happened to Pip with the boys, and get involved in their journey through time and space to save him.
It’s a short read and I really don’t want to spoil it, because Mr. Moundshroud becomes their educator, their guide through Halloweens past and present. Of course, the language makes for interesting enough reading as Bradbury waxes poetic with his dialogue at times and then paints a fascinating picture with the action the best.
Worth a read at roughly 120 pages, and a good mystical intro to younger Bradbury readers. Short enough to enjoy one Halloween night for a fast reader, for sure.