The Halloween Tree Paperback
Special indeed are holiday stories with the right mix of high spirits and subtle mystery to please both adults and children–Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol,” for example. Or Ray Bradbury’s classic The Halloween Tree. Eight boys set out on a Halloween night and are led into the depths of the past by a tall, mysterious character named Moundshroud. They ride on a black wind to autumn scenes in distant lands and times, where they witness other ways of celebrating this holiday about the dark time of year. Bradbury’s lyrical prose whooshes along with the pell-mell rhythms of children running at night, screaming and laughing, and the reader is carried along by its sheer exuberance.
Bradbury’s stories about children are always attended by dread–of change, adulthood, death. The Halloween Tree, while sweeter than his adult literature, is also touched at moments by the cold specter of loss–which is only fitting, of course, for a holiday in honor of the waning of the sun.
This is a great book to read at Halloween time, for young and old alike. It captures the feeling of being a kid in a small town on Halloween and going trick or treating. Of course, the trick and the treat is that we are taken back through time to see how Halloween began: from ancient Egypt, through the Celtic Samhain, up to Bradbury’s day. For anyone to whom Halloween is a special time of year, this is a book to read.
Available from: www.amazon.ca and www.amazon.com