The Halloween Tree
Ray Bradbury has a way with words that few others do. He's a poet. A lyricist. The rhythm and flow of his prose alone make The Halloween Tree worth reading. But on top of that, it's a great book!
“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.”
The Halloween Tree is a children's book that transcends all ages. It follows eight costumed boys running to meet their friend Pipkin at the haunted house outside town. But when the reach the house, they encounter 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 their friend and the meaning of Halloween. After witnessing a funeral procession in ancient Egypt, cavemen discovering fire, Druid rites, the persecution of witches in the Dark Ages, and the gargoyles of Notre Dame, they catch up with the elusive Pipkin in the catacombs of Mexico, where each boy gives one year from the end of his life to save Pipkin's.
If you haven't read The Halloween Tree you are missing out on a magical story that will fill you with the joys of Halloween and remind you why All Hallow's Eve will forever be the day of the dead.