Like any child on Halloween night, eight boys in this fantasy-horror story put their costumes and were ready to go for trick-or-treating. But when the little mummy, the ghost, the gargoyle, the skeleton, and the others had gathered at the appointed place: the Haunted House, they did not find Pipkin. Pipkin is sort of the chief of the gang; and without him Halloween would not be fun. Instead of their friend, they found, near the house, a huge tree with branches, laden with Jack-o-lanterns: The Halloween Tree! Inside the house they met a cadaverous looking man wrapped in black, who introduced himself as Mr. Moundshroud.
Pipkin finally showed up, but he was immediately snatched from the boys, and vanished into the air. To find and save Pipkin, Mr. Moundshroud led the eight boys to search through the past, to teach them the history and real meaning of Halloween they celebrate every year.
So, by magic they travelled across time and space to Ancient Egypt, Ancient Rome, Celtic, Medieval Paris, and Mexico. They went inside the Pyramid to find mummies, flew on brooms and met witches, walked inside the catacomb, and adored the Gargoyles at Notre Dame Cathedral. At each place they visited, they always saw glimpses of Pipkin, before he eluded right before they got chance to save him. Through these eerie adventures, the boys learned about the origins of Halloween; why death is scary, the fact about mummy, the origin of trick-or-treat, and whether witches have really existed.
At the end of their journey, the boys realized that the only way to save dear Pipkin was by agreeing to sacrifice one year each of their lives.
The Halloween Tree for Halloween, is what A Christmas Carol do for Christmas. You celebrate the holiday each year, get yourself surround by the atmosphere, the ornaments, foods, costumes, and rituals. You gather with friends and families to celebrate... what? What is that that you are celebrating—the day itself? As with A Christmas Carol, The Halloween Tree also reminds you of the real values behind ornaments and the celebration itself.
This was my first Ray Bradbury. I still had not the courage to read Fahrenheit, and so wanted to take a taste through this tale. It was a fun read; fast moving with beautiful prose, and a perfect read for Halloween mood. Bradbury wanted us to remember our dead relatives (the real purpose of Halloween), but also to realize the value of life. I loved how Bradbury made the eight boys giving up one year of their lives to save a friend. There is always love behind every holiday!
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