Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Is this really a children's book? Because I'm a little scared.
Fall is here. I have very mixed feelings about fall. I love fall because of: wearing cute scarves without sweating,apple cider, camping trips where there aren't tornadoes and the color changes. I hate fall because it means that winter is next and I get sick of winter after about 2 weeks.
A sure harbinger of fall for me is re-reading Ray Bradbury's "The Halloween Tree".
The book follows a group of young boys in a small Midwestern town on Halloween night. It's time for trick or treating but one of their motley crew is sick and then goes missing. The mysterious Mr Moundshroud, who lives in the creepiest house ever says he can help the boys find their missing friend.This takes them across time and space and all around the world witnessing the beginnings of what we know as Halloween.They start seeing a funeral in ancient Egypt in a mysterious pyramid. They travel to wild, pre-Roman Ireland to see Druids, they spend time in Notre Dame in France (my favorite scene) and off to Mexico to see the Day of the Dead.There's a very poignant moment at the end that makes you think about how to best live our short lives here on earth and what sacrifices we are willing to make for friends.
Having said all of this, it's not for all kids. There's a lot of talk of death and spooky creatures. I get tingles in my spine when he describes the children's visit to Ireland and to Notre Dame.(Did you ever wonder how the gargoyles get up on those ledges? You find out.It's awesome).So maybe it's just for brave kids and wussy adults?
This book is great for (at least) 3 reasons:
1. Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud is the best name for a Halloween character ever.
2.The descriptions of the autumnal nights are so spot on.You can practically see the dead leaves tumbling down empty small town streets.
3.The kids are detailed and deep characters. They aren't flat and uninteresting.
"Suddenly the day was gone, night came out from underneath each tree and spread..." (Bwahahahaha)