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True Gris: Grimly IIlustrated Bradbury Classic

bradbury, gris grimly, knopf publishing, the halloween tree

Gris Grimly’s Dust Jacket for Knopf’s new “The Halloween Tree” edition.

I’d like to kick off October with a look at a book I ordered as a birthday gift for myself last month.

Ray Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree remains my favorite autumn tome since I first purchased the Ballantine paperback edition back in 1972 and read it in one sitting. It is a wonderful rumination on the origins of the witching season wrapped in a quintessential Bradbury “boy’s tale” (or what we now call young adult fiction). Originally conceived as a screen treatment for an un-produced Chuck Jones cartoon, each of its characters learns the history and significance of their respective costume as they travel through the Samhain night on a quest to save a friend.
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The Halloween Tree

Ray Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree has been on my seasonal must-read pile pretty much every fall since I first purchased the Bantam paperback edition back in 1974. In best Bradbury form it is a classic “boy’s tale” that reveals the origins of all hallow’s eve tradition.

The story originated as a screenplay in 1967 and in the land of “what is and what will never be” would have been produced by animator Chuck Jones (How The Grinch Stole Christmas) – but it was never realized. I’ve always thought it would make a superb addition to Tim Burton’s stop motion ouevre along with Corpse Bride and Nightmare Before Christmas. The Halloween Tree was animated back in the 1990’s and unfortunately messed with enough to ruin its intent but there is a nice faithful “theater of the mind” radio play version available on CD.