The Ghost-Eye Tree

Ghost-Eye Tree19729604The Ghost-Eye Tree, is an excellent book by the late Bill Martin and John Archambault, and superbly illustrated by Ted Rand for children over age four.  Martin wrote children’s books for nearly 60 years.  I am a bit nostalgic as this was my daughter’s favorite spooky Halloween book.  I was so happy to find her copy and to know it is still available on Amazon and in libraries.  Written in verse by the authors in 1988, it is packed with imagery and suspense with each  turn of the page.  The illustrations are dark, eery and perfectly fit the mood of the story.   The book  is also a great read around any camp fire.  It remains on my bookshelf because it shows kids that being scared is okay.

A brother and sister are sent by their mother one night to fetch a pail of milk from a farmer in town.  They are jumpy,  edgy  and tease each other on their long walk.  They don’t want to admit they’re scared, but their imaginations are engaged.   I love the brother’s comment “Oooo… I dreaded to go… I dreaded the tree… Why does Mama always choose me when the night is so dark and the mind runs free?”  Trying to be brave they know they will have to pass the largest tree in town.  They arrive without incident and collect the milk.  Upon their return,  the ghost-tree appears to come to life when the wind causes it to creek,  groan, and wildly wave its branches about them.   Just enough tension to make this a good Halloween read.

I discovered a short film was made of the Ghost-Eye Tree in 2008 by Nusomfilms.  Here is the trailer.

Copyright (c) 2011,  Patricia Howe Tilton, All Rights Reserved

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

16 thoughts on “The Ghost-Eye Tree

  1. We don’t really celebrate Halloween in France, so we don’t get all the spooky books at this time of year. I like the way kids do like to be scared, up to a point! Glad you hadn’t thrown out your daughter’s copy of this treasured book!


    • That’s interesting. Do other European countries celebrate Halloween? I know this is a different post for me, but I lhad many memories of reading this fun and favorite book with my daughter. And, Bill Martin’s children’s books have been treasures for years! His son created a museum of his work after his death in 2004. Thanks for your comments. – Pat


  2. Appreciate your turn of events for this post, Patricia. I remember reading this to my kids, too. I loved it. Never thought it gave permission to be scared though. That’s a perspective I hadn’t thought of. Good for you.

    Picked up six more picture books from the library today. Will be having fun tomorrow in the snow. lol


    • Well Clar, I figured we raised kids around the same time. I’m glad you and your kids enjoyed it too. Was surprised to find a movie trailer — that was fun.

      Can’t believe you’re getting snow tomorrow. Good day to stay inside an read. 🙂


  3. I had never heard of this, and while I don’t usually like scary books, this one sounds good. Perhaps it’s because it doesn’t rely on monsters, ghosts, and zombies. (Or maybe it’s because of my love of trees.) Anyway, I think every kid can relate to something like this – being frightened by a tree. There used to be a particular house in our neighborhood growing up that we were always scared to walk past.

    I want to thank you, Patricia, for being so good about posting on my blog, even though it hasn’t been easy for you. I poked around a bit today and changed a setting. I hope it will make things easier for you in the future =) Thanks for not giving up on me.


    • Ruth, I’m glad you liked the review. I like it too because it’s all about the children’s imagination about the tree. I read it in the early 90s to my daughter — so it was a different time. I’m like you too, don’t like really scary books. I have had trouble with other blogs too. If you added the URL, then it will make it easier for those of us on WP. I do have a blog acct, but your’s wouldn’t recognize it for some reason.


  4. This was an interesting book for you Pat. Like you I don’t like scary stories. We don’t celebrate Halloween here either, although it is becoming more recognised in the last few years with kids watching and following American ideas. We celebrate Guy Fawkes an english tradition celebrating a man named Guy Fawkes who tried to blow up English Parliament back in the 1800’s. By letting off fire crackers at home, or going to large shows on the 5th of November, this has been a tradition of NZ for many many years.
    Thanks for reminding me to race out and buy some sweets as the kids are due round later tonight and tomorrow night.:-)


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