The Ghost-Eye Tree

Ghost-Eye Tree9780805009477_p0_v3_s260x420The Ghost-Eye Tree

Bill Martin and John Archambault, Authors

Ted Rand, Illustrator

Square Fish Publisher, 1988 (Reprint)

Suitable for Ages: 4-8

Themes: It’s okay to be scared, Imagination, Halloween

Book SynopsisOne dark and windy autumn night when the sun has long gone down, a young boy and his older sister are sent to the end of town to get a bucket of milk. As they walk down the lonely road, bathed in eerie moonlight, all the boy can think about is the ghost-eye tree.


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?

What will happen when they come to the tree?  Can they run past it or will it reach out and grab them?

 Why I like this book:  I will admit that this is a favorite dark and edgy book that my daughter and I still enjoy today.   I reviewed it several years ago, before I had much of a following, so I decided to share it again.  It is written by the late Bill Martin (1916-2004) and John Archambault, who give children a lot of room to use their imaginations.  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, Barnes & Nobel and in libraries.  Written in verse by the authors in 1988, it is packed with imagery and suspense with each turn of the page.  Ted Rand’s illustrations are dark, eery and perfectly exaggerate 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.  It has 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.

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.

27 thoughts on “The Ghost-Eye Tree

  1. I was so terrified of the dark. I think highly imaginative children are. My terror was the shadow under the bed. I couldn’t get out of bed. I could ‘see’ into the dark. I think it so important for children to have their fear acknowledged rather than being told that they would grow out of it and be forced to have the light out anyhow.


    • I was a lot like you too — and I was very imaginative. I had my dad up many nights checking out things. I remember once telling him a big cricket came through my window. The next morning there was a cricket in my sheets. I agree fear should be acknowledged with kids. I would have enjoyed this book over age six.


  2. i remember you posting this a couple of years back for Halloween and I still haven’t read it so thanks for the reminder, it sounds just the right amount of scary for kids.


  3. This sounds like a fun Halloween book! I like the cover a lot. I’m glad that it still connects you and your daughter. 🙂 I think there is something every kid hates to walk past. I hate walking past dark rooms with doors open. *shiver*


    • I lOVE the cover of this book. It says everything. I didn’t like dark closets and the headlights from the cars shining on my mother’s printed drapes, casting eerie picture on the walls. And, I’m sure my dad got tired of my calling out about someone in the living room. 🙂


    • You’re right Penny. After I read your review of “On A Windy Night,” I decided to pull up the review, rewrite/update it and share it again. I wrote in several years ago, before I had many followers.


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