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 Synopsis: One 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.