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Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes Hardcover – August 1, 2011

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 790L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (August 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1419700251
  • ISBN-13: 978-1419700255
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.9 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #78,063 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jonathan Auxier, raised in Canada, now lives with his wife in Los Angeles, where he works as a screenwriter. This is his first novel. You can visit him online at

More About the Author

Jonathan Auxier writes strange stories for strange children--including PETER NIMBLE & HIS FANTASTIC EYES and THE NIGHT GARDENER. Raised in Canada, Jonathan now lives in Pittsburgh with his wife and family. Find out more by visiting, where he blogs about children's books old and new.

Customer Reviews

It is a book that deserves multiple readings.
It ended up being a great novel; very well written and creative with some wonderful adventure and wonderful characters.
K. Eckert
I look forward to reading his next adventure.
A. Haskins

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

77 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Michael Lewis on July 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I've been looking forward to Peter Nimble since the moment I came across Jonathan Auxier's website, The Scop. The site is simple, the sketches are fun and that might be the best "about me' section I've ever come across. So to hear Jonathan was publishing his first middle-grade this fall, literally made me giddy. Then I found that this particular middle grade novel is set in a quazi-Victorian age, starring a blind-orphan-thief.

Here's what I need: books that I can look a kid in the eye and say, "Trust me, you're going to love this." So that while they're developing their reading (and thinking) strategies, they'll fall in love with literature and see the relevancy for the skills. I'm looking for books that create "the circulation effect" (I pass off a book and by the time it's returned two months later, I've seen it on 15 different desks). I'm quite confident that Peter Nimble and his Fantastic Eyes will be one of those books.

First and foremost, Peter Nimble has an absolutely mesmerizing flow to it. It's got all the fun of disenfranchised Dickens mixed with Phantom Tollbooth absurdity. Jonathan Auxier seamlessly blends these two very diverse attributes, strapping his readers to his back as he takes them along for a breakneck ride through complete obscurity. One minute you're meeting his traveling companion, an enchanted horse-cat-knight; the next minute you're giggling over a reference to 18th century burgling proverb. And that's what makes this novel so much fun.

Auxier immerses you in this wonderfully substantial tale while relentlessly sprinkling in bits of humor at every turn. To really buy into fantasy, there needs to be in a believable world. In a lot of the high-fantasy for middle-graders that I've read, this tends to get a bit descriptive.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By M. Fuller on August 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I could never write a children's book. Balancing entertainment and quick-paced action for young readers without sacrificing the setting detail and character backgrounds needed to truly paint a vivid story seems almost an impossible task. Jonathan Auxier has absolutely mastered this equation in what has been the very best children's book I have read in years! I would say this story is as unique as James and the Giant Peach, and as touching and memorable as C.S Lewis' Narnia series. Go buy this book now!

Told in a witty 3rd person narrative ,Peter Nimble and his Fantastic Eyes is a story about a blind young orphan forced into thievery, who after a miserable childhood is finally given the chance/promise from the kindly professor Cake that he is the boy needed to rescue a vanished kingdom from an evil imposter king. "It was a choice between comfortable misery and terrifying uncertainty... professor Cake had given him a choice - a gift no one had ever offered him before" (P. 68) Under normal circumstances, this would be a hard task, but good thing Peter Nimble happens to be the greatest thief that ever lived! Thankfully he has his best friend, who also happens to be an "enchanted cat-horse-man creature" by his side to help with their quest. In a completely original and fast-paced sequence of events, readers young and old follow Peter along his journey and you will never guess how it ends.

This book was "fantastic" while entirely entertaining, with not a slow spot in it. The story also is challenging and compelling on a moral level as well. Characters struggle with, and learn the value of bravery, justice and blind faith. This book is the perfect book for reading aloud with your children. It is definitely the first book I will grab to read aloud to my daughter as soon as she is old enough to sit still and listen.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Chrissy on July 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This review first appeared on my blog.

I would KILL to have this title on Kindle, so if you are listening, Amulet Books, get on that! This title-- which is available in hardcover for a reasonable $17, is the most charming thing written for kids I've come across since Harry. Jonathan Auxier has created an incredibly charming adventure with this novel. Peter, the title character and hero, is a blind orphan. At the tender age of ten he must learn to survive, and does so by becoming an unlikely thief. He steals a box filled with three sets of magical eyes. From the book blurb:

One fateful afternoon, he steals a box from a mysterious traveling haberdasher--a box that contains three pairs of magical eyes. When he tries the first pair, he is instantly transported to a hidden island where he is presented with a special quest: to travel to the dangerous Vanished Kingdom and rescue a people in need. Along with his loyal sidekick--a knight who has been turned into an unfortunate combination of horse and cat--and the magic eyes, he embarks on an unforgettable, swashbuckling adventure to discover his true destiny.

What more could any kid want? Pick this one up. Absolutely adorabe, genuinely new ideas, and beautifully crafted. This is why kids fall in love with books!
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38 of 50 people found the following review helpful By SpirituallySpeaking on October 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I hate to be the only negative review in what looks like a love-fest for this book. I really wanted to like it. The title is great and the cover art is just beautiful, giving a real sense of atmosphere to the book.

Having said that, I lost interest almost immediately when I began to get into the story. In fiction writing, (yes, I'm a professional paid writer) there is a saying with regard to plot. "It doesn't have to be possible, just plausible." That means there has to be at least some degree of believability to any story or story element for readers to buy into a concept and go along for the ride. Otherwise, they lose interest or just feel like the writer is insulting their intelligence.

This book starts off breaking those rules in a big way that just make NO sense.

#1. How could Peter, as a 2, 3, or 4-year-old BLIND toddler stumble around the city, find all the food he needs, get proper shelter and provide for all his other needs while NOT getting run over by a horse and carriage or meeting some other terrible fate? He's just 2 or 3! Completely implausible.

#2. He opens locks with his fingers? Unless his fingers are slightly thicker than a human hair, I don't see how that is plausible. This is a completely implausible device put in place to help further the story and get the main character out of tough spots where the writer perhaps had no other idea. Completely implausible.

#3. Peter is eventually taken in by the old, abusive, Seamus. He's beaten and starved while living there...but Seamus sends him out to steal for him. IF Peter is SO resourceful and could sustain himself at 2 and 3-years-old completely alone...why does he go back (willingly) to Seamus' house every single night? Why doesn't he just not go back?
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