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

147 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Peter Nimble Series

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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


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • 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: 5.9 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (147 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #293,375 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

92 of 94 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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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Spindelay Jacks on October 14, 2014
Format: Paperback
I love children’s fantasy. New and old, from Peter Pan to Harry Potter. I do not have problems suspending my disbelief, following senseless tales, and getting lost in absurd magic. I enjoy fairy tales both dark and creepy or light and hilarious. Fantasy worlds do not need to be explained, they simply are, and I love it that way.
That said ... an author creates a world, that world has rules––unstated, hazy, and sometimes fairly peculiar (they’re more like guidelines really) and whether one is reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Percy Jackson, the world takes shape as certain realities are broken and new ones formed. THIS BOOK HAS NO RULES. Everything (and I mean everything) is ARBITRARY.
Never while reading Peter Pan, Matilda, or any other children’s book based in ridiculous magic, have I actually thought, “This is ridiculous.” NEVER! I love it. Sink into it and soak it up. I don’t stop and say, “Why would that happen? This is absurd,” or “WTF?” But I said all of these things and more to myself over and over and over while reading Peter Nimble.
Because the story line made it impossible for me to suspend my disbelief … and I really wanted to. I’m not going to make a list of all the absurd things that happen (another reviewer already did that), but I will say a story doesn’t have to be plausible (as in real world plausible), but it does need to be plausible within itself––within the world it has created. The events surrounding and actions of Peter Nimble are inconceivable even within the world that has been created specifically for him.

Overall: This is my first DNF Review (DID NOT FINISH), which is really too bad because I’ve been looking forward to reading this book for a long time.
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16 of 16 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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