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Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes

Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes

4.5 49
by Jonathan Auxier

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Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes is the utterly beguiling tale of a ten-year-old blind orphan who has been schooled in a life of thievery. 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


Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes is the utterly beguiling tale of a ten-year-old blind orphan who has been schooled in a life of thievery. 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.

Praise for Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes
“Auxier has a juggler’s dexterity with prose that makes this fantastical tale quicken the senses.” 
Kirkus Reviews

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Debut author Auxier spins a lively, magical adventure led by 10-year-old Peter Nimble, a blind orphan and "the greatest thief who ever lived." Peter has always had to fend for himself, and after five grueling years of working for a heartless beggarmonger and perfecting his burgling skills, he uncovers a box filled with three sets of stone eyes: gold, onyx, and emerald. The first set transports him to a hidden island where the psychic Professor Cake awaits. The professor provides Peter with a companion (Sir Tode, a half-cat, half-horse knight) and a mission: to solve a riddle and save the Vanished Kingdom from an evil king. Peter and Sir Tode set sail unarmed, aside from their kind natures, faith that the eyes will guide them, and Peter's skill at picking locks ("He considered every lock to be a personal challenge. By definition, locks are designed to tell you what you can't do"). At times the omniscient narrator can feel overly precious, but the fast-paced, episodic story, accompanied by Auxier's occasional pen-and-ink drawings, is inventive, unpredictable, and—like its hero—nimble. Ages 10–up. (Aug.)
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Peter Nimble is a 10-year-old orphan, blinded at birth by ravens and trained as a highly skilled thief. Escaping a harsh master, he meets the mysterious Professor Cake, who tells him a prophecy in rhyme about a Vanished Kingdom much in need of rescuing. Peter undertakes the quest, accompanied by Sir Tode, a knight cursed with the body of a horse and cat. Professor Cake gives Peter a box with three sets of magical eyes to use when "the moment is right." Once on the island, Peter and Sir Tode battle a desert of thieves, a palace of monster apes, and a pit of sea serpents to free the city from a tyrannical king. By so doing, they discover their true mettle and decide to call the Vanished Kingdom home. Children who persevere through the complex, bizarre introduction will enjoy this quirky adventure. In the first chapters, it is difficult to see how an island without a surrounding ocean, dehydrated thieves battling talking ravens, and children enslaved by apes fit into one story, but Auxier manages to tie these fantastical elements into a cogent, believable story. Using the lessons he learned as a thief, Peter remains true to his own internal logic throughout his quest. This constancy helps to smooth over places where the pace drags. As Peter and his motley cohorts enter the final epic battle, children who want adventure with a splash of fantasy and mystery will be glad they spent time in Peter's world.—Caitlin Augusta, Stratford Library Association, CT
Kirkus Reviews

What begins Dickensian turns Tolkien-esque in this quest replete with magic and mystery.

Peter Nimble is an orphan. Blinded by ravens in infancy and made to steal for the town's beggar-monger (think Fagin), Peter becomes an expert thief and pickpocket. His wretched existence changes when he steals a box containing eggs that are actually three pairs of magical eyes. When Peter drops the first pair into his eye-sockets, he's instantly swept away. Thus begins a perilous adventure wrought from a riddle found in a bottle. After much travail, Peter learns that the mysterious eyes are not always dependable. He seeks and eventually finds a vanished kingdom, where he faces a tyrannical king. The king has brainwashed all the adults and enslaved all of their children, who are controlled by a horde of bloodthirsty apes. The action never flags, even though the suspense does. With one onslaught after another, the violence turns from suggested to overt, with weaponry and bloody battles. Solving the riddle and embracing his destiny are just the beginning of Peter's problems. In the end it's Peter's true talents, not magic, that prove most reliable.

Auxier has a juggler's dexterity with prose that makes this fantastical tale quicken the senses, even if it does bog down from time to time.(Fantasy. 8-12)

Product Details

Publication date:
Peter Nimble Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.52(h) x 1.24(d)
790L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet 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 TheScop.com.

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Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 49 reviews.
Jennasthings More than 1 year ago
Peter Nimble and his Fantastic Eyes cannot merely be called a story. It is in fact, an EPIC ADVENTURE! From start to finish the book grabs you by the, well, "eyes" and won't let go. All at once it reminded me of some of the best adventure epics - Peter Pan, Percy Jackson, and The Princess Bride. And while those may seem lofty comparisons, the truth is that Peter, oh so nimbly, rests right alongside them. This is book practically begs to be read aloud - orphans, master thieves, sword fights, and shipwrecks. Really , what more could you ask for? Magical eyes? Messages in a bottle? Mysterious haberdasher? Yep, it has those too, all wrapped up in a charming story filled with fun and a little wordplay thrown in for good measure. It will absolutely be one of my first classroom read alouds this fall. The Newberry Committee had better be paying some serious attention to this one!
BookSakeBlogspot More than 1 year ago
This would be a great read-aloud book for parents and kids. Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes is a great tale of adventure that spans a wonderfully imaginative world. Death and destruction are not skipped over in this story and there is quite a bit of fighting, but what Peter and his sidekick Sir Tode are fighting for is worth it. Peter is a humble character; even if he is the best thief the world has ever known. The creativity in the story lasts the entire way through. There was never a dull moment as each chapter left me wanting to know what would happen next. This is a story for the imagination as nearly everything would be impossible in our reality. If you can suspend your disbelief and not question why or how the story goes, it will be a completely enjoyable ride. Reviewed by Jessica for Book Sake.
gracebanks More than 1 year ago
Over the past several months I've read a few books intended for younger audiences, none of which really struck my fancy. I was beginning to worry that there was something lacking either in contemporary children's literature or, worse, my imagination. Fortunately, I soon came across Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes, which immediately captured my imagination and my heart. Peter is an endearing hero as a 10-year-old blind orphan who is surprised to find himself transitioning from the role of thief to that of kingdom-rescuer. Even if we feel from the beginning that Peter is destined for greater things, his hesitations and troubled self-doubt make him relatable and quickly win the reader's sympathy. I loved the Dickensian setting of the beginning of the novel, and while I missed that darkly Victorian world as the book progresses into a magical realm, Auxier's witty narrative voice and the enthralling quest Peter sets out on more than compensated for that absence. As a bonus, each chapter features one of Auxier's lovely pen-and-ink drawings, and I can only hope we'll see more of his artwork in future projects! Definitely recommended for audiences young and old alike.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Simply awesome. I love Sir Tode, he crakes me up. One of my all time favs!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Witty, charming, feel-good adventure. I highly recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book ever!
colbysharp More than 1 year ago
After reading Peter Nimble and his Fantasic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier one word came to mind, "epic". I decided to google the word to figure out if it truly fit the feelings that I was having towards the book. After sifting through countless definitions on many websites I decided that this book is in fact epic. The definition that best matched my feelings was: heroic and impressive in quality. I feel that Peter truly was heroic and the writing was extremely impressive in quality. I generally don't read book that are close to 400 pages. Most of my fourth graders tend to not be ready or interested in books of that size, and the students that are ready tend to have their own titles in mind. After recieving an ARC in the mail I decided to give Peter a chance. I am in love with this epic quest. Peter is a blind orphan that was found floating in the ocean eyeless. His eyes pecked out by a raven. He spends his life working as a thief for a man that treats him like dirt. One day he steals a box containing three pairs of eyes from a mysterious traveler. His curiosity gets the better of him and he slips one pair into his empty sockets. Instantly he is transported to an unknown island. That is where his quest begins. I'm not going to go any more into the plot. I went into this book knowing very little, and I feel that you would benefit from uncovering his quest as you read. Being a reader of shorter middle grade books at times I struggle to stay focused on longer text, but this book felt like a 400 page sprint. The action was often and exciting while at the same time developing beautiful characters and an awesome new world. Throw in a few twist and turns and you have yourself a tale that will hook readers of both middle grade and young adult.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author of this book is one of my aunt's friends so of course I had to read it. I ended up with my favorite book of all time. This book is wonderfully told through a very creative point of view. It has heart racing twists and is a MUST read book. And all of you people that hate this book. Hey mabye this just isn't your type of book, but it isn't terrible so don't go saying mean things. I am pretty sure that the author of this book sometimes reads these comments, and if you are saying mean things it hurtstheir feelings. So in concluaion this book is amazing, and please don't hate if you don't like the book, it may just not be your type. -6th grader (Fantasy lover.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great book! I enjoyed it a lot and I almost wish.it didn't end (but if a story didn't end would it be a good story or just a bunch of words that went on forever?) :) :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had the opportunity to meet the author, Jonathan Auxier, while student teaching. He came to speak to my middle school students about this book. I didn't expect much except for a break from being in front of the room teaching Math. The presentation was awesome! Jonathan was so charming and charismatic. He presented Peter Nimble in a way that had everyone captivated. So, of course, several students and I bought the book immediately to read. This really is an epic adventure! I had several conversations with students about how Peter taught them about their own destinies. Even though they don't have fantastic eyes, this book helped my students understand that they, too, are destined for greatness. Anything that does that deserves at least 5 stars..
ZoeSM More than 1 year ago
I loved this book and I'm in my early forties. I bought it to read to my son and ended up reading it myself. A very creative and well told story. I'm looking forward to more books from this author. I agree with another reviewer, it is an epic adventure!
jwitt33 More than 1 year ago
I absolutely LOVED this book! Yes, it is an MG book, and yes, I am an adult, but I enjoyed every minute of this book and couldn't put it down! I'm so excited for my sons to read it because it has everything they could want in a book: action, adventure, heroes and villains, fighting and thieving!! What boy wouldn't want to dive into it! Peter Nimble has had a very difficult life. He is found abandoned as an infant, with his eyes having been pecked out by the crows who are found with him. He scrounges out a life as best he can, until he is taken in by a cruel man who teaches him to be the best thief in the world so he can steal for him in exchange for the meager food and board he provides. All that changes when Peter steals a box with three pairs of eggs in it - and magically, each pair of eggs has a pair of eyes in it. When Peter puts in the first pair of eyes he is transported to an island where a kind man takes him in and explains that these eyes are meant only for Peter, to help him on a quest to save a damsel in distress. Peter sets off on the adventure of a lifetime, where he finds his destiny. This was such a fantastic, magical book, and I definitely recommend it to all fans of fantasy and adventure, who love a good underdog to root for :D
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is great and highly suggested!actually met the author!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I started this book and could not put it down. It is charming and witty. As some other reviews have said, it was kind of sad, but I think that makes it better. You can tell a book is good if it moves you, and Peter Nimble most certainly moved me. This book is an adventure-filled must-read. - J.M.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love it :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this story for its richness, its clever use of phrases, its illustrations -- which I kept referring back to, its explorations of scary/safe worlds, its friendships, its examples of loyalty and courage. Everyone in our family wanted the privilege of reading this story aloud to the grandchildren, but our grandson picked it up and started reading ahead, while his dad reads each night to he and his brother. I asked my 8-year-old grandson if he liked the book. With a huge smile, he replied, "I REALLY, REALLY like it!"
224perweek More than 1 year ago
It was very boring. Could not even remember what I read on a day to day basis. That's all I have to say.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of my all time favorite books.Peter's adventures and the people he meets on the way are so interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a good bedime story or anytime story because it brings fantasy and adventure into one book. It also gets you thinking about how greatfull we are to not be blind or deaf. I think this is a good read for all ages and i hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Auxier did a good job with his Night Gardener. But this one? Not so much.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing ending
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is really good. I totally think you shoud read it. It is really awsome how the author says alot about how smart kids are and how dumb grown-ups can sometimes be. In short, this is a good book and you shoud really read it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago