Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes

Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes

by Jonathan Auxier


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From the New York Times bestselling author of The Night Gardener, 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.

Be sure to read the companion book, Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard.

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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781419704215
Publisher: ABRAMS
Publication date: 11/01/2012
Series: Peter Nimble Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 49,303
Product dimensions: 8.10(w) x 5.50(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

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

Customer Reviews

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Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 61 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 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!"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I highly recommend this book to people of all ages. also make sure to check out the relating book Sophie Quire
herdingcats on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you mix elements from Oliver Twist, Alice In Wonderland and King Arthur plus a few other fairy tale plots, and then throw in some extra twists and elements, you will have Peter Nimble. Peter's eyes were plucked out by ravens when he was an infant, and he then survived on his own by nursing on a cat, and learning how to steal food and clothing. When he was 5, he was taken in by an old orphan master who trained him to be an even better thief and forced him to steal for him. He then meets a mysterious haberdasher, and steals a box from him which contains three sets of what he later learns are fantastic eyes. Together with Sir Tode, who was once a knight, but has been enchanted and is now part cat and part horse, Peter and his fantastic eyes goes on an adventure that keeps the reader wondering what will happen next. This book is fantastic, creative and fun.
DanaBurgess on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As I began this book, the first word that came to my mind was "charming". It is a perfect read-aloud book. The narrator's voice is strong and fun with lots of age-appropriate humour. Although the back of the book says 10+ years, my precocious 8 year old nephew would enjoy it as well.Poor, blind, Peter is liberated from his miserable life and embarks on a magical, mystical journey full of: problems waiting to be overcome; friends waiting to be made; lessons waiting to be learned and mysteries waiting to be solved. Peter needs a steady companion and who better than Sir Tode? I have to say that Sir Tode was my favorite character in the story. Who could resist a knight who is also a cat/horse/human? He fills a vital role as friend, confidant and Peter's eyes.Don't expect this to be one of those books that helps kids understand and appreciate what it means to live with blindness. It is easy to forget Peter's blindness as he can 'see' almost better with his other senses as sighted people can with their eyes. This includes the ability, for example, to catch things thrown at him by 'sensing' their presence.Mr Auxier's imagination and originality show through in his telling of the tale. The use of magic eyes was brilliantly incorporated as were the details of the Vanished Kingdom.Be forewarned that there is a fair amount of violence in the story but (having some experience with 8 - 12 year olds - and boys especially) nothing they won't appreciate; nothing to cause nightmares; and, likely, nothing that comes close to the violence in their favorite video game.All in all a great first effort by Jonathon Auxier. I'm hopeful we will find more accounts Peter's magical adventures in the future.
hrose2931 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes is unlike any novel I've read in MG or for that matter YA. When I was approached about reading this novel for review, I was taken in by the description that it was Dickensian in nature. I love British literature. And as I read Peter Nimble, I could see the plot of Oliver Twist winding its way through the novel, though not quite so darkly. But, there's a dash of John Green and some Scott Westerfeld or is it Mark Twain or Neil Gaiman. I guess it is uniquely Jonathan Auxier who's combined wit and plot lends itself a very new voice in an undefinable genre. Though presented as an MG book, I think it could definitely cross over into YA. Now, don't get me wrong, Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes isn't a warm your heart kind of fantasy at the beginning or even the middle. Peter is found floating in a basket with a raven believed to have pecked his eyes out by sailors. He has no name and when given over to the magistrates of the nearest town, is named, but then turned out as an infant and takes refuge with a mother cat, nursing with her kittens. It doesn't get any prettier from there and he eventually becomes a thief, a master thief.But one fate changing day, he meets a haberdasher and being an expert lock picker, picks the numerous locks on his coach and steals something from him. And this sets him on an adventure of a lifetime with many perils and battles. This is the fantasy part of the story and from then, it's nothing but nonstop action. It's got some Steampunk, some magic, fantasy definitely, and lots of sarcastic, subtle humor. It has a dark undertone for the most part yet it doesn't feel heavy and it isn't gloomy or depressing. Peter, as a character is very likable, if not relate-able. He stays true to his nature. He isn't evil, he's just trying to survive at first. But later on, he's trying to do more. And he's constantly reminding himself in difficult situations to remain true to his nature, which is a thief. But not for his own gain. And being a thief proves to be quite handy throughout the book. He's surrounded himself with good people and he sticks with them.Peter's sidekick, Sir Tode, is a knight cursed by a hag to be half horse and half cat. I couldn't picture how that worked, but thankfully there are pen and ink drawings, done by the author, throughout the book that help and I realized Sir Tode is cat sized, not horse sized. He, too, stays true to his nature, but isn't all he purports himself to be which is also true to his nature.Throughout there are numerous characters, most of them children or ravens, yes as in birds, and the adults, for most of the book are the villains. There is a little bit about how science is thought to be magic by everyone in the Vanished Kingdom including clocks and automated gates. There are some Steampunk like elements in the machinery that the citizens of the Vanished Kingdom believe to be magic as they've never witnessed science before. But Peter defeats this so called "magic" and shows them it is just science. The box proves to be magic though, there is no disputing that. And like any fairy tale there is a prince and princess, though not quite in the sense that we are used to. There are no romances. But plenty of talking animals. So really there is something for everyone.Most enjoyable to me was Jonathan Auxier's writing. I don't know if the humor will be lost on MG readers, but I thoroughly enjoyed his mocking of adults. Or perhaps he will win them over with his subtle encouragement with passages like, "As you know, children (unlike grown-ups) are far too clever to be tricked by impostors-a fact that goes a long way toward explaining their distrust of wicked stepmothers and substitute teachers." (p.214) There was a lot of sarcastic, tongue in cheek humor, my favorite kind, and I found myself smirking as I read. Yeah, I shared a few passages with the men/boys, but I'm not living with book lovers here, so it gets lost
KarenBall on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"But I'm just a kid," he insisted. "I'm small, and I'm blind... You said it yourself, Professor, the person who wrote that note needs a hero -- someone noble and good... I'm just a criminal." "So what if you are?" the professor replied flatly. "How many well-behaved boys would have made it this far?"I LOVE THIS BOOK! This is an amazingly well-written fantasy, with an orphaned blind thief as our hero. As an infant, Peter Nimble was found floating in a basket, with a raven perched upon it. His eyes were missing - presumably pecked out by the raven. His early years were spent learning to steal in order to survive, until one day when he steals a box with six magical eggs from a traveling haberdasher. Inside the eggs are the three pairs of Fantastic Eyes. The first pair transports him to Professor Cake, who charges him with a quest to rescue the people trapped in the Vanished Kingdom from their evil ruler. Going with him will be Sir Tode, a knight hexed by a hag and now stuck in a body that's a mishmash of cat and horse parts, with a big bushy moustache. Peter will need all of his thieving skills and street smarts in this fast-paced adventure, filled with fighting ravens, talking apes, thieves, liars, sea monsters, and one awesomely evil king! What I loved: Peter may be blind, but he gets into all kinds of scrapes and fights along the way, so there's plenty of action. His creative solutions to battling bigger and stronger foes are wonderful! Auxier isn't afraid to let Peter's disability get in his way and cause problems -- sometimes not seeing things is downright dangerous, after all. Many fantasy stories spend a lot of time describing the world, so the readers will understand how this particular place works, and that can slow the story down. Not here! Readers see and experience the world as Peter Nimble does, with a delightful and funny writing style that I hope Jonathan Auxier continues to use in many more stories. Our sixth graders will love this one -- as will anyone else who picks it up. Bravo!
ref27 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Engaging characters, fun premise of fabulous blind thief, but overfull plot-wise and with too many quirks. Horse-knight-kitten combination? Really?
mountie9 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jake's Review: Mom you were right (mom's note: now this is in print so you all know he actually said I was right.) The story is really exciting and lots of fun. Sort of reminds me of the Percy Jackson book you made me put down so that I could read this one. Some of the stuff was kinda scary and I didn't like that people were killed in such not nice ways. Also some of the words were really hard to figure out. Other than that it was a good book that I wanted to read to the end. Oh yeah and couldn't the story have been a bit shorter, I don't like it when books are so long (mom's note: wait till he has to read Moby Dick). I wouldn't recommend this one to Brian but I think Benjamin would like it. More for kids who like to read and probably better for older kids because of the killing and stuff.Jake's Rating: 9/10Mom's Review: What an absolutely enchanting magical tale that even a 9 yr old can enjoy. We read it together on many occasions as some of the language was a wee bit difficult for him and well it was just fun to read aloud. A great old fashioned epic story filled with adventure, magic, plenty of twists and turns and quite frankly just a fun ride. Some nice dry humour as well. A truly enjoyable story that even adult readers will enjoy. My only complaint is that the last 3 quarters was so good I didn't want to put it down, and I ended up reading till 1 am. Damn you Jonathan you so owe me a Tim Horton's Xtra Lg Coffee -- the American XL too! I would recommend for 10 up as there is some difficult language and some violent scenes that the sensitive or younger reader might have difficulty with. Would be a fun one for a class story in which the teacher could read a chapter a day.
ElizaJane on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Reason for Reading: The plot sounded wonderful and the author is Canadian!Peter Nimble doesn't really have a name but this is what he's called in the thieving world of a perhaps Victorian-like English town. He's made his own way in the world since discovered floating in a basket with his eyes pecked out by a raven. Now under the control of a wicked master who keeps him locked up and makes him thieve for his food Peter ventures upon a couple of strange men, Professor Cake and Mr. Pound who give him the adventure of his life. Along with a case which includes three sets of fantastic eyes, with unknown magical powers, and a partner Sir Tode, an unfortunate knight who was cursed by an old hag, he is sent to a Vanished Island with a mysterious riddle to help right the wrongs done there.A wonderful story that quickly grabs your attention with delightful characters one becomes fond of right away. The outcome is predictable in a way but the getting there is a whole lot of fun filled with lots of adventure and action. The story is quite violent during the battle scenes, combatants on both sides are killed and the method is described in often uncomfortable detail, so the book is not for the sensitive or squeamish. But those who like "gross" will have a rollicking good time. A very unique story, unlike anything else out there right now, that combines magic with swashbuckling action with clockwork steampunk.I only have a few issues, one being that the narrative crosses the line and talks to the reader as if someone were telling us a story. This is always a tricky thing in children's books and here the author has used the device sparingly but because of that, it felt jarring to me when every now and then the book would speak to me personally. And finally, this book just cries out to be illustrated! There are so many strange characters and events that an illustration a chapter would have been delightful. One final thing that I am very happy with is that the book ends on a final note, even mentioning how things turned out in the future for the characters that, I think, we can be sure that this is a stand-alone novel. I'm glad to read a new author who has presented us with a full story in one book and not attempted the tired routine of beginning yet another series. Good book! I look forward to author's next work.
krau0098 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I got an ARC of this book through NetGalley(dot)com; it just sounded like such a fun novel I had to give it a read. It ended up being a great novel; very well written and creative with some wonderful adventure and wonderful characters.Peter Nimble was found blind floating down the river as an infant. It's a miracle he survived; although he is blind. He's been raised by a horrible man who has made him thieve for a living and Peter Nimble is probably the best thief in the land. His life changes though when he meets a traveling medicine man who asks him to guard a precious box. Well of course Peter has to steal the box and what he finds inside it astounds him; he finds three pairs of eyes. When he puts one of the pairs of eyes in his sockets he is whisked away on an adventure greater than he ever could have imagined.This novel is set in Victorian times and is very much a historical fantasy of types with a good dose of adventure. Peter Nimble is a character that is easy to relate to and fun to read about. He is a thief but he manages to comes across as noble and very moral. His sidekick throughout the novel, a knight made up of a mesh of animals is similarly fun to read about.Peter embarks on a wonderful adventure through crazy lands. Besides his sidekick, he only has those magical pairs of eyes that he doesn't know the affect of. The book is well-written with occasional humorous asides by the narrator. The start of each chapter is beautifully illustrated.Any middle grade, or older readers, who love fantasy adventure and love a quirky story will love this book. The world created is incredibly creative as is the premise of the stories; the characters are easy to relate to and fun to read about.The story ends well, although it is stated that Peter has many other wonderful adventures, which I hope we get to read about in the future!Overall an excellent middle grade read. A creative world, interesting plot, and wonderful characters make this a book that is fun to read and hard to put down. Fans of adventure fantasy in a historical setting will find a lot to enjoy here. The beautiful illustrations throughout the story only add to its charm. Definitely a fun and enjoyable read and highly recommended.