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Book: Hardcover | 235 x 159mm | 256 | ISBN 9780670064663 | 02 Aug 2011 | Puffin Canada | 8 - 12 years
Jonathan Auxier

Jonathan Auxier is the author of Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes, which was a MYRCA Honour Book and shortlisted for the inaugural Monica Hughes Award and the Diamond Willow Award. Born and raised in Canada, he now lives in Pittsburgh with his wife and daughter.

PETER NIMBLE AND HIS FANTASTIC EYES

Jonathan Auxier

Overflowing with wit and invention, Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes is the beguiling tale of a ten-year-old blind orphan who has been schooled in a life of thievery by his brutal master, Mr. Seamus. One fateful afternoon, as he's picking the pockets of townspeople enraptured by a travelling haberdasher, he "discovers" (steals) a box of magical eyes. When he tries on the first pair, he is instantly transported to the island at the top of the world, where he meets the maker of the eyes, Professor Cake. The Professor gives Peter a choice: travel to the mysterious Vanished Kingdom and try to rescue a people in need ... or return back to his master and a life of crime. Peter chooses wisely, and together with Sir Tode, a knight errant who has been turned into a rather unfortunate combination of human, horse and cat by a grumpy witch, he embarks on an unforgettable adventure in a book destined to become a classic.

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Now, for those of you who know anything about blind children, you are aware that they make the very best thieves. As you can well imagine, blind children have incredible senses of smell, and they can tell what lies behind a locked door—be it fine cloth, gold, or peanut brittle—at fifty paces. Moreover, their fingers are small enough to slip right through keyholes, and their ears keen enough to detect the faintest clicks and clacks of every moving part inside even the most complicated lock. Of course, the age of great thievery has long since passed; today there are few childthieves left, blind or otherwise. At one time, however, the world was simply thick with them. This is the story of the greatest thief who ever lived. His name, as you’ve probably guessed, is Peter Nimble.

As with most infants, Peter came into this world with no name at all. One morning, a group of drunken but good-hearted sailors spotted him bobbing in a basket alongside their ship. Perched on the boy’s head was a large raven, which had, presumably, pecked out his eyes. Disgusted, the sailors killed the bird and delivered the child to the authorities of a nearby port town.

Though the magistrates had no use for a blind infant, a local bylaw required them to at least give the boy a name. By silent show of hands, they christened him Peter Nimble, after a misremembered nursery rhyme. With this name and nothing else, he was sent off to make his way in the world.

For the first while, he was nursed on the milk of a wounded mother-cat, whom he met after crawling beneath the local alehouse. The cat permitted baby Peter to live with her in exchange for his picking the lice and ticks from her fur—until one tragic day some months later when the alehouse manager discovered them huddled beneath his porch. Furious at finding vermin in his establishment, the man shoved the whole family into a bag and tossed them into the bay.

Using his skillful fingers to untie the knot on that bag marked the beginning of Peter’s career. Being furless and naturally buoyant, he managed to make it back to shore without too much trouble... Read More

Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes is as delightful a magical story as readers ages 9-14 will hope to find. Part hero quest, part orphan saga, and wholly captivating, Jonathan Auxier's debut novel recounts the vertiginous adventures of a 10-year-old blind boy who, we're told, was the greatest thief ever known.” —Wall Street Journal online

“What begins Dickensian turns Tolkien-esque in this quest replete with magic and mystery…. Auxier has a juggler’s dexterity with prose that makes this fantastical tale quicken the senses”
Kirkus Reviews

“the fast-paced, episodic story, accompanied by Auxier’s occasional pen-and-ink drawings, is inventive, unpredictable, and — like its hero — nimble.”
Publisher’s Weekly

“When the book ended, I was not only left with the satisfaction a great story brings, but with the idea that each one of us is important and can make a difference in the world…. Indeed, this is a book that could quite possibly steal The Newbery right out from under all of the other books I have read so far this year.”
The Lemme Library

“What is the most telling difference between works of children’s literature written long ago and those written today? I’ll answer for myself: Tone. The tone of a book like Wind in the Willows or The Secret Garden is difficult to replicate. What Peter Nimble manages to do is create a tone akin to those books of yore.... Kids will stay with Peter every step of the way. It’s like something you’ve seen before and nothing you’ve ever read.”
School Library Journal (Fuse #8)

Peter Nimble and his Fantastic Eyes is both a pull-no-punches adventure with the darkness of the most authentic fairy tales, and a whimsical romp in a fictional world where anything is possible.”
Quill & Quire

“The book’s quirky nature, distinctive plot, and fresh themes will draw young readers in and spark their imaginations, earning it a place on the shelf for re-readings.”
Quill & Quire

“Jonthan Auxier’s strange and inventive debut, Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes, is a beautiful adventure told in a dashing and assured voice. It’s Little Nemo in Slumberland meets Oliver Twist. I enjoyed it tremendously.”
—Audrey Niffenegger

“I cannot rave about this book enough. If you loved Gregor and the fantastic world Suzanne Collins made in her books, if you loved Plain Kate by Erin Bow, then you will adore this story of Peter Nimble, the blind thief. There are books I love, books I tolerate, books I cannot stand – but every now and then I come across a book like this one where I feel privileged to be allowed to read and experience the story. Thank you, Jonathan Auxier, for giving us this story.” —The Lost Entwife blog

“I have read a LOT of great books this year, even so I am finding myself bumping various favorites further down the list to make room so that Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes can take the top spot for best of the year (out of books I've read for the first time this year). Final Verdict: Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes is shear [sic] brilliance!” — The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia blog

“Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes is as delightful a magical story as readers ages 9-14 will hope to find. Part hero quest, part orphan saga, and wholly captivating, Jonathan Auxier's debut novel recounts the vertiginous adventures of a 10-year-old blind boy who, we're told, was the greatest thief ever known.”
Wall Street Journal online

“This a fast paced adventure that will appeal to kids grades 4-8 (boys will devour this book, but girls will love it as well). I love a good adventure story, but what made me fall in love with this book was the storytelling that took place in it. Yes, all authors have a story to tell, but not all authors weave a story in the magical way that Mr. Auxier did here....Indeed, this is a book that could quite possibly steal The Newbery right out from under all of the other books I have read so far this year.”
—The Lemme Library blog

“I cannot rave about this book enough. If you loved Gregor and the fantastic world Suzanne Collins made in her books, if you loved Plain Kate by Erin Bow, then you will adore this story of Peter Nimble, the blind thief. There are books I love, books I tolerate, books I cannot stand – but every now and then I come across a book like this one where I feel privileged to be allowed to read and experience the story. Thank you, Jonathan Auxier, for giving us this story.”
—The Lost Entwife blog

“I have read a LOT of great books this year, even so I am finding myself bumping various favorites further down the list to make room so that Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes can take the top spot for best of the year (out of books I've read for the first time this year). Final Verdict: Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes is shear [sic] brilliance!”
—The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia blog

Jonathan Auxier is the author of Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes, which was a MYRCA Honour Book and shortlisted for the inaugural Monica Hughes Award and the Diamond Willow Award. Born and raised in Canada, he now lives in Pittsburgh with his wife and daughter.

About the BookJonathan Auxier
Praise

Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes is as delightful a magical story as readers ages 9-14 will hope to find. Part hero quest, part orphan saga, and wholly captivating, Jonathan Auxier's debut novel recounts the vertiginous adventures of a 10-year-old blind boy who, we're told, was the greatest thief ever known.” —Wall Street Journal online

“What begins Dickensian turns Tolkien-esque in this quest ...

Read more »