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Cover image for Peter Nimble and his fantastic eyes : a story
Peter Nimble and his fantastic eyes : a story


Publication Information:
New York : Amulet Books, 2011.
Physical Description:
381 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm.
Series title(s):
Number in series:
Raised to be a thief, blind orphan Peter Nimble, age ten, steals from a mysterious stranger three pairs of magical eyes, that lead him to a hidden island where he must decide to become a hero or resume his life of crime.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR Middle Grades 5.7 14 quiz: 145788.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 5.20 21 quiz: 55252.


Call Number

On Order



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

Author Notes

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.

Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-Jonathan Auxier's energetic story (Amulet Bks., 2011) is tailor-made for listening! It is reminiscent of classic fairy tales like Pinocchio, with a dash of Oliver Twist thrown in for good measure. Listeners are transported to the magical world of Peter Nimble who, as an infant, was set adrift, blinded by ravens, rescued by drunken sailors, and forced into a life of crime. The blind boy survives by becoming skilled in the art of thievery and picking locks. When Peter steals a box filled with three sets of magical eyes, he tries the first pair and suddenly is transported to a foreign land where an evil king rules, and his mission is to set things right. Listeners uncover the mystery along with Peter as the truth unfolds layer by fantastical layer. Michael Page's narration is exceptional. He portrays a variety of characters with myriad accents and dialects. His gravelly-voiced thieves, raspy ravens, and flighty sparrows are all credible and entertaining. This action-packed fantasy adventure with a fair amount of violence is a first-purchase choice.-Patty McClune, Conestoga Valley High School, Lancaster, PA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Review

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)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Ten-year-old orphan Peter Nimble is a gifted thief and also blind. After five years thieving for nasty beggarmonger Mr. Seamus, he longs to escape. Opportunity arrives when Peter pilfers a mysterious box containing three pairs of eyes. Inserting the first pair, he is magically transported to Professor Cake's island home, where Peter's given a choice: return to his former life or find a vanished kingdom and save those in trouble. Though doubtful, Peter, along with knight Sir Tode (cursed to be part cat, part horse), embarks upon a quest fraught with dangers, unexpected enemies, and allies, where they'll be tested and tried before ultimately realizing Peter's destiny. Evoking Dickens and Dahl, this fantasy-adventure has a classic-storytelling flavor, from archaic prose lightened with droll touches to diversely drawn human and animal characters, including underground-rebel Princess Peg, tyrant King Incarnadine, and brave raven Simon. Despite some predictability and occasionally glib narrator commentary, readers will enjoy the unique Peter, whose adventures, from facing and overcoming hardships to discovering the true meaning of heroism, make for an absorbing debut.--Rosenfeld, Shelle Copyright 2010 Booklist