Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier

I received this book for free from ALA 2011 in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier
Format: ARC

Peter Nimble has had a fairly normal first ten years of his life, found in a basket with his eyes pecked out.  He was raised by a cat and then kept himself alive lifting what he needed.  Then Mr. Seamus found him and brought him into his not very comfortable employ as a cat burglar.  That was until one day he decided the pick the pockets of a crowd surrounding a Haberdasher… the thing he stole set him on an adventure…

And I can’t say more without spoilers… actually I already feel a little spoilery.  Fantastic narrator, seriously made me laugh out loud.  Especially the very beginning I constantly chuckled.  In some ways it reminded me of The Phantom Tollbooth, but it reminded me of a lot of things all in good ways and it was so original too.  The quirky humor was catching.  The descriptions are a good balance, being in third person allows some to be done normally.  Other things were done more from Peter’s perspective as a blind boy.  They focus on the smells and the sounds and it truly makes for a unique perspective.  I loved the relationships, friendships and family, and the little lessons.  Okay I’m gushing, must focus.

Oh the illustrations!  The chapter illustrations are done by the author, who is a charming man (I can say that I met him on the bus last year).  They give an excellent idea of the characters without being too specific.  I’ll admit I appreciated the help imagining a character as unique as Sir Tode.  The cover is beautiful but I honestly can’t decide if it is supposed to be… location 1 or location 2… or just a book inspired mix.  The crows are in location 2, but if I remember correctly location 2’s clock has no face, or at least no numbers.  Anyway it is so beautiful and perfect that I honestly don’t care if my analytical brain can’t quite make sense of it.

In some ways that is the best way to describe how wonderful this book is.  It is so silly, scary, sad, happy, fantastical that my analytical brain never even bothered to try to think too much because it was having too much fun.  This one definitely goes in the good for every age category!

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