Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Book Review: Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes

Published by: Abrams Books
Released on: August 1st, 2011
Source: ARC from publisher to review
Ages: 10 & up
4.5 stars- A Captivating, Engaging Adventure

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 so small and nimble that they can slip right through keyholes, and their ears so keen that they can hear the faint 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 child-thieves 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.

Talk about a captivating, engaging adventure! Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes is one part fairy tale, one part epic adventure and one part magical. It's charming, witty and is definitely an unforgettable read. With everything Peter Nimble's story entails, this book has the same feel as the classic, ageless fairy tales I grew up reading or had read to me. Jonathan Auxier's fresh voice combines an array of timeless fairytale elements, and yet creates a story that in unlike anything I've read before.

Peter Nimble is a character who doesn't lack courage, he's humble, and through everything he goes through he's someone who always stays true to himself. His story will pull at readers heart strings as they read about the things he's had to endure and overcome in his young life, but this unique, strong willed, good hearted kid is no weakling. It's true his epic journey will be full of trials, heart ache, fear, doubt, bravery and trust both in himself and his abilities, and in those he meets along the way. Blinded as an infant, ten year old orphan, Peter Nimble has never let that stop him from surviving and being able to take care of himself. He's intelligent and is able to sense what many people with site are blinded by. He's earned the nicname, The World's Greatest Thief, and for a good reason. It seems there's no predicament Peter can't get himself out of.

One of the most enduring aspects of this adventure is Jonathan Auxier's voice and his vivid descriptions of the characters and places Peter travels to. He has a way of bringing the unimaginable to life. I liked how his creativity made for some interesting characters like talking animals, the traveling companion and true friend to Peter named Sir Tode whom is also Knight and a mix between a kitten and a horse. Talking ravens, an evil King, evil talking Gorilla guards, brave children, a long lost Prince, a Princess in hiding, and fantastic eyes who aid Peter on his journey. There isn't a shortage of adults in this story, but the are foreshadowed by the amazing children who are the true heroes in the book.

This is a fantastic heroic adventure with some fabulous twists, action and so much more! Just like the classic fairy tales, there is a great message within the story's pages, along with a mix of heartbreak, happiness, a few scary/mildly violent scenes, and in the end a happily ever after. In order to find out what Peter's happily ever after is, you'll need to read the book. I can safely say, I definitely wasn't excepting it. I highly recommend picking up Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes. This is a book that boys and girls aged 10 yrs & older will really enjoy.
I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~ Anna Quindlen

Good children's literature appeals not only to
the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.
~ Anonymous ~