Monday, January 23, 2012

Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier

Peter Nimble was found floating in a basket as a baby by sailors with a raven that had pecked out his eyes. Not your usual start to a child’s book but the Narrator tells the story with humor and pokes fun at orphan stories; hence, the reader knows that Peter Nimble is no ordinary baby. He was nursed by a cat, tossed in a tied bag into a river and meant to drown, and enslaved by Mr. Seamus, a thief who taught Peter all the tricks of the trade so Peter became the best thief that ever lived. “Until this point,” the Narrator says, “you have been witness to Peter’s rather typical infancy – probably not unlike your own.” Peter meets the Haberdasher whom he steels a box from that contains three pairs of eyes. Peter uses the eyes and ends up on a quest, with a cat-horse cursed knight, to save a kingdom and discover a place for himself in the world.

The characters in the book are fun such as Officier Trolley who says his sentences so fast they sound like one word or Peg who is a no-nonsense in-the-face girl working hard to survive in terrible conditions. The pacing is fast and the Narrator’s voice interesting. The Narrator keeps the violence in the story at a distance using humor – which is good – considering the surprising amount of characters that get killed. The plot has some loose ends that aren’t tied up such as Old Scabbs and why the raven’s killed him. The narrator also explains difficult words in funny ways and sometimes goes too far explaining the plot such as on page 144 when the Narrator foreshadows the thieves betrayal; thus, taking out all the tension in the plot at that point. It’s the only time I felt truly ticked at the Narrator. The author obviously loves Peter Pan and there are references to the classic throughout the story. A fun fantasy adventure.

Reading Level 5.9
:-):-):-) 3.25 out of 5 Smileys

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