amazing, fantastic, captivating visit at Emerson School from Jonathan Auxier, the author of Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes. He brought such energy and enthusiasm to our students as he shared about his book - the whole room was captivated, each and every student. That energy is still buzzing through the school and community. Our local bookstore has already had parents requesting Peter Nimble, saying their child couldn't stop talking about it. Here's a silly picture of me with Jonathan - you can get a sense of the excitement his visit generated!
Jonathan has written all kinds of stories - movie scripts, comics, plays - but Peter Nimble is his first book. He told the kids that he needs their encouragement, and that really helped them get involved in the presentation. He has put together an amazing presentation, complete with yo-yo tricks, costumes and student volunteers that had the kids alternating between laughter and rapt attention. He's developed a yo-yo routine that will knock your socks off, timing tricks with his summary of the story. When Peter is at sea in his baby basket, Jonathan performs a "cradle" with his yo-yo. The kids were amazed and totally captivated. Here's a picture of Jonathan with our student reporter, August, and our 4th/5th grade teacher Ms. Gray, showing that great books can bit a bit scary - watch out for thieves in the night!
Peter Nimble has been circulating all fall, but now kids are asking for it like crazy (yay!). I'm hoping they read it, thinking about some of the books that influence Jonathan - books about orphans, thieves and things that don't seem exactly the way you suspect. We've already had kids check out two of the books that Jonathan mentioned: Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson (whose Blind Old Pew "scared the snot" out of Jonathan when he was a kid), and "The Hitchhiker" from Roald Dahl's collection The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More.
Peter Nimble is a great adventure story, but one with a lot of depth, humor and heart. I hope it reaches kids and families, and was so happy to be able to share this experience with our students at Emerson.
So most of all, I want to say a heart-felt thank you to Jonathan, for spending the time with us at Emerson, for bringing his enthusiasm to kids everywhere, for lighting our imaginations on fire with the sense of possibility and adventure in his story.
If you have the opportunity to invite Jonathan to your school, jump at it. If you know any parents or teachers in Pittsburgh, call them and tell them they need to invite him to their school. Your 5th and 6th graders will love visiting with him! If you have a book club that loves fantasy, contact Jonathan about possibly doing a Skype visit. Honestly, this is an opportunity too good to be missed!
While my original review copy was kindly sent by Jonathan Auxier and Abrams Books, I have since purchased two books for my home library and two more for my school library! If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books (at no cost to you!). Thank you for your support.
Review ©2011 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books.