About the book
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
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 small enough to slip right through keyholes, and their ears keen enough to detect the faintest 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.—JONATHAN AUXIER
First step hire an amazing illustrator that will bring something fresh to the project. His name Gilbert Ford! Gilbert and I had just finished the cover of Tom Angleberger's Horton Halfpott so I was well aware of his talents. While working on Horton, Gilbert punched out a bunch of ideas right on the first go around this time was no different. I had an idea working in my head but I wanted to see what Gilbert came up with first. No reason.
Below are Gilbert first round of sketches and his explanation behind each idea.
This has peter nimble blindfolded, representing blind, and a crown on his head. On each jewel shows one of the three different pairs of eyeballs. This represents the jeweled eyes in his crown that gives him power. It also alludes to him being a prince. The characters are Sir Tode, Simon, one of the apes, and Frederick the fish. At the bottom is the ship and the air balloon the cat and raven ride. The back cover would be done in a similar fashion to the front, making room for bar code and text.
This plays with the idea of turning the silhouette of the boy's eye into a die-cut. I was also thinking that the keyholes could be die cut. I thought that the two symbols of a lock and eyes could be used like they are linked together. On the back are the ravens, which turns to sky and sand and then the hot air balloon over the desert. Room for text in the white area. Not sure if the type should be treated differently.
The keyholes are literally his eyes (since they are holes, too, having no eyes) but also the holes represent both his talent and his weakness, and opening new doors- his fantastic eyes can take him places. In the decorations around the border are the literal eyeballs. I am wondering if they should just be gold so that you don't see that they are eyeballs immediately. I was thinking of just treating the boy in dark blues so that if you want to make the key holes into a die cut, it will show up.
The E's in peter are eyes. The silhouettes of the boy shows him looking and there is a color radiating out as if it takes him to another dimension.