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Reviews for The Eyes and the Impossible

by Dave Eggers

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

A wild dog who serves as the Eyes for Bison living in a park enclosure devises a plan to free them. Exuberant, observant dog Johannes runs daily throughout the park, which is visited by humans, reporting to Freya, Meredith, and Samuel, three old Bison who are the Keepers of the Equilibrium. Johannes and other Assistant Eyes—a sea gull, a squirrel, a pelican, and a raccoon—describe an art museum being built in the park, a “building full of chaos-rectangles.” Johannes finds it captivating, leading to his capture by humans—and subsequent rescue by the other Eyes in a demonstration of interspecies cooperation. This gives him the idea to free the Bison. The appearance of goats, who have been brought in to eat weeds, provides a friend, a revelation, and a new plan and purpose: “to pull off the impossible.” Johannes’ first-person narration is an interesting mix of poetic language, sophisticated vocabulary, philosophy, humor, hyperbole, and both short declarative and run-on sentences; his estimations of time, size, and quantity are particularly exaggerated. Johannes’ loyalty, friendship, and commitment to a noble purpose, even as his sense of self shifts, the stakes are raised, and last-minute changes to the plan occur, make him an admirable character. The artwork consists of double-page spreads reproducing magnificent fine art landscapes into which Harris has seamlessly inserted Johannes, cleverly adapting to each painter’s style and color palette. One remarkable creature vividly shows readers that “there is so, so much to see.” (author’s note, sources) (Fiction. 9-14) Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.