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Book Review: The Emperor of Absurdia by Chris Riddell

I happened to see The Emperor of Absurdia by Chris Riddell on the "new books" shelf last week, when I also picked up When the World Is Ready to Sleep. I picked it up because I thought the title and the illustrations looked silly - and my kids like silly books. I wasn't disappointed.

This is a beautiful book, with whimsical illustrations that are incredibly detailed and give kids plenty to look at. It also has a wonderful story with a dream-like quality that is fun for kids and adults alike. The format is entertaining as well, with some pages showing several small pictures, almost comic-style, and others with text running up the side of the page.

The story is pure fantasy, about a boy who is the Emperor of Absurdia, with a wardrobe monster who helps him get dressed, a dragon that hatches from his lunch - which is an egg, and a bird that steals his scarf. In the end, he "dreams" he is a boy in a normal bedroom, with decorations and toys that look a lot like the like the animals and things he encountered in Absurdia.

My kids really enjoy this book. They love the end where they can match up the items in his room with the items in the rest of the story. It's all that I had hoped for - silliness and fun for the kids, with a story that I enjoy reading as well. I definitely recommend it as a read-aloud book for older preschool and elementary aged kids.

This review was written based on a copy of The Emperor of Absurdia that I borrowed from the library.


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