The Emperor of Absurdia - Chris Riddell
I love books that make my kid say 'I don't get it'. I know some might not agree with that sentiment(the amazon reviews are pretty mixed), but I love it because I know it means my kid was engaged right up to the end and that the little cogs in her brain are working over time. The best way to describe this book is that it's sort of a surreal dream in reverse - leaving the reader to ponder 'Which is the dream and which is the reality?' Sure, it's been done before, but it's still lots of fun when it's done well.

I've been in love Chris Riddell's style ever since stumbling across his illustrated version of Jonathan Swift's Gulliver: Candlewick Illustrated Classic. Others might know him better as the co-creator of The Edge Chronicles. I've not read those yet, but I'll be adding them ASAP! His style is very fantastical and reminds me of a bunch of other artists whose work I admire - Salvador Dali, Dr. Seuss, Maurice Sendak, Tony DiTerlizzi, Barbara McClintock and many more. But his style is quite distinct. For one thing the color palette he uses is borderline garish, but it totally works.

The story is short and simple and could work well as a read aloud for a wide range of ages.