The Emperor of Absurdia by Chris Riddell

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The Emperor of Absurdia by Chris Riddell

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: The Emperor of Absurdia tumbles from his bed into the arms of the Wardrobe Monster and so begins his dreamlike adventure which finally ends in his own, small boy's bedroom. An enchanting bedtime story which will stand the test of time.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: June 2007
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
ISBN: 978-1405090285

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The Emperor was fast asleep in the softest of soft beds which looked suspiciously like a flower, when the hoots of the sky fish nibbling the umbrella trees woke him and he tumbled out of his high bed. This wasn't entirely a tragedy as he fell straight into the arms of the Wardrobe Monster who is nowhere near as scary as he sounds. In fact he's the kindest of kind monsters and dresses the Emperor in some wonderful clothes and together they set off in search of the snugly scarf...

Absurdia is a land where nothing is quite what it seems. Trees are birds, but then umbrellas are trees. The sky is full of snoring fish and there's a dragon in there too all ready to have the most amazing adventure in this dreamland where supper is followed by lunch.

It is, of course, all a young boy's dream, superbly illustrated by Chris Riddell. The pictures have an almost translucent dream-like quality about them and they're all done in pale colours and exquisite detail. Even having looked at the book two or three times I'm still noticing small details - the two birds tucked up in bed together and slumbering peacefully, or the world-weary expression on the face of a fish. My favourite illustration is the last in the book where we see the young boy's bedroom with toys which look just like the birds and dragons of Absurdia. You'll even be able to see how the bedding played its part.

There's a pace to the book which makes it ideal as a bed-time story. We begin with the excitement of the tumble out of bed and the puzzle of quite what is happening to the young Emperor followed by the thrill of the dragon chase with its scares and tumbles. Finally the young Emperor falls back into the loving arms of the Wardrobe Monster who gives him a big cuddle before settling him down to go to sleep.

The strength of the book is in the illustrations but the text is fun and with enough repetition to allow the younger children to anticipate what's coming next. There's a good range of vocabulary which isn't dumbed down for the young reader and I'd expect it to be a book which would stand the test of time.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending this book to The Bookbag.

If you like this book you might also enjoy Ottoline and The Yellow Cat by the same author or the classic Dr Seuss book The Cat in the Hat.

Buy The Emperor of Absurdia by Chris Riddell at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Emperor of Absurdia by Chris Riddell at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Emperor of Absurdia by Chris Riddell at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Emperor of Absurdia by Chris Riddell at Amazon.com.


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