The Emperor of Absurdia

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Chris Riddell
Aug 2006
The commonplace and everyday form the backdrop to Chris Riddell�s latest solo outing, �The Emperor of Absurdia�. Extending the intriguingly imaginative worlds established in his earlier works such as �Horatio Happened� and �Mr Underthebed�, �The Emperor of Absurdia� is firmly grounded amidst the familiar landscape of a child�s bedroom.

Elevated to monarchical standing, the Emperor of Abusrdia awakes from a most extraordinary dream to be ably assisted in the act of dressing by a wardrobe monster, alas however, it becomes apparent his scarf is missing, a scarf hunt is embarked upon, the fruits of which are the finding of his snuggly scarf in the nest of the pointy bird.

During lunch, the Emperor�s egg hatches into a dragon that flies off. Ensnared within the excitement, the Emperor now embarks upon a dragon hunt. After riding his trusty tricycle through the flower beds, the umbrella trees, the pillow hills and over the bouncy mountains, the Emperor is on the verge of giving up when he spots a series of footprints leading to a deep dark cave, the contents of which lead to an Emperor hunt!

There is a wonderful sense of absurd symmetry as the Emperor is chased back across the bouncy mountains, through the pillow hills, under the umbrella trees and towards the flower beds. Saved by the pointy bird who captures the Emperor�s snuggly scarf in his beak, the Emperor makes a bid for freedom, tumbling through air into the arms of the Wardrobe monster. Deciding to look for his scarf again tomorrow, the Emperor goes to sleep and has the most extraordinary dream bringing the tale neatly to its conclusion but also back to its beginning.

Much pleasure is to be had looking at the bedroom and determining those objects which branch off into the surreal to form the dreamlike land of Absurdia. Observant readers will discern the details of the endpapers as they spring from the apparently sombre and sobre to the delightfully lively and diverse. From beginning to end - and back again! - this is a picture book that will enthrall, enrapture and enrich with its enchanting depiction of the imaginative worlds of early childhood.

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This page contains a single entry by Jacob published on November 17, 2006 9:54 PM.

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