Eric by Shaun Tan
No bigger than my palm this little book possesses one of the most charming characters I've ever seen. This is how the story starts: "Years ago we had a foreign exchange student come to live with us. We found it very difficult to pronounce his name correctly, but he didn't mind. He told us to just call him 'Eric'."
I was really surprised by Shaun Tan's unique approach to story telling in this book. He emphasized the main theme which is "difference" by juxtaposing text and images that seem to have no relation to each other. However, when you read the story and see the illustrations, it all makes sense.
Eric was first published in his award-winning masterpiece Tales from Outer Suburbia. There's a great interview between Shaun Tan and Neil Gaiman where they discuss about Eric and Shaun Tan's creative process.