My first book of the year--Nurk: The Strange, Surprising Adventures of a (Somewhat) Brave Shrew by Ursula Vernon. The author is someone whose art I've followed for years. I've even got a tshirt with one of her paintings on it. She specializes in weird animals, or not so weird animals in weird landscapes. You can find her website here, I definitely suggest you look at it.
As for the book, I really quite loved it. Nurk was entirely adorable, the dragonflies were quite nifty, and all the obstacles to his efforts were wonderfully bizarre, like the living salmon tree, the wall of enormous mushrooms, and the Grizzlemole. I loved the fact that Nurk had to rescue a prince rather than a princess, and the writing was always humorous and pleasing.