Based on an old surrealist game, Kinderlit’s Exquisite Corpse pairs up three illustrators to collaborate on the creation of a character; the catch is that none of three know who the other two are, nor what their contributions look like. To add a little twist, after we assemble the pieces we send the creation to a children’s book author to write a little something inspired by our Exquisite Corpse.

In our inaugural edition, Fred Blunt created the head, Gabriel Alborozo created the torso, and Airlie Anderson created the legs. (Click on the image to see the media file.) Author Stephany Aulenback supplies the words…

This is Mr. Eustace, Antony’s fourth grade teacher. When Antony’s class was doing family trees, Mr. Eustace told the class that his mother was a flamingo and his father was an accountant.

“He looks more like a monster to me,” whispered Evangeline to Antony.

“I know, right?” agreed Antony.

Mr. Eustace does look like a monster and a rather grumpy one at that. But he is the nicest teacher Evangeline and Antony have ever had. In addition to the regular subjects, Mr. Eustace makes time to teach the children things like judo, yodelling, and ballroom dancing.

When it is your birthday, Mr. Eustace gives you a cupcake on which he has painted your portrait in your favourite flavour of icing. He also gives you a book; one that he thinks is perfect for you. And he is nearly always right.

When Astrid told the class her grandmother had died, Mr. Eustace burst into tears. In fact, Astrid had to take him to the school nurse because he was hiccupping so badly. He is sensitive, but he is also very brave. Once, on a class trip to the potato farm, Mr. Eustace leaped in front of a tractor to save Norman’s mother from being harvested.

None of the children want to leave Mr. Eustace behind when they move on to grade five with Mrs. Flaxon.

“Maybe she won’t be so bad,” said Antony.

“I don’t know,” said Evangeline. “Mrs. Flaxon looks just like a witch with duck feet. She’s probably awful.”

They’d been worried about their third grade teacher, too. She’d had the face of a shrimp and arms like elephant trunks. But she’d been a lot of fun.

Some lessons take a long time to learn. Unlike yodelling.

Gabriel Alborozo‘s Good Night, Firefly was release June 2 by Henry Holt. Read Gabe’s Proust-Esque Questionnaire.

Airlie Anderson is the author and illustrator of the popular Momo and Snap Are NOT Friends, from Child’s Play International. Read Airlie’s Proust-Esque Questionnaire.

Stephany Aulenback‘s first picture book, If I Wrote A Book About You, was released in 2014 by Simply Read Books.

Fred Blunt‘s first book as author and illustrator, Captain Falsebeard in A Very Fishy Tale is coming in July from Puffin.

The Exquisite Corpse was assembled by actor / director David Tompa. You should follow him on Twitter.

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