EXQ2Based 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 this edition, David Litchfield created the head, Melissa Guion created the torso, and Tina Burke created the legs. (Click on the image to see the media file.) Author Rebecca Gomez supplies the words…

Leo Fishonelli loved to dress up. Not in a suit and tie and fancy shoes, but in costume. To Leo, every day was just like Halloween!

On this particular morning, Leo climbed out of bed in his favorite flowery flannel pajamas, stepped into his purple slippers, and stood staring at the costumes lined up in his closet.

“What to wear? What to wear?” wondered Leo.

He’d worn the clown costume last Tuesday. He’d dressed as a ninja for his sister’s birthday party last week. The kangaroo suit was too warm, the bumblebee jumper had holes in it, and the shining armor was dented and tarnished.

Leo scratched his mane for a moment. “My wardrobe is too dated,” he declared. “It’s time to mix things up!”

He started with some dramatic face paint. “There. I look like a luchador!”

Once his make-up was put away, Leo dug through his trunk of odds and ends, searching for inspiration. What he found was the middle section of tuna costume. He dug further, but the head and tail were nowhere to be found. Leo examined the tuna closely. “Hmmm…this has promise!” he said. “It just needs a few little touches.”

An old fishing line, complete with hook and bobber, turned out to be just the thing! Leo wrapped it around the tuna and tied it securely. “Perfect!” he declared.

Leo pulled the tuna costume over his head, grabbed the bottom with his paws, and pulled down until his head popped through he top and his arms were pressed securely at his sides.

“You look fantastic!” he said to his reflection in the mirror. Then he happily marched downstairs, ready to head out for the day. But there was just one problem.

How was he supposed to open the door?

View an alternate Exquisite Corpse, with a different middle section by Melissa Guion HERE.

David Litchfield‘s The Bear and the Piano will be released by Frances Lincoln in September 2015.

Melissa Guion is the author and illustrator of Baby Penguins Everywhere! (2013) and Baby Penguins Love Their Mama! (2014), both from Philomel Books.

Tina Burke is an Australian writer and illustrator living in Canada. Her works include Ruby Makes A Friend (2009) and Sophie’s Big Bed (2006).

Rebecca J. Gomez‘s debut picture book, What About Moose? was co-authored with Corey Rosen Schwartz, illustrated by Keika Yamaguchi and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers in June 2015.

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

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