Candlewick Press, $7.98, 278 pages
What happens when sixteen celebrated children’s book authors and five illustrators play a writing game? The end result is The Exquisite Corpse, a progressive story filled with adventure, suspense, humor, and fun. Readers may be familiar with the format – one person begins a story, stops at a critical point, and the next person takes over and adds their own style and ideas. It adds up to a tale so entertaining that it will become a family favorite. Although officially marketed for readers ages 9-12, anyone who likes a fun, fast paced read will appreciate the story. Eleven-year-old twins Nancy and Joe are on a quest to rescue their parents who are stuck in another dimension. Along the way, they encounter a talking pig, a roller skating baby, werewolves, mutant egg aliens, plenty of disguises, jokes and puns, a narcoleptic clown, and even more craziness. Yes, the story jumps around and can get quite silly, but that comes along with the unexpected surprises on every page. After reading this creative tale, children will want to experiment with their own writing style. Try a family progressive story. Take turns writing sections and drawing illustrations. It will be a memorable experience for everyone.