So. First, this storybook idea. There's three possibilities here. I dunno who needs to hear this, but I'm gonna send it to you and let you can do what you will with it. Or you could tell me who it should go to, and how to get it to them.
First: comics, aka graphic novels. Do not even entertain this possibility. There are skills unique to comics that most artists and writers never need to pick up. The workload is massively disproportionate: I can write a script in two days that will take two months to draw and ink. Comics would require an extremely coordinated team, with exemplary communication skills, patience, and maturity... without which, the project will most surely end in blood, tears, and butt-hurt for all.
I don't think that's what you had in mind... if anyone even brings up the possibility, send them my way. I will give them such a lecture, their head will will spin through all of Season 3.
Second, storybooks. This involves full page illustrations, and a block of text. The amount of text per page depends on the target age group, the upper end being about enough to cover half a page. The actual word count would vary depending on the font size and page size. A fair number of artists could handle this kind of work, but probably wouldn't believe they could. These illustrations can be extremely elaborate, fully detailed, and have full backgrounds... but they don't actually need all that. The images just have to fill page space, and the artist can simply do whatever they're capable of doing. Heck, these kinds of illustrations often look good in pencils alone.
You could probably expect a full page illustration to take four to seven days for an artist to make. So, still a major disparity in workload.
Fourth: illustrated novels. These are basically paperback books with the occasional B/W picture inserted into them. If you've read any Choose Your Own Adventure novels, Sherlock Holmes, or classic sci-fi or fantasy, you've probably seen some of this at some point. An illustration takes up about a half to a quarter of a page, and usually focuses on a single subject: character or two, an object, a room, a building, stuff like that. The point is to give the reader's imagination some material to work with, not to give them a full visual of the scene. It's kind of like having a picture of your OC for roleplaying, except that the images aren't limited to characters.
This would be a much more viable option. A one-to-one artist/writer ratio would be much more plausible, and many more artists would easily be capable of handling this kind of work. The workload balances itself out, since there's no specific number of illustrations required for each story.
As for the whole "last kid picked" thing... let contestants go looking for partners on their own.
DuncanR and I were thinking of doing something like this... We might be able to put together an example.