Monday, July 17, 2017

Have You Met My Friend, Flat Stanley?

Flat Stanley, First Edition 1964
It is unlikely that introductions are needed, but in this review I'd like to re-introduce you to Flat Stanley. Nearly everyone has a favorite childhood story that they remember well into adulthood. Do you remember yours? I was a voracious reader as a youngster so I had many "favorite" books. Flat Stanley was definitely one of those favorites. Over the decades, he's been a favorite of many.

There are a small handful of books that were my favorites as a child, so well-loved that I plan on making sure my grandchildren have those same stories. Not so long ago, I had a chance to visit with Flat Stanley again. At first, I could not recall all of the details of the his story, but I could clearly recall that he had become flat and made the best of his situation by traveling. He was such a fun childhood companion. I recall imagining where I would travel if I could just fold myself up in an envelope and mail myself anywhere. Imagine my complete delight when Stanley Lambchop showed up in my own mailbox and spent the weekend in my neighborhood. 


The Original Flat Stanley 


Flat Stanley, the original children's story that inspired me, was written in 1964 by Jeff Brown and illustrated by Tomi Ungerer (pictured above). It is the first in the Stanley Lambchop series. 


The New Adventures of Flat Stanley

Flat Stanley - I Can Read 2

Jeff Brown has since passed away. I hadn't realized that until I took my visiting friend to the bookstore. "We" had gone there to look for a book about Maryland to send home with him as a momento of his visit with me in Baltimore. I saw that Flat Stanley has many new adventures! Jeff Brown had written many stories about Flat Stanley prior to passing away in 2003. 

Since then, additional authors have written about Flat Stanley's Worldwide Adventures

You will find that the books can be found in a variety of reading levels and are suitable for children of many different ages. 


Flat Stanley's Worldwide Adventures

How Did Stanley Lambchop Come to Visit Me?


Are you wondering how Stanley Lambchop arrived in the mailbox in order to visit me over four decades after his creation? The Flat Stanley Project was started in 1995 by Dale Hubert, a third grade school teacher in Canada. It was a project meant to teach and encourage letter-writing by students to each other via sending a Flat Stanley through the mail. Dale Hubert received the Prime Minister's award for Teaching Excellence in 2001 for the Flat Stanley Project. I agree that teachers who go above and beyond in order to engage our youth in learning should be recognized. 

More about the Original Flat Stanley Project by Dale Hubert.

Since that time, amazing teachers are continuing this wonderful project. And Stanley left his classroom in Indiana to come visit me in Baltimore, Maryland. Even though I am a grandmother-aged woman, I was transported to the land of make-believe. Stanley and I had a great time riding around in the Jeep together, watching the Maryland National Guard Warthogs take off from Martin State Airport, book shopping at a local bookstore, and driving around the Baltimore beltway and over the Frances Scott Key Bridge. Then, before I knew it, it was time for Stanley to return home.


Highly Recommended Children's Book and Educational Activity


Whether you are looking for a book to gift to a single child or an educational activity for a group of children, I highly recommend Flat Stanley. It will likely be an experience  that is remembered for years to come. 


dreary, cold morning as Stanley and I hopped in the Jeep

watching the warthogs prepare for take-off

Frances Scott Key bridge


at the bookstore with Flat Stanley




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

7 comments:

  1. What clever pictures you took on your tour with Flat Stanley, Dawn Rae. Do you know I've never even heard of Flat Stanley until your review of him and his books? So glad you introduced me to your beloved childhood character. Now I'm very curious to learn more, especially as I imagine my reading-loving 8-year-old grandson would be captivated by this concept and by Flat Stanley! Thank you.

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  2. I love the whole idea of Flat Stanley. What a great idea to send him all over the world. I don't know if children today would have that same feeling, they have no idea what snail mail is all about. I love that the teacher who thought of that idea was recognized for the efforts made to make reading more fun for children.

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  3. Well, now I am feeling like I had a bit of a deprived childhood. There was no Flat Stanley in my life. How can that be? Nevertheless, it's not too late. Oh no. With books, you can always make up for lost time. Thanks for the introduction. I can tell from the pics that F.S. had a grand adventure during his time with you.

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  4. Based on Flat Stanley's "birth" date, I can see why I missed him as a child, but I'm still not sure how my kids missed him. What a great idea to get children not just reading, but writing. Thanks for sharing his story, and his visit with you, Dawn Rae!

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  5. I have actually never seen Flat Stanley before and I love the idea! What a wonderful way to engage children in reading by giving them a companion they will want to learn more about. Even though my children are grown, this article makes me want to sent a Flat Stanley to both of them. What a really fun idea. Thank you for sharing the memories as well as the fabulous suggestions.

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  6. I never heard of Flat Stanley either. But he sure sounds like my mentor. LOL. Will have to check him out for my granddaughter.

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  7. This is a great idea, what a concept - I hadn't heard of this before. Flat Stanley is travelling the world passport free too - this should be part of every school curriculum

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