10 Ways I’d Love My Books To Be Like Flat Stanley

by Jenny Hansen

Flat Stanley at the Beach in Carlsbad, CA


If you’re a North American parent with a child in 3rd grade or beyond, it’s a pretty sure bet you’ve heard of Flat Stanley. Just in case you haven’t, here’s a quick summary:

The Flat Stanley Project

In 1994, Dale Hubert began the Flat Stanley Project in Ontario, Canada. Hubert had the brilliant idea of having children create their own Flat Stanley paper cutouts and mailing them to friends and family around the globe, in order to foster authentic literacy activities for kids and get them excited to write about Stanley’s adventures.

Today, the Flat Stanley Project..encompasses more than 6000 schools registered in 88 countries around the globe, and is included in the curriculum for more than 15% of elementary schools in the US.


I’ve been emissary to at least two Flat Stanleys, helping them to move on to ever-wider circles of adventure. The one you see above is my nephew’s Flat Stanley that arrived in the mail from Kansas City, MO.

[Me being me, I immediately photocopied him and laminated him, just in case I lost him.]

Flat Stanley went all through Orange County, down to San Diego and up to ride the Metrolink in Los Angeles. Then one of my friends was kind enough to take him all over Washington D.C. Flat Stanley even met a girlfriend in D.C.

I’ve posted some pics below so you can see some of Stanley’s adventures.

Flat Stanley at the doctor’s office in the O.C.

Flat Stanley with Hoshi, my first “Baby Girl.”


I had tons of fun with Stanley and so did all my friends. My flat pal inspired this list:

10 Ways I’d Love My Books To Be Like Flat Stanley

1. Everyone passes them on to a friend.

2. At the end of their journey, I’ll know exactly where they went and what they did.

3. Everyone welcomes them at the table (or in the bath or the backyard, or their boat).

4. People want to be part of their story.

5. My books unite strangers around the world.

6. They can travel in any vehicle and provide people with a good time.

7. People can color them with tons of imagination.

8. They’ll be recognized with a single glance.

9. My books will bring a smile to your face.

10. You’ll remember my book long after you pass it on.

Have you ever met a Flat Stanley? What sorts of adventures did you have together? Tweet me at @JennyHansenCA and let me know!



About Jenny Hansen

By day, Jenny provides training and social media marketing for an accounting firm. By night she writes humor, memoir, women’s fiction and short stories. After 15 years as a corporate software trainer, she’s delighted to sit down while she works.

When she’s not at her personal blog, More Cowbell, Jenny can be found on Twitter at JennyHansenCA or at Writers In The Storm. Jenny also writes the Risky Baby Business posts at More Cowbell, a series that focuses on babies, new parents and high-risk pregnancy.

© 2013 Jenny Hansen. All content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact me at the above links to request permission.

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