Flat Stanley

Jeff Brown

Pictures by Scott Nash

Flat Stanley.

“When Stanley got used to being flat, he enjoyed it. He could go in and out of rooms, even when the door was closed, just by lying down and sliding through the crack at the bottom.

Mr. and Mrs. Lambchop said it was silly, but they were quite proud of him.

Arthur got jealous and tried to slide under a door, but he just banged his head.”

Stanley Lambchop, it turns out, is the hero of a series of children's books by the writer Jeff Brown. Flattened to the thickness of half an inch when a large bulletin board falls on him during the night, Stanley enjoys quite a number of adventures before his younger brother (the aforementioned Arthur) discovers that he is able to return Stanley to his former shape using a bicycle pump.

While in his flattened state, Stanley gets rolled up so his father can carry him easily, mailed to California on vacation (much less expensive than going by plane or train!), and even flown like a kite. In another chapter, Stanley gets to help catch two art thieves, when he points out to the museum director that he can disguise himself as a painting in order to spy out who the thieves are and how they steal the artwork right off the walls of the museum. Stanley wants to disguise himself as a cowboy, and wear a bandanna over his face, but the director has other ideas.

“No,” Mr. Dart said. “You will have to wear the disguise I have chosen.”

From a closet he took a white dress with a blue sash, a pair of shiny little pointed shoes, a wide straw hat with a blue band that matched the sash, and a wig and a stick. The wig was made of blond hair, long and done in ringlets. The stick was curved at the top and it, too, had a blue ribbon on it.

“In this shepherdess disguise,” Mr. Dart said, “you will look like a painting that belongs in the main hall. We do not have cowboy pictures in the main hall.”

Despite his disgust at having to dress as a girl, Stanley dons the disguise, climbs into an empty frame, and eventually helps catch the robbers, whereupon he is declared a hero by the town, and awarded a medal by the Chief of Police. Be sure to read all about Stanley's adventures – you can even find him on the Internet at www.flatstanleyproject.com.

Copyright © 2005, S. Halversen.
All Rights Reserved.