Some thank-yous are in order here. Dale Hubert of London, Ontario, Canada, created The Flat Stanley Project in 1995 and continues today as its administrator and editor. He cannot have foreseen how his idea would take hold, how much time he would devote to it. Many thanks, Dale, from both Stanley Lambchop and me!
Let me also express my gratitude to the many schools that have welcomed me, often for a week at a time, to talk about "Flat Stanley" and the four other Lambchop family adventures, and about writing in general. In Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, Tennessee, New Hampshire, New York and other states, I've had the pleasure of being escorted through classrooms, media centers, and libraries displaying student-mailed Stanleys returned from all over the world with letters describing his adventures. And pictures! Stanley at the Eiffel Tower, The White House, Elvis Presley's Graceland estate, in the Space Shuttle DISCOVERY! (Stanley orbited the Earth with the DISCOVERY astronauts: 217 orbits, 4.6 million miles!)
I hope "Flat Stanley" readers not yet familiar with the sequel books will want to read them too. In "Stanley And The Magic Lamp," a young genie, granting wishes for Stanley and his brother, creates a new sort of pet, half lion, half elephant-a Liophant! In "Stanley In Space," the entire Lambchop family blasts off in a top-secret government spaceship to meet with people from another planet! In "Stanley's Christmas Adventure," they all travel to the North Pole to persuade a grumpy Santa not to cancel Christmas! And then there's "Invisible Stanley. Guess what sort of adventures he has in this book!
Whatever you read, keep reading!
In Jeff Brown's own words, here's how the Flat Stanley story came about:
"More than thirty years ago, I was saying goodnight to my now grown-up sons, J.C. and Tony (Flat Stanley is dedicated to them), and JC stalling for my chat time, asked me not to leave the bedroom. He was scared, he claimed, and when I asked him what he was afraid of he couldn't think of anything. As I started out again, he had an inspiration. 'I'm afraid my big bulletin board will fall on me,' he said. I told him that that was ridiculous; the big board on the wall above his bed had been securely mounted by me, and even if it got loose it would do so so slowly that he wouldn't even notice it, just go off to sleep, and by the time it rested fully upon him he'd be sound asleep and wouldn't wake, so the board would just lie there all night. Then I thought of small joke and said: 'Of course, when you wake up in the morning, you'll probably be flat.' Both boys thought that was a hoot and many evenings after that one, we'd make up stories about adventures you could have if you were flat. Best idea I ever had, and I didn't even know I'd had it. Not for many months, until a friend in the kid-book business, who knew about the flat stories, suggested I make them into a book."
Photo by Dale Hubert (c) 2000
Jeff Brown was thinking of ideas for a brand new Stanley Lambchop book when he died unexpectedly on December 3, 2003.
Jeff Brown served on the editorial staffs of The New Yorker, The Saturday Evening Post, Life, and Esquire magazines. His stories have appeared in these and other magazines. For several years, in Hollywood, he was associated with producer Samuel Goldwyn, Jr., later with Pennebaker Productions (Marlon Brando) at Paramount Studios. In addition to the book in which Stanley becomes flat, Jeff Brown has written other stories about the Lambchop family. His last book was Stanley, Flat Again.