Flat Stanley (book review)

Flat Stanley, by Jeff Brown (1926-2003) is recommended for children ages 6-10.  It was first published in 1964.  Brown wrote the book after he told it first to his own children as a bedtime story.  It is nicely illustrated and 44 pages in length.

There are now many adventures of Flat Stanley and several in the format of “I Can Read” that are recently published and available in the juvenile sections of your public library.  Why this book escaped my attention when my children were young I do not know.  I borrowed the book from my library to read to my granddaughter this week. Since she is five and a half years old, I read it by myself first so I could tell it to her.  That also gave me the option of excluding a few slang words I usually don’t use.

Stanley is a little boy who has the misfortune of having a bulletin board fall on top of him while he was sleeping and for many days existed as a boy just a half inch thick.  He can now slide under doors, fly as a kite, and travel by mail.  That is just a few of his experiences.

These whimsical books will endure for years and years to come because the tales are amusing while including the lives of real children.  Stanley’s brother, Arthur is not flat, yet they adventure together.  Don’t let this book escape the attention of your children or grandchildren.  Look for it in your library, or buy the original story on Amazon.com.  Should a copy appear in a garage sale, snatch it up with a wide smile!

It is nearly a weekly visit that my granddaughter and I take to the public library.  It is part of our weekly time together.  We borrow some picture books, and a movie.  Perhaps this blog has some grandparents who could do the same thing.  When we read together it is also a time of casual conversation when we can talk about the need to be kind and courteous.  It may well be the way to teach life values that Jesus would have teach even using the means of a library book.  There is no need to lecture because the stories teach the children in a calm setting seasoned with a loving parent or grandparent, or auntie, uncle, or family friend.

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