Flat Stanley was a popular children’s book series about a boy who gets squashed flat by a falling bulletin board. Making the best of the situation, Stanley discovers he can now do cool things like slip right under a closed door and his distraught parents put him in an envelope and mail him to California. Thus begin Stanley’s travels around the world.
The books inspired a Canadian teacher to create a project where his students mailed a cutout of their own Flat Stanley, along with a story they made up about him, to a classroom in another state. The recipient was to take a photo of Stanley somewhere in his or her town and include information about what Stanley did or saw while he was there and mail Stanley back. When the Stanleys came back to the original school, the photos and letters were displayed, then the students sent them out again on another journey.
Over the years the Stanley projects proved a fun way for students to learn geography and experience the wonders of the world.
By 2011 the project included thousands of classes in 88 countries participating annually, including the schools I taught in!
So, that’s Flat Stanley, there, riding an elephant in India.
Now, who is Flat Granny?
Flat Granny is part of an art exhibit called Suspending Belief at the Jones-Carter Gallery in Lake City, SC. We loved it!
Jenny Fine grew up enjoying and photographing all kinds of adventures with her slightly eccentric Alabama grandmother. Together they dressed up and acted out little dramas for photographs.
After Granny’s death, there were many stories Granny told Jenny that she hadn’t photographed yet and Jenny missed the adventures they might have had had she lived on. That’s how she came up with the Flat Granny idea. Constructing a larger-than-life-size head and hands from a photograph, Jenny used them to recreate Granny to photograph her as she had when she was alive.
Life-size Grannies in the gallery suspended from the ceiling floated and twirled.
Daddy and Flat Granny Dancing in the backyard watermelon patch.
Feeding Flat Granny
My phone battery died so that was all the photos I took, but you get the idea.
Jenny Fine’s Granny must have been a whole lot of fun and an amazing good sport. Definitely someone fun to know!