Saturday, June 29, 2019

Flat Stanley? ... Flat Granny!

  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!  


  1. It is quite obvious that some people have a mine of creative talent that most of us poor mortals could hardly dream of. This is clever stuff!

  2. Wonderful to see someone keeping their creativity and sense of humor as they grow into old age!

  3. What fun! It sounds like Granny was really an adventurous, fun-loving person. Every child should have a granny like that.

  4. Oh I love both of those ideas! That must have been exciting for the kids. Flat Granny must have been really something - what a unique and wonderful way to remember her.

  5. somehow reminds me to gramma and ginga! xD

  6. What fun. The flat Stanley project is amazing for schools. My Grandson's school has a teddy that each pupil takes home at the weekend/holiday periods and takes photos of where Teddy has been. I hope I am as fondly remembered as that very amazing Granny.

  7. That looks like a lot of fun to watch at.

  8. What a delightful way to honor those special times the two of them spent together. I follow a woman on Instagram who is 92. Her account is called "Granny And Her Walker" and I believe it's her granddaughter who photographs her Granny in all sorts of funny and entertaining situations and posts the photos. I have enjoyed that so much. You ought to check them out.

  9. Oh goodness! Promise me you will not tell GN about the Flat Granny thing. But... Flat Stanley was a very fun project for her to do.

  10. How interesting. Such creative minds for these types of things.

  11. That is a funny story. I remember Flat Stanly from teaching days. We used to send a teddy bear to other countries to visit and send back photos and stories of where it had been.

  12. I remember Flat Stanley from my teaching days. A really interesting post that brought back memories for me.