Seeing the world via post

I had a few embarrassing moments in the city this week, as I took photos with a laminated cardboard cutout – as part of the Flat Stanley Project.

Do you remember a kid’s story from younger years entitled “Flat Stanley” (first published in 1964) ?

It was about a kid who had a bulletin board fall on him, squashing him flat as a sheet of paper.   This meant that he could be posted to California for a holiday.

Well, some creative teacher in the U.S. has devised a learning program in which kids do a cartoon copy of the character from the story, and post around the world.  It’s a new way of learning about other countries.

I have a work colleague in Plainfield (suburb of Chicago, Illinois) who asked if I could show Flat Stanley around my home town of Melbourne (Australia).

Here’s the blurb of the note I received :

Our first grade class is currently reading the book Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown.  In the story, Stanley, the main character is flattened by a bulletin board that falls on top of him while he is sleeping.  Luckily, he isn’t hurt, just flattened.  In the story, Stanley wants to visit some friends in California, so his parents fold him up, put him in an envelope and mail him to California.  What a way to travel !

To help our class learn about our world in a new way, I am mailing Flat Stanley to you.  I hope you will be a gracious host and show Flat Stanley around your town or city during his time with you.  Please write about the places Flat Stanley visited and the things you did together.  Send the letter, Flat Stanley, and any pictures you may have taken or postcards you may have collected, back to my school by Jan 18.  My class can’t wait to hear about Flat Stanley’s “adventure” with you !

Here’s a few of the pictures I took in downtown Melbourne.  

Now you know why I had some odd looks from pedestrians – and passers-by !!

Flat Stanley - Melbourne (1)  Flat Stanley - Melbourne (2)  Flat Stanley - Melbourne (3)  Flat Stanley - Melbourne (4)  Flat Stanley - Melbourne (5)

… and here’s the letter on it’s way to “Mrs. Hollenbecks’s Class” :

Dear Carter,

G’day !! Thanks for sending me to Australia, I had a great time in Melbourne.

The people I stayed with were nice – Chris & Donna have two boys – Cameron (in photo next to Christmas tree – is nearly 3) and Liam is nearly 3 months old.

It was very hot there for Christmas, as you can see in the photos. Was even up to 40 degrees on some days (100+ F) – I nearly melted !

Was funny to sing Christmas carols about “dashing through the snow”, when people are wearing shorts & T-shirts.

We went for a swim on New Years Eve (was very hot that day !) Daylight savings meant that it was daylight until 9 o’clock at night.

Chris took me into the city where he works, and we went for a look around at lunch time.

We saw lots of trams in the city, and went past Flinders St Station – and Federation Square.

Also – the Yarra River that runs through the middle of the city – I wouldn’t want to swim there – but looks nice (see the photos).

I’ve included all the photos we took on a CD, and some shortcuts (links) to Google Earth, so that you can see where we took the photos.

And some postcards and travel brochures that you can show to the other kids in your class.

Thanks for my trip “down under” – will be great to go sight-seeing elsewhere again soon.

It feel great to be home !!


Flat Stanley    🙂

And a few postcards / travel brochures / etc.  

Hopefully Cameron and Liam can try out the Flat Stanley Project when they get to Primary School !


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