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Book Review

This book has been reviewed by Focus on the Family Thriving Family, a marriage and parenting magazine. It is the first in the "Flat Stanley" series.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Stanley Lambchop is a normal boy with a mom, dad and younger brother named Arthur. Then a bulletin board falls on him while he's sleeping. He's not injured, but his body's dimensions change. According to the doctor's measurements, he's now 4 feet tall, 1 foot wide and ½ an inch thick.

Stanley realizes he can do wonderful new things, such as slipping under doors and helping recover his mother's lost ring from a grate in the street. When friends invite him for a visit, his parents save on plane fare by mailing him to California. Arthur grows increasingly jealous of Stanley's new physique and even tries to flatten himself with volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica. Stanley lets Arthur use him as a kite one day at the park. When Stanley continues to show off in the air, Arthur leaves to get some lunch. Stanley gets tangled in the kite string and caught in a tree.

Stanley notices that his neighbor, the director of the city's famous art museum, isn't his cheerful self. His parents read in the paper that art thieves have been sneaking into the museum and stealing valuable pieces. Stanley offers to help catch the crooks by posing as a piece of artwork in the museum at night. To his chagrin, he must dress like a shepherd girl and hang on the wall like a painting. When two men break in, he calls out to alert the police and the museum director. The thieves are captured, and Stanley gets his picture in the paper.

Stanley enjoys a period of fame for his heroic act. But soon, he's tired of being flat and wishes things could return to normal. He has a heart-to-heart talk with Arthur, who blows him up with a bicycle pump to restore him to his original size. The family toasts with hot chocolate to celebrate Stanley's return to normal.

Christian Beliefs


Other Belief Systems


Authority Roles

Stanley's parents praise him for the innovative ways he uses his flatness. They urge him to be understanding of Arthur's jealousy. They allow him to stay a night at the museum to help their neighbor the museum director catch art thieves.





Discussion Topics

Get free discussion questions for this book and others, at FocusOnTheFamily.com/discuss-books.

Additional Comments/Notes

Jeff Brown's books are the impetus for The Flat Stanley Project. School children around the world have participated by mailing, photographing, and tracking the adventures of their own Flat Stanley cut-outs. The first Flat Stanley book was published in 1964.

You can request a review of a title you can't find at reviewrequests@family.org.

Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book's review does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

Episode Reviews

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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