Adventures by Disney, HarperCollins Announce "The Search for Flat Stanley's Next BIG Adventure"
Debra Martin Koma
Senior Editor, AllEars.Net
I got up early Monday -- a crisp, cold autumn morning -- and headed into our nation's capital to attend a special Disney press conference announcing a new project by Adventures by Disney and HarperCollins Children's Books.
Disney is teaming with the book publisher to invite children ages 7 to 12 to participate in a nationwide competition -- The Search for Flat Stanley's Next BIG Adventure.
You must know what Flat Stanley is, right? No? OK, some background.
Flat Stanley is a fictional character created more than 45 years ago by author Jeff Brown, in response to his own son's fears that he might be flattened in the night by the falling of the bulletin board over his bed. The resulting character, a four-foot high boy who is only a half-inch thick, eventually became a popular classroom staple -- kids are encouraged to take their own copy of a paper doll Flat Stanley on vacation, or send him to friends and family in various locations. The paper doll's photo is taken in these different spots, and the children then report to their classmates on the character's wanderings.
The tie-in with Adventures by Disney seems natural, as AbD is, according to its vice president Don Gross, all about taking families to new and exciting locations around the world, "immersing them in various cultures and exposing them to new experiences."
At this morning's presentation, representatives were on hand from
Disney (including Gross and Duncan Wardle, vice president for creative inc. at Disney Destinations), as well as the Library of Congress historian, John Y. Cole, who was there to officially induct three books
from the Flat Stanley's Worldwide Adventures series into the Library.
Also present was author Josh Greenhut, who has written the fifth in the Flat Stanley series, the upcoming The Amazing Mexican Secret.
To help launch the new AbD/HarperCollins competition, Greenhut read to a group of children from Washington, DC's Sheridan School, explaining to them the history of the Flat Stanley character and telling a little anecdote about Flat Stanley's travels to DC and his encounter with then-Senator Barack Obama.
The Search for Flat Stanley's Next BIG Adventure will give children ages 7 to 12 the chance to win an Adventures by Disney vacation -- all they need to do is to create a specially themed Flat Stanley with a 150-word story about the adventure.
Entries will be judged in three age groups: 7- to 8-year olds; 9- to 10-year-olds and 11- to 12-year-olds. There will be one winner chosen from each age group. Each of the winners can choose from one of the AbD 19 worldwide vacations.
As part of this contest, a new website has been established that features
Flat Stanley with a variety of backgrounds and accessories, as well as interactive games, and information from AbD to help young writers help develop their plot lines. You can also find official rules for the contest (which ends November 30, 2009) on the site HERE.
You can also read the official press release on the contest HERE.