Stanley Lambchop was smashed flat in the night by a bulletin board that fell on him while he slept. But the newly-minted Flat Stanley takes advantage of his new shape, and goes on to have many adventures.

That’s the premise of the book Flat Stanley: His Original Adventure!, and the basis of countless second grade class projects intended to help students with letter writing and geography skills: kids make their own Flat Stanley (cut out of paper), mail it to a friend or family member to take somewhere interesting, and have them report back on their adventure.

So when I received a Flat Stanley in the mail from my nephew Ethan, I knew I was facing one of my most important clients to date. I was charged with taking Flat Stanley on an adventure (Ethan’s teacher suggested a zoo or museum) and writing a letter about it.

But because I can’t seem to do anything the easy way, I decided to go a little farther afield (in this case, the snowy Sierra Nevada mountains). And, because I couldn’t be content just writing a letter, I drafted Carol into the cause and created a video of Flat Stanley’s adventure.

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