Delightful stories now rereleased as a collection feature Stanley Lambchop who has been squashed flat after a bulletin board fell on him during the night. He finds he enjoys being flat – he can get into hard-to-reach places, slip under door cracks instead of using door handles, and have all sorts of adventures. Stanley travels to space, becomes invisible, meets a real genie and helps solve an art gallery theft!
His relationship with his younger brother is wonderful. Stanley is encouraged to look after him and help him when his brother feels jealous because he too wants to be flat. By the end of the stories when Stanley becomes a famous hero, younger brother Arthur is shown as content and happy, having pasted a photo of the family on his wall and written “Hero’s brother” with an arrow pointing to himself next to Stanley.
There is more good in these stories than meets the eye. For example, readers are encouraged to work out what “deceitful” means in regard to whether to buy a movie ticket for an invisible Stanley. His mother insists on paying for his ticket even if he is invisible. When the tickets are paid for Stanley, sits on his dad’s lap to watch the movie with the people behind easily able to see through Stanley to see the movie. Authority figures such as policemen, doctors and teachers are presented as helpful and knowledgeable, but never as all-knowing. When he becomes invisible it is shown that he shouldn’t use his power to eavesdrop or spy on others. All in all, a very enjoyable read with just enough of the adventure element to really capture children’s interest.
A former children’s librarian, Jane Fagan is currently a full-time mother of two.