the flat s tour

A few weeks ago Karen, one of our testers who has also become a friend, contacted me to see if we would be willing to host a Flat Stanley-based version of her daughter, Bethany, for a school project.

Everyone in Bethany’s class made a flat version of themselves and sent it to a family in another part of the country. The host families were asked to take their visitor around to show them the sites in their area. Pictures were taken and sent back to the class so the kids could learn about how people live in different parts of the country. How fun!

As it happened, I had just cut up an old trade show banner with a life-sized version of our S paper doll on it and wanted to do something similar with our Flat S. So we swapped flat children, and the Flat S Tour was born!




Flat S has just started s making her way around the world, and the exciting part is that we don’t know where she’s going to go! We sent her to Karen to kick off the tour, but after that where she goes next is up to her host family.

Flat S will be visiting friends of Oliver + S all around the world (we hope!), and we’ll be sharing her adventures this year on the blog. If Flat S pays a visit to your home, we hope that you’ll write a little post for us and show us where she goes and what she does during her visit. As photos and tales of Flat S’s exploits arrive here in the studio, we’ll share them with you on the blog. We’re excited to see where Flat S visits and what she does, and we hope you’ll enjoy following her on her adventures too.

To give you a sense of what Flat S might do on her trip, here are some photos of what we’ve been doing with Flat Bethany. We wanted to give her a real New York experience, so we brought her along on a few of our recent adventures.

Flat Bethany rode the subway all over the city. Here she is waiting patiently for her train to arrive. (Flat Bethany is considerably smaller than her counterpart, and I took these photos with my ipad, so they’re not great quality.)




And here comes the train!






Every so often, S’s class hosts a publishing party so parents can read and comment on recent writing projects. Flat Bethany read persuasive essays when she visited S’s classroom.






(Don’t you love Flat Bethany’s cable-knit cardigan?)




On another day, Todd, S, and Flat Bethany headed uptown to run an errand on 34th Street, and then they went to the Guggenheim Museum to visit a friend who works there and wanted to show them a new exhibition. Here is Flat Bethany on 34th Street with  the Empire State Building in the background.




And they managed to sneak a couple of photos at the Guggenheim, because Flat Bethany really wanted to see a Picasso while she was in New York.






Last Saturday we kept Flat Bethany especially busy. We started on the upper east side, where we did a little window shopping on our way to the Whitney Museum.




The girls weren’t terribly impressed by the wedding dress in the window of Vera Wang or by the Louboutin shoes next door, so we moved directly to the business at hand: family day at the Whitney! First, the girls walked the red carpet and posed for the papparazzi.




They posed with a Calder sculpture and made pop-art-themed drawings based on a photo of Lady Gaga.






By then it was lunch time, and we needed to get across town for our next event, so we took S’s pink scooter through Central Park. On our way we grabbed a hot dog, since the weather was absolutely gorgeous and everyone was out enjoying themselves. We even had musical accompaniment to our hot dogs.








The park isn’t quite ready for spring yet, but we weren’t disappointed because we already had plans!






We waved to the headquarters of ABC and grabbed a doughnut and apple cider snack from an outdoor market across the street from Lincoln Center. While we were hanging out, Flat Bethany met a friendly pigeon! (The locals here are very friendly, especially if you offer them a few doughnut crumbs.)








Then we headed to Lincoln Center to pick up our tickets to a Paul Taylor Dance Company performance. (S’s class has been taking dance classes with the Paul Taylor company this year, so she was pretty excited about this.) S and Flat Bethany threw coins into the fountain at Lincoln Center, and then it was time to go find our seats.






Flat Bethany posed in front of the stage before the performance.




And afterwards, we even got to go backstage to meet some of the dancers and to say hi to a friend who was working with the wardrobe department.






Flat Bethany is on her way back home now, accompanied by some souvenirs she collected during her visit. We hope she enjoyed her trip, and we’re excited to see where Flat S goes in her travels! Stay tuned; she’ll be checking in next week with a report on her visit to Real Bethany.




  1. What fun! So far, only one of my kids has done the Flat Stanley project in their class but we’ve hosted various “Flats” from relatives and friends. It’s a great opportunity for the kids to learn about other places and cultures.:)

  2. Karen (real Bethany's mom)

    Speechless again and smiling all over. Thank you, S, for showing her such a wonderful time. 🙂

  3. Looks like flat B had lots of fun!!

  4. So how do we get in touch with Flat S? I’ll be doing some fun traveling this year and would love to bring her along!

    1. Rachel, to be honest, we’re not really sure! Part of the fun of this is that there’s no plan to where she’s going, and we won’t know where she is until we hear back from whomever has her at any given time. Anyone who gets her gets to choose where to send her next. She’ll be going to people who are fans of Oliver + S (because, really, who would know what this huge paper doll was if they didn’t follow us?), and we’re guessing our customers will know other customers and will pass her along that way. That said, I’m guessing people will begin posting about her in the discussion forums, so you might want to check in there.

  5. darci

    i cant believe how many things Flat B managed to do. uptown, midtown and back down- she was all over!

  6. dianelyons

    Went to see the Paul Taylor dance company!! Really, how lucky can you get?!

  7. susan vh

    My grandson’s Flat Liam got lost in the mail!!!! No telling where he has gone and what he is doing!!! Wonder if he will make it back home again???? Now that should be an interesting tale.

  8. wowza what a trip for Flat B!! I love seeing all the adventures she goes on 🙂 I hope I get to meet Flat S this year 🙂

  9. Celeste Anderson

    I am Flat Bethany and the real Bethany’s teacher. Thank you for participating and responding. This project opens the world to our students. It makes that big map of America on our class room wall come alive. And it gets those who receive a Flat out into their own backyards for a little local adventure. Happy Spring everyone!

  10. liz f

    What a great idea! I can’t wait to see where S shows up!

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