One of the best parts of writing for kids is getting reactions and feedback from readers. I was so excited to receive a message from a very ambitious second grader, asking to send his summer project to the author of his favorite book, Big Mo - hey, that's me! A few weeks later I received a package carrying a very special stowaway, Flat Joe.
Flat Joe is a friend of Flat Stanley, a popular children's book character created by Jeff Brown (and drawn by Tomi Ungerer**) who has become a global tool for children's literacy (click for more). Stanley's story begins when he is flattened by a bulletin board and can suddenly slide under doors, or be mailed in an envelope.
**By the way, Tomi Ungerer is a wildly significant 20th century illustrator, and a personal favorite for his style, quirky creativity, and rebellious nature. I highly recommend the film, Far Out Isn't Far Enough for a deeper look at his life and work. Note: the film is DEFINITELY not safe for children!
Stanley has traveled to countless destinations around the world - to engineers, farmers, zookeepers, world leaders and yes, even authors :) I was HONORED to show Flat Joe around my home of San Francisco, and to share a few educational tidbits along the way. Here are some highlights from Flat Joe's visit:
Joe's Travel Stops
Financial District, California Academy of Science, Fort Mason, Haight/Ashbury, Ocean Beach
I was so inspired by Joe's summer project, that I decided Mo should join me on my recent travels in Eastern Europe. Introducing Flat Mo!
| Note: Enlarge images and hover for factoids |
Mo's Travel Stops
Row 1 | Warsaw
Row 2 | Krakow, Prague
Row 3 | Brac, Makarska, Dubrovnik
Row 4 | Zadar, Rome
Thank you, Joe and Pilar for including me in your world explorations!