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The Big Orange Splot Paperback – June 1, 1993

4.9 out of 5 stars 173 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Daniel Pinkwater is the author of many books for children, including "Bear in Love," illustrated by Will Hillenbrand, and a series of books about Mrs. Noodlekugel, illustrated by Adam Stower. He lives in New York State.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 550L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks; Reissue edition (June 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0590445103
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590445108
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 9 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (173 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Allen Greenbaum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on October 25, 2004
Format: Paperback
We first read this book to our son when he was a toddler, now that he's ten, we still use it as a way to encourage his (and our) appreciation of others' choices. Pinkwater is one of the great storytellers and educator its around, and this book deserves as wide an audience as possible. It's that good. As usual, Pinkwater doesn't spend much time on developing a plausible plot: Things just happen, and, because of his dry matter-of-fact tone, you accept it. One day a seagull with a can of bright orange paint "dropped the can (no one knows why) right over Mr. Plumbean's house." The resulting big orange splot upsets the neighbors, who all live in identical brown housed with gray roofs and green shutters. When they ask him to paint his house (to get rid of the orange splot), Plumbean follows the letter--but not the spirit=-of their request. He paints the house red, yellow, green, and purple. He adds more splots, strikes, and "elephants and lions and pretty girls and steam shovels."

The neighbors are aghast. In a recurring motif, the neighbors exclaim that something must be wrong with their neighbor: "Plumbean has gushed his mush, lost his marbles, and slipped his hawser." Mr. Plumbean resists their pressure, explaining in one of many memorable lines from the book: "My house is me and I am it. My house...looks like all my dreams." One by one, over tall glasses of lemonade, Mr. Plumbean casually talks to the other neighbors, one by one, about their own dreams. The following day, each neighbor expresses those dreams through his or her house.

The book isn't so much about nonconformity as about self-expression, or what Maslow called "self-actualization." That everyone eventually paints their house in wild colors is not so much a new form of conformity, but rather the flowering and unafraid celebration of their individuality, and an acceptance of this in others. Very highly recommended; it may be a book you'll treasure for years to come.
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Format: Paperback
Let your dreams become your reality! Make waves! Be who you are, not who everyone thinks you are! Share your dreams and bring joy and a sense of freedom to all who come in contact with you! These are the messages of "The Big Orange Splot", Daniel Pinkwater's utterly, delightlful tale. Mr. Plumbean turns the disaster of the "big orange splot" of paint dropped on his roof by a sea gull into an opportunity to break away from the constraints of conformity. You will smile as you read how his daring actions liberate his whole "neat street". Recommended for children and adults who all need reminding that there is still a child in all of us. I LOVE this BOOK!!!!!!
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Format: Paperback
The Big Orange Splot is, according to me, the best children's book I have ever read. It shows children (as well as adults) that being yourself is the right thing to be. Creativity is sometimes stifled in this world, and this book shows that it is a wonderful thing to be creative. This book helps the reader to grow as an individual, and to heighten their level of self-esteem.
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Format: Paperback
This book was a joy to read! It shows how rewarding it is to be an individual. The plot: Mr. Plumbean lives in an Edward Scissorhands type of neighbourhood until a seagull drops a can of orange paint onto his house. After some thought, Mr. Plumbean decides to ignore the requests of his neighbours to keep the neighbourhood "neat" (thus painting his house back to the original colour). He, instead, decides to create his own space where "he likes to be and (that) looks like all (of his) dreams". His joy is infectious. In the end, all of his neighbours decide to paint their houses to reflect their own dreams. What a great ending! A good book to send to your neighbourhood CCNR. (Oh, and my 4-year-old loved it too!)
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I have been a teacher and librarian and have read this book to probably several thousand children. It is the very best book to read aloud. It gets gasps, smiles and laughs from every group. Best of all, I never get tired of reading it. I gave it to an art teacher who used it for a project. Ask students to draw a picture of their Plumbean house and to write an explanation of it.
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I have been trying to find this book for years and years and years. It is the one book that I remember from childhood--really it founded my beliefs about individuality and hope and how to live life. Over the years, I have asked countless librarians and book store owners if they knew of the book's name--and no one ever did. I was beginning to think I imagined it....for it over the years, I never could find it. A friend just gave it to me for my children because she thought I might like it--I can't tell you how happy it has made me! It's just wonderful.
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Format: Paperback
Our copy of The Big Orange Splot is dog-eared from reading. Mr. Plumbean, whose house is splotted upon by a paint-wielding seagull, expands himself by creating the home of his imagination. He causes a revolution on his neat street, not combatively, but persuasively, by living his dreams and inspiring his neighbors to do the same. This book takes the band from around the conformist's heart and allows it to expand to fill one's personal space. Please read this to your children often.
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This book was a childhood favorite of mine. As an adult, it's now a standard baby shower gift. The story and artwork are a delightful, quirky way of introducing and reinforcing the idea that uniqueness is good. Fitting in with the crowd just because everyone else does makes for a blah, boring world.
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