Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Big Orange Splot

The Big Orange Splot
Daniel Manus Pinkwater ~ Scholastic, 1977

Another new vintage purchase on a trip to story time at The Red Balloon. I'd never seen this book, but as is always the case with the serendipitous nature of children's books, that same day, We Heart Books posted a link to a Design Sponge story on blogger's favorite childhood books and someone mentioned The Wuggle Norple Story (also by Pinkwater) and Splot as well in the comments. I'm not sure how I missed this 70s classic by the infamous NPR commentator, but here it is... the book my son now refers to as "the one about the crazy house."

Mr. Plumbean lived on a street where all the houses were the same. He liked it that way. So did everybody else on Mr. Plumbean's street. "This is a neat street," they would say. Then one day... A seagull flew over Mr. Plumbean's house. He was carrying a can of bright orange paint. (No one knows why.) And he dropped the can (no one knows why) right over Mr. Plumbean's house.

Well, said bucket leaves said big orange splot, and we all know how well something like a big orange splot would go over on a "neat street". The splot inspires Mr. Plumbean and overnight he transforms his home into something of his dreams. Though they balk at first, eventually, the whole street sees the appeal of living your own life and letting your freak flag fly. A wonderful message in a world all too often consumed with appearances.

Also by:
The Wuggie Norple Story


  1. "My home is where I want to be and it looks like all my dreams."

    Words to live by. Heavens to Betsy, what a book. On of the best in the world. Yay to letting your freak flag fly.

  2. This was one of my favorites when I was little (my first Daniel Pinkwater, I think), and my kids love it now too. They also love Wuggie Norple, Blue Moose (we have a vintage copy of that one), Tooth Gnasher Superflash, and Roger's Umbrella.