Perfect Picture Book Friday – The Big Orange Splot

This review is part of Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book series. Visit her site’s Perfect Picture Books to see the other books recommended.

Title: The Big Orange Splot

Author & Illustrator: Daniel Manus Pinkwater

Publisher: Scholastic, 1977

Suitable for: K-3

Themes: Individuality, Self-Expression

Opening Sentences:

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.

Synopsis: An orange splot on the house inspires Mr. Plumbean to transform his house into something of his dreams. The neighborhood is inspired to make their dreams too.

Activities: This story is perfect for teaching kids individuality and self-expression, that it is okay to be yourself. You can find numerous activity plans created by fellow teachers by doing a Google search. The link I have provided here is suitable for young kids. It involves the child drawing the house of their dreams on Mr. Plumbean’s street and writing a sentence about it. Here is a link to another activity plan which is more involved.

Why I Like this Book: This book teaches in a very creative and simple way, that it is okay to be yourself and that people will still like you. Heck you may even inspire others. The story teaches kids to be confident in who you are but without arrogance. Mr. Plumbean was brave in making his house into an explosion of color and disrupting their neat street. When the neighbor came over to discuss the house situation, Mr. Plumbean simply offered a glass of lemonade and good conversation, resulting in the neighbor transforming his house as well.

The story is illustrated with bright, bold, gorgeous colors done in a simple drawing style that mimics the art of kids. The writing uses colorful and funny expressions. “Plumbean has popped his cork, flipped his wig, blown his stack, and dropped his stopper!”


11 Responses to “Perfect Picture Book Friday – The Big Orange Splot”

  1. I could tell I would like the book as soon as I saw the title! Reading your review made me realize I would LOVE this book!

    Thanks, Darshana!

  2. Darshana, a very unique choice. I love the book, the story, illustrations and the beautiful message fo kids! I’m glad you showed a page from the book, because it says it all. Great selection!

  3. Darshana, I love books with such themes. I love how one person’s confidence to express their individuality encourages others. The illustrated page you have shown us is wonderfully bold.

  4. This sounds like a wonderful story with an important message, and I love that it’s an older one. The expressions you mentioned are delightful, and the illustrations are so engaging! Thanks for sharing this one – it looks like a treasure!

  5. Sounds awesome! You can’t go wrong with Daniel Pinkwater!!

  6. Very cool! Learn to be different 🙂

  7. This one is a classic-may it always stay in print! 🙂 I need to remember to grab this one off the library shelf and read it to my little ones at school.

  8. A fun message and looks like fun illustrations too.

  9. One of my favorites. We frequently give this as a birthday or even new baby gift. Anybody teaching art in a classroom (or even scouts) can use it as a jumping off point for great discussion.

  10. Cool idea, that reminds me of Scotland and Austria, the only places I’ve seen coloured houses. Lovely!


%d bloggers like this: