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The Big Orange Splot

4.40  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,672 Ratings  ·  198 Reviews
When Mr. Plumbeans' house is splashed with bright orange paint, he decides a multi-colored house would be a nice change. This favorite story of creativity and individuality is back by popular demand. Full color.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published June 1st 1993 by Turtleback Books (first published June 1st 1977)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,780)
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Dec 26, 2014 Patrick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A lot of people don't know that I actually taught children's literature for a couple semesters.

This book was one of my favorite finds from that class. It's easily in my top 50 picture books for younger kids.

Top 50 might not sound like a huge mark of distinction, but you need to realize that I probably read 300-400 picture books when I taught my class. And I've easily read another thousand to my little boys over the last couple years, so that puts this book in the top 1% pretty easily.
Dec 02, 2008 Claire rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Your inner artist
Recommended to Claire by: My dad
Shelves: children-s
This was my very, very favorite book as a...oh, who am I kidding. This IS my very, very favorite book!! It about creativity! It is about expression! It is about going against the grain, but not just for the sake of rebellion, but rather to remain true to yourself--even if you've been hiding it for much of your life. It is a wonderful message for kids and adults. The illustrations are simple but rich in color and quirkiness. My favorite part of this book is how little known it is, so it makes sha ...more
Becky Loader
Oct 24, 2014 Becky Loader rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I want to live next door to Mr. Plumbean. I think my house would be painted white, with black dots, music notes, patchwork pieces, and purple iris on it. Mr. Plumbeam has not popped his cork, gushed his mush, or got knots in his noodle. Delightful.
Jay Bushara
Feb 13, 2013 Jay Bushara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A curiously slapdash looking book by the otherwise redoubtable Daniel Pinkwater, who usually farms his illustrating out to someone else. Perhaps this is significant. Mr. Plumbean, seen looking out his window on the cover, vaguely resembles the author. And it’s a pretty exuberant fable for such a simply painted treatment: a seagull flying over Plumbean’s house one day drops a can of orange paint on the roof (“no one knows why”), and everyone agrees that Plumbean should get cracking and besmirchin ...more
Sep 27, 2011 Nicole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those rare picturebooks that will surprise you and become an instant favorite. I was given this book a few years ago by a friend who loved children’s books and it has sat on my shelf unacknowledged since then. Perhaps it was the title or the front cover, I’m not sure, but I am so glad my five year old picked it out to read this week. The Big Orange Splot by Daniel Manus Pinkwater was originally published in 1977 by Scholastic and was recently republished in 1993 due to its cult-li ...more
Amy Forrester
Apr 03, 2012 Amy Forrester rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mr. Plumbean lives on a neat street with identical houses all in a row. And then a seagull drops a can of orange paint on the roof of his house. His neighbors think it’s unsightly and they tell him to paint his house. So he does, but instead of repainting it the original color, he uses a rainbow of colors to cover his house with swirls and dots, elephants and lions. The neighbors are aghast! The next day he adds palm trees and a hammock. The neighbors are outraged! They send one of the neighbors ...more
Nov 10, 2008 Liz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childhood
This is my absolute favorite book from childhood. See, Mr. Plumbean lived on a street where all the houses looked alike, until one day, a bird carrying a pail of orange paint dropped it on Mr. Plumbean's roof, creating the big orange splot of the title. His first thought was to remove the splot, but the more he looked at it, the more he liked it. He even planted palm trees and got an alligator to add to his unique decor. Then, one by one, all his neighbors came over to his house to beg him to re ...more
Catherine  Mustread
I have probably read this book hundreds of times – being one of my favorite children's books of all time. Especially in this era of suburban HOAs (home-owner groups) which allow very little individuality, this is a great book.

Could have read it a few hundred more times if it had been published sooner than 1993, as that was after even my children were grown up.
Andy Shuping
Nov 29, 2011 Andy Shuping rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think a friend introduced me to this title a few years back and I was blown away by it. It's such a simple story and the illustrations are ok, not blow me away fantastic, but the story...the story is powerful and such a great way to introduce the concept of diversity to kids.

When I first read this book I was an Art Education student and knew instantly that this would be a great story to build an art lesson around. I was working with elementary school students at the time and they loved the sto
Elizabeth Vance
May 27, 2013 Elizabeth Vance rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: individuality
One of my favorite books since I was a child, I would take this book from my brother. It is a wonderful story about each person's expression of uniqueness represented through their home. When the neighbor's complain to Mr. Plumbean to paint his house after a bird drops orange paint on the roof, he paints his house all sorts of crazy pictures and colors to represent himself. Soon all of the neighbors decide to paint their homes, each one a unique representation of who they are. The story is a won ...more
Octavia Cade
May 11, 2016 Octavia Cade rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites, childrens
I've just rediscovered this wonderful little book hiding in the far corners of my bookshelf. It was one of my favourites when I was a kid, and I still think it's awesome! Mr. Plumbean and his (alright, it's pretty horrible) house show that there are things better than mindless conformity and the aesthetics of dullness.
Apr 13, 2009 Katherine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
I had more-or-less forgotten about this book until it showed up on Fuse #8's list of the Top 100 Picture Books. From time to time, I remember thinking to myself, "what was that book I liked so much as a kid--the one about that strange-looking house in the neighborhood where all the homes were identical brown?" But I could never for the life of me remember the name of the finer details of the plot. Upon seeing Ms. Bird's right-up, I was instantly flooded with warm memories and sorely tempted to l ...more
"Mr. Plumbean lived on a street where all the houses were the same . . ." until one day, a seagull carrying a can of bright orange paint ("no one knows why") drops the can on Plumbean's house, and a community crisis ensues.

Last night I reread this favorite book from my childhood--realizing, for the first time, that Daniel Pinkwater did the illustrations with markers, which I never noticed as a child. As I turned the pages, one of them fell out, and many others were torn. I can't even count the
Lana Clifton
I simply adore the message of this book: be yourself and express your colors always, no matter how bland others become. The book introduces the reader to a diverse neighborhood, where all the houses look exactly alike. Then one day it happened. Someone (or bird?) decided to step out. The next thing you know, the neighbors are all drinking some funny lemonade and they magically becomes who they truly are on the inside by changing their home on the outside. Warning: this book includes made up word ...more
Blanco Meyers
Jan 19, 2015 Blanco Meyers rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A lot of people will think you have bees in your bonnet, bats in your belfry, and knots in your noodle; but sit under a palm tree, drink some lemonade with an alligator and then set about following your dreams.
현순 최
Oct 03, 2014 현순 최 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: colors, social
Mr. Plumbean lived on a street where all the houses were the same. One day a seagull flew over his house. The seagull was carrying a can of bright orange paint. Mr. Plumbean doesn't change his house eventhough his house has an orange spots. His neighbors want to paint his roof to remove his splots. For a while later Mr. Plumbean began to change his house. His neighbors complain about it. I like this sentence, " my house is me and I am it. my house is where I like to be and it looks like all my d ...more
Carlee Cox
Mar 29, 2016 Carlee Cox rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Big Orange Splot By Daneil Manus Pinkwater is a story about a man whose house accidentally get a splot of orange paint on it. All the houses on the street looked the same and his neighbors asked him to please re-paint his house so they could all be the same again. However, the man repainted his whole house with different colors and designs to reflect his taste and dreams. His neighbors came to talk him out of this, but after each neighbor came to talk with him, that neighbor ended up choosin ...more
Vivian Romero
Nov 16, 2015 Vivian Romero rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Published in the sundrenched colours of 1977, it is about a Mr Plumbean who lived on a nondescript street of similar houses. One day, he is persuaded to paint his house due to a what I’d like to call an artistic clumsy seagull. A kaleidoscope of colours along with the installation of palm trees, baobabs and a hammock, his house glares individuality in amongst the ‘neat street.’ This stamp of individuality ignites a series of visits from his neighbours who try to persuade him to return his house ...more
Jul 12, 2014 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Big Orange Splot" has just been selected as the "Book of the Decade" by every Homeowners Association on earth! Yeah, right. Read lots of the reviews stating this was a book about "diversity", I think not. I think this this was a book that tells kids that it is okay to be different, and that they should follow their dreams. (I have a problem with the word 'diversity' as I believe it has been co-opted by media, politicians, and everyone else that wants to direct how people shall live.)
This is a wonderful story about the uniqueness of people and how your home should be where all of your dreams come true. It is kind of a heavy concept for kids, but all ages can relate to it easily. The text is somewhat small, but the pictures are interesting and it will certainly spark discussion.
Apr 20, 2014 Jill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simple story , childlike illustrations and utterly wonderful! A message every child and adult should hear. I have given this book to nearly every child I know. My kids are grown and we still quote it often. Knots in his noodle!
Sep 06, 2012 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This children's book is really about diversity, but if you've ever hated your Home Owner's Association, you will LOVE this book! We just encountered it at the library and it was a great surprise to discover this book.
Lynn Cansler
Aug 28, 2014 Lynn Cansler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This has to be one of my all time favorite books! It's about being yourself and not caving to pressure to conform. The simple actions of one person can have a ripple effect to many others.
Inspired Kathy
May 17, 2009 Inspired Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally published in 1977 this is a great book about following your dreams and not letting others tell you what you have to be.
Hannah Evilsizor
I think that this book would be appropriate for first through third grade.This book has the theme or standing out and being different. after reading this book I would ask the student to draw what their house would look like if they lived on Mr. Plumbean's street. We could them look at how all our houses were different and that is ok and really cool. This book contains some expressions such as " he lost his marbles" I would want to spend some time on this page to talk about expressions and what t ...more
Jan 28, 2015 Chris rated it it was amazing
Are you the kind of familial black sheep that kids just love? The counter culture weirdo in the family? Or is your whole family a bunch of counter culture weirdos? If any of the above are true, you should give your favorite kid The Big Orange Splot, or really any of the books by Daniel Pinkwater. He's the kind of author who encourages kids to do what they feel regardless of what everybody else might think or say or do. You might think this is a positive quality, important to a child's future hap ...more
This is a story about conformity in a town where all the houses look the same. After an unlikely event with orange paint takes place, Mr. Plumbean decides that his house does not have to look like all the rest. His neighbors however do not enjoy the sudden change and they try to convince Mr. Plumbean to change his house back so it looks like all the rest. As the neighbors visit Mr. Plumbean and try to get him to stop his foolish and unique ways, they each discover a hidden passion of theirs and ...more
Libby In Libraryland
"Whenever a stranger came to the street of Mr. Plumbean and his neighbors, the stranger would say, "This is not a neat street." Then all the people would say, "Our street is us, and we are it. Our street is where we like to be, and it looks like all our dreams.'"

This book irritated me at first because the illustrations are colored in marker. Markers are great for writing words and sometimes outlines, but when they are used to fill in larger spaces, the color inevitably comes out unevenly so that
Christian Houseworth
Mr. Plumbean lives in a neighborhood where all the houses are the same. One day a bird flew over his house carrying a bucket on orange paint. The bird dropped the bucket of paint on Mr. Plumbean's house and it left a big orange splot on his roof. The neighbors complained and complained each day asking Mr. Plumbean to paint his house. Each day he painted his house a different way that was based off his life’s dreams. Eventually, the whole town paints their houses according to their dreams. This b ...more
Darshana Khiani (Flowering Minds)
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 transfo ...more
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Daniel Manus Pinkwater is an author of mostly children's books and is an occasional commentator on National Public Radio. He attended Bard College. Well-known books include Lizard Music, The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death, Fat Men from Space, Borgel, and the picture book The Big Orange Splot. Pinkwater has also illustrated many of his books in the past, although for more recent works that ...more
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