Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Book #94: The Big Orange Splot by Daniel Manus Pinkwater

Image from BetterWorldBooks.com
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 to talk some sense into Mr. Plumbean, but the next morning the neighbors awake to find that the man has painted his house to look like a boat! Each time someone goes to Mr. Plumbean about his house, they wind up going home and remodeling their house instead. Now all the houses are different and if you ask why 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.”

The book has a great message – that it’s great to be an individual and to have spectacular dreams– wrapped in a quirky, colorful story. Pinkwater’s illustrations are simple, yet highly imaginative. He used markers to create the illustrations, which creates a very color-saturated atmosphere. The text is straightforward and clear. The sentences are short with many repeating words, making this a great book for an early reader.

After you read the book, have kids draw their dream as a house and have them write a sentence or two on their choice. There are several wordless pages that show some of the new and improved houses. Ask the kids what they look like and what kind of dreams or hobbies the person living in it might have.

Use this story as part of an Orange Day storytime. Ask everyone to wear orange and slice up oranges for a healthy snack. Also check out my post on Red is Best for more ideas for color themed storytimes.


1 comment:

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