The Books

The Big Orange Splot

by Daniel Pinkwater Manus

One Potato Review

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 concealing. There’s something compelling about the splot however, and maybe even magical: when Plumbean finally does get around to addressing the asymmetry, his paint job doesn’t stop there, in fact it’s the gift of that seagull that is suddenly holding everything else together: stripes and little orange splots and pictures of elephants and pretty girls. When a representative from the neighborhood is dispatched to try and reason with him, Plumbean is ready with an answer: “My house is where I like to be and it looks like all my dreams.” A soulful addition to anyone’s library, young or old.

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