The Big Orange Splot by Daniel Manus Pinkwater

When a seagull randomly drops a can of bright orange paint on Mr. Plumbean’s roof, his house becomes a source of great consternation — not for him, however, but his neighbours, particularly since instead of restoring it to its original neat state, he does the exact opposite. This sparks a colourful chain reaction that changes the nondescript houses and lives of everyone on the street forever.


In an increasingly connected world where even the most trivial news can go viral at the tap of a finger, and everyone reserves the right to make snap judgements even if — or rather, especially if — it is none of their business, it is easy for people to feel compelled to adopt a herd mentality rather than dare to be different, to be themselves, all out of fear of standing out and becoming a target for unwanted attention and criticism.


Thus, books like this, which manage to avoid sounding trite and preachy, but still encourage independent thought and creative expression and, more importantly, the reciprocal acceptance of others’ freedom of expression — even if it’s just a crazy orange splot on their roof — are more relevant and valuable than ever.

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