Jason Jennette

April 15, 2006

Post #1957 – 20060415

Almost 30 years ago, my parents bought me “The Big orange Splot.” Partly because I annoyed them endlessly until the bought it. (I liked the pictures inside!)

They tell me it is the first books I read by myself. Apparently I read it by myself a lot. Out loud.

As I grew older, I got a fiercely independent streak. I have never been one to be “normal.” One day when I was confronted on my stubborn refusal to “jump off a cliff” like everyone else, I effortlessly paraphrased Mr. Plumbean: “My clothes are me and I am them. My clothes are what I like to wear and they look like all my dreams.”

Such a simple and clear statement of independence, it rivals the famous document from July 4th 1776.

On Monday, I have been invited to read for a special needs class in Chattanooga. I dug out my 30 year old copy of The Big Orange Splot, and will be reading it to those very special children. I hope it speaks to them as it spoke to me so many years ago. “Different” is something to be treasured, not stifled.

Thank you for your books that can be enjoyed by 6 year olds, and again when they are 36. Thank you for encouraging children to dream BIG and then live those dreams.

Daniel replies:

Oh, yes--now I remember! That's why being an author is good! Thanks for reminding me.