By Brian Feinblum, Chief Marketing Officer
Norman Bridwell, creator of lovable children’s book series Clifford the Big Red Dog, died at the age of 86 early this year. Dozens of his books have been published since the first one launched over a half-century ago, in 1963.
Could a dog be big enough so that its owner – a little girl – could ride him? Sure, when you are about the size of a house!
Through he was clumsy and had a tendency to dig things up, the affectionate dog embodied kindness and playfulness. The four-legged creature became a friend to several generations of children, including my two young children.
The New York Times reports that over 129 million copies have been sold. The books led to an animated TV series and a full-length animated film.
Where does Clifford rank amongst other dog books or TV characters? Author Norman Ray Bridwell created something special with this lovable but awkward character. For TV dogs, there’s Snoopy, Goofy, Underdog, Scooby Doo, Huckleberry Hound, Pluto, Jetson’s Astro, Blue from Blue’s Clues, Family Guy’s Brian, Dino from The Flintstones, Dogbert from Dilbert, Mr. Peabody from Rocky and Bullwinkle, Ren from Ren and Stimpy Show, and so many others. But he surely ranks high in the hearts and minds of kids.
There’s nothing better than a children’s book cartoon hero. We don’t forget them for as long as we live.
Clifford will live beyond his owner through the magic of books and screens. What a wonderful legacy a book can be. Years from now a child will read Clifford and feel as one did 60, 70 or 80 years earlier. The author may be dead, but Clifford shall live on, not only for new generations to discover but for existing ones to revel in.
Children everywhere should read a Clifford book tonight. He is sure to entertain kids all over the world for years to come.
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