Okay, we’re thinking that it’s just kind of fanciful that February 14th is also the birthday of Clifford the Big Red Dog. We get the Valentine’s Day connection, but it’s probably more specific to say that Clifford turns 50 years old this month. We know for sure that Clifford the Big Red Dog–as written by Norman Bridwell–was first published in February of 1963. Maybe the idea was to get the book into stores in time for Valentine’s Day. After all, it’s the big love of little girl Emily Elizabeth that allows Clifford to grow so huge.
We also know that Norman Bridwell is still with us. He’s 84 years old, and we hope he’s having a great time watching Scholastic Books still make a very big deal over his creation. Same goes for his daughter Emily Elizabeth. Yep. It seems Norman really kept Clifford as a family affair. And don’t forget that Clifford’s huge size makes the Howard family move out of their apartment and off to Birdwell Island. Norman could afford to buy himself Bridwell Island nowadays. After all, there have been over 40 Clifford books, plus two television series. That’s added up to 126 million books in print in 10 languages. The Clifford series really worked out well for everybody.
And there are lots of way to celebrate Clifford the Big Red Dog online. Scholastic is good about things like that. They couldn’t get a special Google homepage for Clifford, though. The inventor of the Ferris Wheel got that honor today. There’s still a “Clifford’s BIG Birthday App” available on Google Play. That’s pretty cool. Your kid can also send Clifford a birthday card at the Scholastic site. And things can get educational if your kids celebrate Clifford’s birthday over at the BIG Red Word Scramble on Facebook.
And, as noted, there’s plenty of Clifford the Big Red Dog television to be watched. We’re old, so here’s the video for the series of our youth. You can still watch the second series on PBS, though. It’s in its twelfth consecutive season on PBS KIDS, and still has John Ritter as the voice of Clifford. That’s despite John Ritter dying back in 2003. Well, that’s the nice thing about Clifford and animation being immortal. Now sing along, if you like, and eat a Valentine’s Day chocolate for Clifford…