Clifford, the Big Red Dog, has endeared himself to many a young reader. Who does not remember this huge clumsy canine, his antics of digging up flowers, and his affection for Emily Elizabeth - his best friend!
Norman Bridwell, the author of Clifford stories, passed away today at the age of 86. Bridwell, an out-of-work artist, created the character and story in early 1960.
Bridwell's story was rejected by nine publishers until Scholastic decided to publish it in 1963. The rest as they say is history - millions of copies have sold in 13 languages and the Big Red Dog has spawned animated TV shows and a movie.
Interestingly, when Bridwell first came up with his oversized dog, he decided to call it 'Tiny.' His wife talked him out of it, and suggested Clifford after an imaginary character from her childhood days. Emily Elizabeth - Clifford's friend, is named after Bridwell's daughter.
Clifford's stories have kindled the joy of reading in many young children. Two more Clifford books - “Clifford Goes to Kindergarten” and “Clifford Celebrates Hanukkah,” are due to be published in 2015.