Clifford The Big Red Dog Facts: The Story You Must Read | Kidadl


Clifford The Big Red Dog Facts: The Story You Must Read

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Everyone must have seen or heard of Clifford, the large red dog from the book series.

'Clifford The Big Red Dog' is a children's book series from the United States which was first published in 1963. The first book published was written by the late Norman Bridwell and was a rave from the first one itself.

With around 80 published books till now, 'Clifford The Big Red Dog' is one of the most famous books in the world for children. Bridwell's daughter is the inspiration behind Clifford's owner in the book series. Emily Elizabeth is the name of the owner of the giant dog and the same name was of Bridwell's young daughter. Clifford's size is also inspired by the writer's childhood as he wanted a big dog that he could ride like a pony. Bridwell was planning to name the character 'Tiny', but his wife intervened, and we are so glad she did!


Family and friends of the author played huge roles in deciding the names of the characters. Clifford was the name of an imaginary friend Bridwell's wife had when she was a girl.

Clifford is the main character and is a two-year-old male giant red dog. The dog is owned by Emily Elizabeth and the name Emily Elizabeth is based on the author's own daughter. Clifford had four siblings, two brothers, and two sisters. However, Clifford's parents and his siblings all are sized normally. Only Clifford is huge. Clifford was the runt of the litter. Just because of the love of the little girl, Clifford's owner, he grew so big in size. Did you know Clifford actually has two birthdays? Bridwell decided September 5 as the dog's birthday, but scholastic decided February 5 would be more apt as it is also the birthday of Clifford's creator. You can celebrate on either day.

Emily Elizabeth is an eight-year-old and Clifford's owner. She is also the dog's human friend. She is often shown riding Clifford the dog like a horse. She is named after Bridwell's daughter and based on the imaginary adventures of his wife. The TV series based on 'Clifford The Big Red Dog' gave Emily the surname of Howard.

About The Author

Born on February 15, 1928, Norman Bridwell was an author and cartoonist from the United States.

He was born to Vern and Leona Bridwell in Kokomo, Indiana. Bridwell was rejected by around 15 publishing houses when he tried to get a job as a children's book illustrator. When he was working at Harper & Row, an editor in the company suggested Bridwell turn one of his drawings into a story. The drawing was actually of a young girl and a large bloodhound. 'Clifford The Big Red Dog' was the best of his works and still has so many fans worldwide. It was based on the drawing. The stories went on to make 40 best-selling books, three animated TV series, a live musical, a live-action film, and many merchandises.

Bridwell thought that the bright red hue of Clifford would look nice with the green grass and the blue sky and would contrast well. Also, the color red was chosen as Bridwell had only that color readily available.

Audience Reception

People have always loved the book series, as well as the TV show, videos, and video games.

Some popular books in the series include 'Clifford: Where Is The Big Red Doggie?', 'Clifford's First Snow Day', 'Oops, Clifford!', 'Clifford And The Halloween Parade', 'Clifford Grows Up', 'Clifford Keeps Cool', 'Clifford's Best Friend: A Story about Emily Elizabeth', 'Clifford's Big Book Of Things To Know', 'Clifford The Firehouse Dog', 'Clifford's First School Day', 'Clifford Barks!', 'Clifford To The Rescue', 'Clifford's Neighborhood: Lots To Learn All Around Town', 'Clifford Loves Me!', 'Clifford Goes To Dog School', 'Clifford's Puppy Days: Christmas Angel', and more.

Clifford even had his own TV show from 2000 to 2003 on PBS. It would have run longer, but the show was canceled when the voice of Clifford, John Ritter died. There was nobody as good as John Ritter and the show had to be canceled. A prequel was created in the same year Ritter died called 'Clifford's Puppy Days'.

Clifford became so popular that in around 1986, Karl-Lorimar Home Video released the video 'Clifford's Sing-Along Adventure', which was later re-released by Warner Home Video. 'Clifford's Fun With...', a videotape series was released by Scholastic Studios, Nelvana Limited, and Family Home Entertainment in 1988 with the theme song made by Benjamin Goldstein and Phillip Namanworth. The episodes of this release are - 'The ABC Message Service', 'Clifford's Birthday Surprise', 'The Scavenger Hunt', 'The Rhyme Cat Rescue', 'Clifford Goes to Hollywood', and 'The Pet Show'.

There have been video games based on Clifford

Video Games

There have been video games based on Clifford.

The original series of 2000 includes 'Clifford's Reading' and 'Clifford's Thinking Games'. The modern series include 'Clifford's Learning Activities', 'Clifford's Musical Memory Games', 'Clifford's Phonics', and 'Clifford's Big Puzzle Game'.


How did Clifford the dog get so big?

Because of the love showered by the owner.

What does 'Clifford The Big Red Dog' symbolize?

It is said to symbolize love and early childhood education.

How much does Clifford eat?

He would need around 42.5-71.5 lb (19.2-32.4 kg) each day.

Is Clifford a Vizsla?

The idea of Clifford has been taken from different dog breeds.

Why is Clifford the dog red?

He was red to contrast with the sky and grass and also as Bridwell had only the color red with him.

Written By
Ritwik Bhuyan

<p>A skilled content writer, Ritwik holds a Bachelor's degree in English from Delhi University. He has refined his writing abilities through his past experience at PenVelope and his current role at Kidadl. In addition to his proficiency in writing, Ritwik has pursued his passion for flying by achieving CPL training and becoming a licensed commercial pilot. This diverse skill set highlights his commitment to exploring multiple fields. Ritwik's experience in the aviation industry has provided him with a unique perspective and attention to detail, which he brings to his writing.</p>

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