How ‘Clifford, the Big Red Dog’ started

Norman Bridwell, the creator of “Clifford, the Big Red Dog,” shares how the books and TV series about the lovable, giant dog and his pal Emily Elizabeth got started.

It was 1963, and Norman Bridwell, the father of an infant daughter, was broke and desperately searching for work as a commercial artist in New York City.

Figuring he had to try everything, Bridwell put together a portfolio of illustrations and began to make the rounds of children’s publishers. He didn’t have any luck, but an editor at Harper & Row looked closely at one sample, which showed a little girl with a huge red dog, and suggested that “there might be a story in this,” Bridwell recounted in a recent interview.

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