Here comes Clifford

BEST BETS

April 20, 2000|By Tricia Bishop

Clifford's beginnings are as humble as his lovable demeanor. In 1962 his creator, Norman Bridwell, took some of his work to children's publishers, hoping to find work as an illustrator. After Bridwell had received 15 rejections, one editor suggested he create his own story to accompany his art and picked out a sketch of a young girl and her large crimson hound. Bridwell got to work and, three days later, Clifford the dog and his young companion, Emily Elizabeth (named after Bridwell's infant daughter), were born.

"Because Clifford is so big and also because he is a dog," Bridwell said in an interview with his publishers at Scholastic, "he's able to do the most unbelievable and imaginative things." The big red dog has gone camping, visited the seashore and taken a trip to the circus. But don't look for this pooch to fly to the moon or write a book. Bridwell is firm in keeping Clifford's adventures grounded in a dog reality.

Meet the 38-year-old pup Friday at Barnes & Noble in White Marsh, where he'll pass out treats following a reading of "Clifford's Happy Easter." 10: 30 a.m. 8123 Honeygo Blvd., 410-933-9670.

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