We have all heard the saying that a dog is man’s (and woman’s too) best friend. We love dogs so much that they even have their own special day—National Puppy Day! Canine companionship has been around for eons and extends from pets to working dogs. Whether they are snuggle buddies, sled pullers, or law enforcement assistants, dogs play a significant role in our society and in our hearts. So it should be no surprise that their popularity also carries over into children’s literature and playthings.
Everywhere you look, stories and movies show a main character with a dog companion. Mickey Mouse has Pluto, Charlie Brown has Snoopy, and Shaggy has Scooby Doo. One of the most famous fictional dog characters is Clifford. First published in 1963, Clifford the Big Red Dog is a book series that chronicles a larger-than-life canine on his adventures with his owners and dog friends. Though Clifford started out as a small puppy, the love of his owner Emily made him grow to monumental size. He is a sweet and gentle creature that sometimes gets into trouble, usually by pure accident due to his size. The books series was so popular that it was adapted into a PBS show in the early 2000s and remains a favorite among children today.