This book review is going to be a little different than the previous ones I had. I am going to focus on a whole series of children’s books called Clifford the Big Red Dog. Many of you know of Norman Bridwell’s works, and many of you have read at least one of Clifford’s stories. It is with regret that I inform you of Norman’s death. It is a sincere tragedy to lose such an important author who was instrumental in my early childhood development.
I remember when I was in Mrs. Northcott’s first grade class. She teamed us up in pairs of four and had us sit around 5 or 6 baskets with 5 books in them. Every 10 minutes or so, we would rotate to another basket. I remember, in quiet a few baskets, Clifford the Big Red Dog was there. I devoured the books, and I became impatient when someone was reading the last book in the basket, and I would become annoyed if I couldn’t read the last book before we moved onto the next basket.
Clifford’s stories taught me about how everyone is different, and the most important part of life is, even with huge differences with one another, how to get along and handle those differences. For the sake of what is good and for the sake of those we love, we cannot abandon them. Norman taught us through his writing from an early age that this is important and critical in how we learn to grow up.
In a day and age where everyone seems to be offended and at everyone’s throats, reflecting back on the lessons taught by Clifford the Big Red Dog is humbling. We are all just big red dogs, but a constructive society can only come if we learn to love and appreciate our difference without regards to how we view each other in proportion. Remember, big or small, we are all created equal. Norman epitomized through his writing this belief, and his books, undoubtedly the world, has benefited from it.
From one reader and writer to another, I will miss you Norman. You were inspiring, and one of the many authors in my youth who motivated be to pick up the pen. Your life will live on through those many people you have touched. I give all of your books 5 stars.