Interview With Norman Bridwell,
Creator of "Clifford, the Big Red Dog"
This interview originally appeared in the Winter 1996/1997 issue of Canis Max.
Canis Max: How old is Clifford?
Norman Bridwell: I wrote the first Clifford book in 1962. It was published in 1963.
CM: How popular is Clifford? How many copies of the books have sold?
NB: 60 million copies sold.
CM: How many languages have the books been translated into?
NB: Translated into Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Italian, Danish.
CM: Does he receive any fan mail?
NB: He gets quite a lot of mail.
CM: Has there been an animated version of Clifford on TV or video?
NB: There have been five or six video tapes done but no TV show or movie.
CM: Any merchandising?
NB: Plush toys, games, puzzles, glasses, tableware, etc., etc.
CM: What inspired you to write the first Clifford book?
NB: I made a painting of a small girl with a big red dog as an art sample. I showed it, with several other pictures, to editors. I
wanted work as an illustrator. Nobody was interested. Then I wrote a story about the dog. Scholastic Books bought it.
CM: Do you own any dogs or other pets now?
NB: I have had four dogs in my life, all small. I always wanted a big one I could ride. Now we just have two cats.
CM: Can you tell us a little about your professional background?
NB: I studied art for four years and worked in commercial art for twelve years before Clifford. No books published before
CM: Is there any message that you hope to convey to children through your stories about Clifford?
NB: Clifford means well, but makes mistakes. He does his best, and his faults are forgiven. Even if he isn't perfect, Emily (his owner) loves
CM: What's in store for the future? Are there any new Clifford books coming out soon?
NB: There are two books finished: "Clifford's First Valentine's Day" and "Clifford's Spring Cleanup." Both come out next spring.