Clifford's Manners

( 3 )

Overview


Read all about Clifford's BIG ideas! Classic Clifford reissued!

It only takes a little to BE BIG!

Emily Elizabeth taught Clifford good manners. He always says "please" and "thank you," follows the rules, and SHARES with his friends. It's easy to like someone like Clifford: even if he makes mistakes, he always tries to be kind and considerate.

The BE BIG campaign invites ...

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Overview


Read all about Clifford's BIG ideas! Classic Clifford reissued!

It only takes a little to BE BIG!

Emily Elizabeth taught Clifford good manners. He always says "please" and "thank you," follows the rules, and SHARES with his friends. It's easy to like someone like Clifford: even if he makes mistakes, he always tries to be kind and considerate.

The BE BIG campaign invites everyone, big and small, to take action and raise awareness for how CLIFFORD'S BIG IDEAS can make the world a better place.

Everyone loves Clifford, the big red dog, because Emily Elizabeth has taught him such beautiful manners.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545215862
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/2010
  • Series: Clifford 8x8 Series
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 96,540
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.80 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Norman Bridwell

Norman Bridwell is the author and illustrator of numerous children's books, including the beloved Clifford series, which has over 126 million copies in print, in 13 languages! He lives in Edgartown, MA with his wife Norma. They have two children, son, Tim, and daughter, Emily Elizabeth.

Biography

Growing up in Kokomo, Indiana, Norman Bridwell was always drawing. "I was not good at sports and my high school shop teacher, after a few days of class, took my tools away, telling me 'Here's a pad of paper instead. You seem to like to draw: stick to that,'" Bridwell remembers. But not everyone believed his drawings or writing would someday delight millions of children (and parents and teachers) around the world, a point he likes to stress when he visits schools, something which he does frequently. "I always liked to draw," Bridwell tells children, "but I was never considered very good. In school there was always someone better than me; the art teacher always liked their work better than mine. Teachers didn't like my writing either."

After high school, Bridwell wanted to turn his love of drawing into a career. He studied first at the John Herron Art Institute in Indianapolis and then moved to New York, where he took classes at another art school, Cooper Union, for two years. He then went to work as a commercial artist. It was in 1962 while he was working as a freelance filmstrip and slide illustrator and drawing mostly cartoons that Bridwell decided to put together a portfolio of colorful drawings and make the rounds of children's book publishers. Now married, with an infant daughter -- Emily -- he was hoping to supplement his income with some extra work illustrating books.

Bridwell visited about fifteen publishing houses but there were no assignments to be had, and even worse, seemingly little hope for any in the future. One editor at Harper & Row went so far as to tell Bridwell that his art by itself was just not good enough, and she didn't think anybody would ask him to illustrate a book for them. But amazingly enough, she also made the suggestion that helped bring him the phenomenal success he enjoys today. She advised him to write a story to go along with one of his pictures. She picked out his sketch of a baby girl and a horse-sized bloodhound and casually said, "There might be a story in this," Bridwell remembers.

He wasted no time in taking her advice, but he did decide to make the bloodhound even bigger and more of an "all-around" dog -- much like the dog he had wanted as a little boy, one that he could ride and who would be a fun companion. Bridwell remembers speaking to the editor on a Friday, and "By Monday, I had done this little book about a girl and her dog," he says.

Now all he needed were names for his characters. "I wanted to call the dog 'Tiny,' but Norma (his wife) said that was boring and suggested 'Clifford' after an imaginary friend from her childhood," Bridwell says. The little girl's name, however, was easy. Bridwell named her Emily Elizabeth, after his young daughter. He dropped off his drawings and manuscript at Scholastic and tried not to expect anything. Three weeks later the phone rang. Scholastic wanted to publish Clifford the Big Red Dog.

Despite his (and Clifford's) success, Bridwell, like anyone who does anything creative, still can't always predict how others will respond to his work. In just a few hours on the night before he was to meet with his editor about a Clifford book that he had worked on for many weeks, Bridwell drew some sketches and put together the text for what would become one of his most popular books, The Witch Next Door. Bridwell thought he was just bringing along something extra, but The Witch Next Door, about a kindly witch and her friendship with her two young neighbors, was accepted for publication while the Clifford book was rejected. "That's the way it goes," Bridwell says, calling The Witch Next Door a "happy accident."

But what he has obviously learned and what he tries to stress to young writers is that rejection is not a reason to give up. "Sometimes you'll do something that you really like and no one else does. You'll feel terrible, but you've just got to press on and keep trying. If you like doing it and keep working at it, then someday you will succeed."

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    1. Hometown:
      Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 15, 1928
    2. Place of Birth:
      Kokomo, Indiana
    1. Education:
      John Herron Art Institute, 1945-49; Cooper Union Art School, 1952-53
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Bought three Clifford books teaching.

    I bought three Clifford books for a classroom in the Bahamas where I went to teach for a few days. It was part of the class I was taking. It was a good experience and I left the books for the classroom seeing as they had very few books in their "library".

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    love the clifford books-gentle teaching

    Like the whole series, she loves the "Big red dog"and Clifford and friends are not threatening....just different.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2001

    A Useful Way to Help Introduce Manners to Children

    The idea of having Clifford, the Big Red Dog, demonstrate good manners is full of potential fun. Obviously, we all hope Clifford has good manners, because the alternative is too scary to think about! The book opens with this idea: 'Everyone loves Clifford because he has good manners. I taught him myself,' says Emily Elizabeth. You will probably want to reinforce the idea that manners are desirable by pointing out some of their other benefits, such as being the right thing to do, avoiding fights, making everyone feel respected, and helping everyone have a better time. The book emphasizes what to do more than why to do it. But parents and grandparents need to have some role in providing help with the social graces. The book covers saying please and thank you, writing thank-you notes for presents, waiting for one's turn, picking up one's own trash, saying 'excuse me' when stepping in front of others, not talking in movies, using a handkerchief when sneezing, sharing toys with friends, putting toys away, following rules (in playing tennis?), talking when angry rather than hitting, being a good sport (smiling when lose and not boasting when win), calling ahead before visiting, arriving on time, knocking before opening a door, wiping shoes before going in, shaking hands or kissing when greeting people, washing before eating, chewing with a closed mouth, not talking while chewing, helping clean up, and saying good-bye and thank you after a visit. By having Emily Elizabeth support all of these behaviors and having taught them to Clifford, the book sets it up as an expectation that every child should do the same. That's a nice way to establish these practices as the norm, independent of a parent's speaking in favor of them. The book's weakness is that some of the situations in the examples won't make much sense to young children (movie theaters, playing tennis, writing thank you notes before they can write, and visiting one's sister who lives in another residence). But you can talk about those, and add some new ideas into your youngster's life. The biggest missed opportunity is that many of the illustrations could have been much funnier. Obviously, there's a fine line here that should not be crossed because a lot of slap-stick could undermine the messages. But just a teeny bit more humor would have tickled my fancy, and made the material more memorable and interesting. After you finish enjoying this book with your child, I suggest that you think about other examples of good manners that you appreciate providing. For example, even in these egalitarian days, it's still nice to open a door, pull out a chair, and to compliment someone. What parts of the social graces do you most enjoy receiving? Be sure to pass them along, as well. After you, if you please! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution

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