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Clifford the Small Red Puppy: 01/28/10
My children love the Clifford cartoons that run on PBS: Clifford the Big Red Dog and Clifford's Puppy Days. They also enjoy Clifford the Big Red Dog by Norman Birdwell. A common question for both of them is: "How did Clifford get so big when he was so small?" Clifford the Small Red Puppy answers the question and if I had just bothered to check out the book sooner from my library, I could have given my kids the answer quicker!
Clifford as anyone who has watched the Puppy Days cartoon knows was a teeny tiny puppy. He's too small for the smallest collar. As the book explains, not only was he small, he was also a sickly runt. Emily Elizabeth though takes to him and decides to give him a home and is told by her parents that he probably won't survive the winter.
But everyone knows Clifford somehow as an adult is a thriving, healthy giant dog. Runts of the litter do sometimes go on to be the strongest but it's a difficult and up hill battle. The answer for Clifford's success is wrapped up in a little bit of magical realism and follows similar logic used in The Shrinking of Treehorn (link to review).
The solution delighted both of my children and finally put to bed the question of how come Clifford is so big. If you want to know how, go read Clifford the Small Red Puppy. It's a short and delightful book.