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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Clifford the Big Red Dog is a reboot of the TV series of the same name and before that, the children's books by Norman Bridwell. The stories are rich in examples of friendship, kindness, and empathy. Clifford and his human friend, Emily Elizabeth, pair up for imaginative adventures of their own concoction through either make believe or some unexpected task that presents itself to them. They are resourceful and clever in how they solve problems and they always take joy in helping other people. These sweet stories are an excellent pick for well-rounded preschool entertainment.
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- Kids say
What's the story?
CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG follows the adventures of a young girl named Emily Elizabeth (voiced by Hannah Levinson) and her giant canine best friend, Clifford (Adam Sanders), as they explore their quaint home of Birdwell Island and make new friends along the way. With imagination guiding their way to all kinds of new experiences, Clifford and Emily make each day special by tackling challenges, solving problems, and playing make-believe, always with an eagerness to help others if the need arises.
Is it any good?
Lovable, loyal Clifford still easily wins over viewers more than 50 years after he made his entrance in children's books. He's everything a child could hope for in a BFF; he's gentle, empathetic, and up for just about anything his gregarious person suggests. What's more, he's an equal partner in it all now that he can talk with Emily Elizabeth, which allows them to share their thoughts and ideas in real time.
Clifford's adventures remain a solid go-to for screen time of substance. There's always an obvious lesson to be learned or a skill to be practiced at a pace that's just right for preschoolers. Conflict exists in mild and manageable ways that usher in opportunities to practice being a good friend and citizen and reinforce messages of kindness. Above all, the stories in Clifford the Big Red Dog demonstrate the value of imaginative play.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what inspires the characters' adventures in Clifford the Big Red Dog. How do they use their imaginations to create opportunities for play and learning? What are your kids' favorite ways to play make-believe?
In what ways are Emily Elizabeth and Clifford good role models of friendship and kindness? Do they ever disagree? If so, how do they resolve it? What benefits do they get from welcoming new friends to their group?
Kids: How does the characters' curiosity pay off for them? Why is curiosity a good quality to have? What other character strengths do you see in this show's characters?
- Premiere date: December 6, 2019
- Cast: Hannah Levinson, Julie Lemieux, Adam Sanders
- Networks: PBS Kids, Amazon Prime Video
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: Adventures, Book Characters, Cats, Dogs, and Mice, Friendship
- Character strengths: Curiosity, Empathy
- TV rating: TV-Y
- Available on: Streaming
- Award: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: April 24, 2020
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