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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's Puppy Days is a sweet, fun cartoon for preschoolers that doesn't have any content to be concerned about. It has the same admirable qualities of the Clifford books and TV series -- a cast of lovable characters who base their actions on positive guidelines about being good citizens -- and sets good examples of pet ownership, kindness, self-confidence, and much more.
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What's the story?
Norman Bridwell's first Clifford book was published in 1963, so most contemporary parents with young children probably enjoyed stories about Emily Elizabeth and her giant dog when they were kids. CLIFFORD'S PUPPY DAYS is an offshoot of the classic series (and a sort of prequel to Clifford the Big Red Dog); each episode starts when Emily Elizabeth and Clifford sit down to recount memories from Clifford's puppyhood. Clifford's size still makes him unique, but in this series, he's the tiniest puppy in town. The show follows his adventures with other animal pals as they learn lessons based on "Big Ideas," a collection of 10 themes that form the pillars of the show's moral messages. These ideas include believing in oneself, being a good friend, being truthful, and being kind.
Is it any good?
Puppy Clifford is admirable because he is caring, friendly, and honest. He occasionally makes mistakes, but he always learns from them by the end of the episode. In that regard, Clifford is a decent role model for young kids who are learning the same life lessons.
Emily Elizabeth's community of Birdwell Island is filled with people of different skin colors and national origins, so the show gets high marks for valuing diversity in a simple, straightforward manner. Clifford's Puppy Days' tiny character might not inspire the same kind of awe as he does in full size, but the show is charming and full of kid-friendly messages.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the lessons Clifford learns in Clifford's Puppy Days. How can your child learn the same things?
Why is it important to tell the truth and be kind to others? What does it mean to be a good friend?
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