A Big RED Celebration: Adventures with Clifford The Big Red DogTM Opens at the Family Museum

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record
Adventures with Cllifford The Big Red Dog opens at the Family Museum

Board the Birdwell Island ferry and journey to the world of CliffordTM, America’s beloved big red dog with a heart to match. See Emily Elizabeth™ and many of the residents of Birdwell Island. Inspired by Scholastic Entertainment’s top-rated TV show Clifford The Big Red Dog™ on PBS KIDS, the exhibit offers numerous immersive “paws-on” adventures that reinforce “Clifford’s Big Ideas”—ten simple tangible life lessons designed to help young children navigate their world: Share, Play Fair, Have Respect, Work Together, Be Responsible, Be Truthful, Be Kind, Believe in Yourself, Be a Good Friend and Help Others. Adventures with Clifford The Big Red Dog will appear at the Family Museum Saturday, May 21, through September 4, 2011.

Visit a colossal nine-foot high Clifford with a tail to slide down, just like Emily Elizabeth does on the television show. Help fill Clifford’s big dog bowl with bones using a conveyor belt, create sand art, and find “bone”-ifide treasures at T-Bone’s Beach. Browse the Norman Bridwell Art Retrospective and see 40 years (that’s 280 dog-years!) of artwork and stories by the creator and award-winning author of Clifford The Big Red Dog.

Exhibit Entrance

Welcome to Birdwell Island, the home of Clifford and his owner, Emily Elizabeth Howard. Clifford, the runt of the litter when The Howard Family adopted him, outgrew all the other dogs because of Emily Elizabeth’s limitless love. Clifford outgrew the Howard’s home so they left the city and moved to Birdwell Island. There they made new friends, including Cleo, T-Bone, and Mac.

Visitors enter Adventures with Clifford The Big Red Dog by passing between Birdwell Island’s East and West lighthouses and boarding the ferry. Children and adults can join “Victor” and “Pedro” in the pilot house and try their hand at “steering” the ferry. Visitors hear the sounds of seagulls and ocean waves roaring as they navigate their way to Birdwell Island with the help of a three-dimensional map of the island. Children can move “tourists” around the map and visit Samuel’s Restaurant, the Post Office, Cleo’s Backyard, and all of Clifford’s favorite places on the Island.

Samuel’s Fish and Chips Shack

Say “hello!” to “Samuel” and his son “Charlie,” pull up a stool at Samuel’s Fish and Chips Shack on the pier, and place your order (maybe Samuel’s delicious fish and chips!). Children and adults can enter Samuel’s Shack and role-play restaurant employees working together to restock the shelves, cook, clean, and serve.  Kids can grab an order pad, take orders, and total the bill at the cash register.  

T-Bone’s Beach

No island is complete without a beach! “T-Bone” welcomes children and adults to a bone-shaped “beach” where kids can create sand art with beach toys and hunt for buried treasures.  Kids can follow Clifford’s Big Ideas and “Play Fair” by taking turns hunting for seashells.   

Clifford The Big Red Dog’s Doghouse

A nine-foot Clifford greets visitors in his backyard outside his doghouse. Children can take a seat next to Emily Elizabeth on the giant paws of her big red best friend and slide down Clifford’s tail. Kids can “Be Responsible” by helping fill Clifford’s giant dog bowl using a bone-shaped conveyor belt to keep the crimson canine’s giant dog bowl full of bones.

Inside Clifford’s Doghouse, fans can create pictures, invitations, letters and more using paper, crayons, pencils and other supplies.  They can display their masterpieces in the doghouse, mail them to an Island resident or take them home and bring a smile to a family member or friend.

Emily Elizabeth’s Backyard Theater and The Howard’s House

“Mac” invites visitors to take the stage with Clifford and his pals in Emily Elizabeth’s Backyard Theater. Visitors can choose a Clifford The Big Red Dog video clip as a backdrop on a big screen. Dressed in Cleo, T-Bone, Mac or Clifford costumes, they can get “red”dy to be the best in show. Kids can perform for family and friends sitting in the audience on bone-shaped benches. Young children use their imagination to create their own performance using maracas and rhythm sticks.

Children and adults can visit The Howard’s house, complete with garage. In the front of the house, kids can pick, sort, and replant flowers in a flower box. Fans can “Be a Good Friend” to Emily Elizabeth and Clifford by using lawn tools, watering cans, and a lawn mower to spiff-up the backyard.  

Cleo’s Backyard

Adventures with Clifford The Big Red Dog’s youngest visitors will dig Cleo’s Backyard, designed especially for tots with a soft floor and “stone” wall enclosure. “Cleo” encourages toddlers to crawl through a tunnel or play a shape-sorting activity at Cleo’s doghouse. At the “stone” wall, kids can enjoy activities as they open the doors to T-Bone’s doghouse. Visitors can turn a crank to make Clifford go in and out of his doghouse or spin two tumblers to match Birdwell Island characters to their home.   

Birdwell Island Post Office

Children can join “Mr. Carson” at the Birdwell Island Post Office to help sort and mail letters. Then they can deliver mail and pictures to the Birdwell Island residents’ mailboxes.         

Birdwell Island Library and Norman Bridwell Art Retrospective

Take a break from all the action and cozy-up for a reading adventure. “Ms. Lee” welcomes visitors to the library filled with a collection of Clifford books. Children can practice believing in themselves and building confidence as they share Clifford stories and play Clifford’s Learning Adventures, an interactive CD-ROM on the computer.

At the Norman Bridwell Art Retrospective, “Jetta” invites visitors to view clips from an interview with Norman Bridwell. Children and adults can also browse artwork and get an inside look at Clifford’s character and story development during the past 40 years.