Monday, August 09, 2010

This is a CHILDREN'S book? What on Earth...?

Why, yes, that IS a car full of gun-toting criminals trying to outrun police that you see below. And even better, one of the criminals is actually shooting his gun at the police!



On the next page, we see that the kindly police officer-- the one who we're teaching our children to trust and go to in case they're ever lost or in trouble-- is leaning out of the car with his gun and preparing to shoot back. Clifford and Emily Elizabeth are mere feet away and likely to get killed in the crossfire, but they look pretty excited about it.




And to top off this excellent book, I noticed that Clifford's brother Nero (the rescue dog at a fire station) is helping to put out a fire at a bodega on pages 9-12. "That's weird," I thought. "In the book Clifford's Family, I'm sure that Nero also helped put out a fire in a bodega. Does this author have a thing about bodegas being on fire?"

"I remember this from Clifford's Family," my astute 3-year-old interjected. Just to check, I pulled out the book... and found out that pages 9-12 in Clifford To The Rescue (Scholastic, 2000) are identical to pages 13-16 in Clifford's Family (Scholastic, 1984). Yes, 4 pages that have exactly the same illustrations and the same text except for a few words. WTH, Norman Bridwell? So I looked into matters a bit further and noticed on the fine print on the copyright page, Clifford to the Rescue cites nine different Clifford books that this one is copied from, and calls it a "compilation." No idea which book originally had the gun-waving police chase in it, but it appears to be from the 70s or 80s, a time when we also thought it was okay that Tom and Jerry bludgeoned each other with hammers.

I guess that makes it... better?

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