Clifford’s Birthday Party

Picture Book

Bibliographic Information: Bridwell, Norman. Clifford’s Birthday Party. New York: Scholastic, 1988.

Plot Description:
Emily and her big red dog Clifford invited friends to his birthday party. At first no one showed up, because they didn’t think they had gifts special enough for Clifford. Emily convinced them that Clifford would love any gift, and everyone went to the party. They played with a big ball, a piñata, a sweater, an electronic dog, and a beauty parlor certificate. None of the presents were quite right for the two-storey dog, but he appreciated them all. They ate cake, and Clifford’s dog family showed up for the party. Having family and friends around was the best gift of all.

Quantitative Reading Level: Lexile: 450; Accelerated Reader: 2.5

Qualitative Reading Analysis:
This book is written in third-person, focusing on the relationships between Clifford and Emily and their friends. It teaches the reader that the best things are not material.

Content Area: English, Friendship, Birthdays

Content Area Standard:

  • CCSS for Literature for K-5: #1 Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text; #3 Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges; #7 Explain how specific aspects of a text’s illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story; #10 Read and comprehend literature in grade level text complexity range.
  • CCSS for Informational Text for K-5: #4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 2 topic or subject area; #7 Explain how specific images (e.g., a diagram showing how a machine works) contribute to and clarify a text.
  • CCSS for Foundational Skills for K-5:  #4 Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
  • Note: There are a wide range of Clifford books, as well as a television show.

Curriculum suggestions:
This is a great picture book to use in English Language Arts Curriculum. It is best suited to kindergarten through 2nd grade. It explores themes like birthdays and friendship.


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