My son is a huge PBS fan. He loves Curious George, Dragon Tales, Arthur, Sesame Street, and Clifford. It amazes me, because some of these guys were my friends growing up, too. None so much as Clifford, though. I don't remember watching Clifford on TV. This doesn't mean anything. I don't remember preschool, either, but my mom has pictures. I remember Clifford books. Thankfully, my son likes those, too.
Here's why I like Clifford now (aside from the fact that he's still just an awesome dog). Clifford and his friends both human and canine are relevant. By that I mean that the issues they face are issues that kids of every generation face. Sharing, not sharing, lying, telling the truth, doing the right thing, being loyal to friends (or not). Clifford's show also addresses making mistakes and dealing with natural consequences- and staying friends in spite of whatever the mistake was. The kids and dogs aren't perfect and they aren't always kind, but they always work it out by the end of the show. A handicapped girl is encouraged, a toy is returned to its rightful owner, and the show ends with Emily Elizabeth reading a story to Clifford.
There's also Clifford's Big Idea- a short blurb expressing one good thing each day, emphasizing that doing these things make you (and the people around you) feel good. Clifford ideas are simple: Be fair. Share. Be kind. Be helpful. Tell the truth even when it's hard. There's more, but I think you get the idea.
My big idea for today is to take a leaf out of Clifford's book. See if the Big Red Dog is barking up the right tree. If you have kids, find Clifford at your local library or bookstore and read together. I guarantee you won't be disappointed.