Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Arthur the aardvark charms a new generation

April 18, 2006|From the Associated Press

NEW YORK — Arthur the aardvark is turning 30, but creator Marc Brown says his beloved, bespectacled, slightly nerdy character will always be 8 -- "and he'll never have to take the SATs."

Brown is as shocked as anyone that Arthur and those around him -- including pesky little sister D.W., best friend and rabbit Buster and algebra teacher Mr. Ratburn -- are favorites of a new generation, including his own two granddaughters.

When Brown first put the bedtime story he told his oldest son onto paper, he never expected it would grow into more than 100 books and become an Emmy-winning animated series that ranks No. 1 with PBS early elementary school viewers.

The newest book, "D.W.'s Guide to Perfect Manners," is to be published in May, and 20 new episodes of the TV show are prepared each year. In August, a computer-generated animation version of Arthur is scheduled to make his debut in the Lionsgate DVD, "Arthur's Missing Pal."

"I thought I'd move on to other books. I never expected more than one book about Arthur. Before I knew it, my son outgrew picture books and I had to make the decision whether to stick with picture books or should I go on to chapter books for him. I could've done 'A Day at Hormone High,' but I'd grown fond of Arthur and the other characters. All the characters have become closer and closer to me," Brown said during a telephone interview from his Hingham, Mass., home.

As Brown grew more comfortable in Arthur's skin, he took on even meatier issues than grouchy teachers and the playground's social hierarchy. An episode of "Postcards From Buster," a TV spinoff of "Arthur," featured a lesbian couple. And censorship of children's books was the theme of an "Arthur" episode.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|