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Literature / Arthur

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Arthur is a children's book series by Marc Brown. The series stars a young glasses-wearing aardvark named Arthur Read in a World of Funny Animals.

The series began in 1976 with Arthur's Nose. Since then, it's expanded into other media, including several Living Books games, a long-running cartoon that began in 1996, and a short spinoff of the cartoon. Due to the popularity of the cartoon, it in itself has also received several children's books.


Arthur provides examples of:

  • Anthropomorphic Shift:
    • Arthur was originally a normal aardvark with a long nose. Over time his nose shrunk to the point where he's interchangeable with bears like the Brain.
    • Early on, the characters weren't all fully-dressed. Some didn't wear pants, while others were outright nude.
    • Fur Is Skin wasn't originally used. Characters had fur-toned colors, such as orange cats or grey rhinos.
  • The Bully: Francine bullied Arthur for his nose in Arthur's Nose.
  • Early Installment Character Design Difference:
    • Arthur didn't wear his signature outfit and he had an aardvark-like nose.
    • Francine originally had a clearly defined muzzle. She also wore dresses, which is something she almost never does.
    • The Tibble Twins were originally humans instead of bears.
  • Dream Episode: Arthur in a Pickle mostly consists of Arthur dreaming that he is in a town of pickles and later sent to pickle jail.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • The first books featured more more non-mammalian animals than usual, such as owls. Arthur's classroom also consisted of characters that were later scrapped. In Arthur's Nose, his best friends were Francine, an unnamed bear, an unnamed bird, unnamed twin cats, an unnamed giraffe, and an owl.
    • Arthur's family wasn't named in the original book.
    • Arthur was a first grader in Arthur's Nose, not a third grader.
    • The books featured humans early on.
  • Lions and Tigers and Humans... Oh, My!: The first few books featured humans, but this was later done away with for a World of Funny Animals.
  • Pet Contest Episode: In Arthur and the Dog Show, Arthur tries to train his dog Pal to win a competition. While Pal is unable to learn tricks, he ends up winning the competition due to being the most loving dog.
  • Sickness Equals Redness: When Arthur is sick in Arthur's Nose, the front of his snout is red.
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  • Token Human: In the early books, the Tibble family were the sole humans in a town of Funny Animals,
  • World of Funny Animals: The world of Arthur is a mundane world, except that it's populated by (predominantly mammalian) Funny Animals instead of humans.

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