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Brighty of the Grand Canyon facts for kids

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Brighty of the Grand Canyon
First edition
Author Marguerite Henry
Illustrator Wesley Dennis
Country United States
Language English
Publisher Rand McNally (1953)
Aladdin (1991)
Publication date
November 1953
Pages 222
ISBN 978-0-689-71485-6 (second printing)
OCLC 305533
Brighty of the Grand Canyon
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Norman Foster
Produced by Stephen F. Booth for Stephen F. Booth Productions
Screenplay by Norman Foster
Starring Joseph Cotten
Pat Conway
Dick Foran
Karl Swenson
Dandy Curran
Music by Phyllis Lavsky
Richard Lavsky
Cinematography Ted Saizis
Vincent Saizis
Editing by Joseph Dervin
Distributed by Feature Film Corporation of America
Release date(s) July 1967 (1967-07)
Running time 89 minutes
Language English

Brighty of the Grand Canyon is a 1953 children's novel by Marguerite Henry and a 1966 film of the same name based on the novel. They present a fictionalized account of a real-life burro named "Brighty", who lived in the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River from about 1892 to 1922.

Book and film

Henry penned her novel after she read an article about Brighty in Sunset Magazine. It won the 1956 William Allen White Children's Book Award.

Thomas McKee, the former manager of Wiley's Camp on the North Rim of the Canyon, read Henry's novel and wrote to express his interest in the book. McKee told Henry that his son, Bob, was Brighty's closest companion. He sent Henry a photograph of young Bob McKee sitting on Brighty's back. Bob became the composite character Homer Hobbs, played in the film by Dandy Curran.

The other film characters include Old Timer, a prospector played by Dick Foran, and Uncle Jim Owen, a man of the Old West played by Joseph Cotten. Pat Conway appears as Jake Irons, who murders Old Timer for his copper ore. Uncle Jim then proceeds to help bring Irons to justice. Theodore Roosevelt was played by Karl Swenson. Parts of the film were shot at the Colorado River in Utah and the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

Brighty's monument

Bronze statue of Brighty
Bronze statue of Brighty of the Grand Canyon, found in the Lodge.

Brighty is honored with a bronze statue in the lobby of Grand Canyon Lodge, a National Historic Landmark, located near Arizona State Route 67 approximately 43 miles south of the junction with U.S. Route 89 alternate route. The sculpture is by artist Peter Jepsen.

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