Meet Martha

Someone should teach Martha to play dead. 

*Having a dog learn to speak after eating alphabet soup is a solid premise, but it would have been more compelling if the effects weren't permanent but rather required her to eat that meal periodically to maintain her gift  
*The humor isn't laugh-out-loud funny, but has a cute edge to it
*I'm not sure who the illustrator is (maybe franchise creator Susan Meddaugh), but the pictures are colorful and pop off the page 

*The whole "clue key" idea might have seemed fun in theory, but in practice it's super frustrating to have to flip back to the first page to identify certain terms (why is it my job to remember the daughter's name when I see a picture "clue" of a girl) 
*As my wife so adeptly pointed out, we don't like when pages are split-screened with conversation bubbles on top and a storyline on the bottom (which one do you read first) 
*Karen Barss made two questionable plot choices: one where Martha gets thrown in the kennel and one where there's a freaking burglar in her house

On one of those rare occasions where we let my son catch TV at night, we flipped by the WETA Kids channel when Martha's show was airing.  After about two minutes of watching it, I was willing to put on anything else to make it go away.  Her voice was irritating, and the plots were pretty lame.  [Although nowhere near as irritating and lame as that abomination called Caillou.]  But, my boy didn't seem to mind it, so it stayed on.  So, when I was looking for holiday books in the library today and happened upon the origination story for Martha Speaks, I figured I'd give it another look.  My second meeting with Martha was roughly similar to the first.  The only difference would be an even exchange of my voice issues from the TV show with the weird picture word substitutes in the hardcover copy.  Definite Donate.    

Buy / Borrow / DONATE / Destroy

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