Martha Speaks: Summer Fun
Written by Susan Meddaugh
What’s more fun than a talking dog? Martha, the talking dog, certainly has an amusing view of the world. She also has a sneaky way of teaching a lot, given that she doesn’t quite understand the human world. Based on the PBS series, this is a collection of three stories, each by a different author. First, one of Martha’s human friends mistakenly uses a self-tanning lotion instead of her usual sunscreen. When she uses it to excess, her skin turns embarrassingly orange. To make her feel better, Martha talks all the other kids into adopting the same orange glow. And the friend feels better. Next, Martha learns of her lupine heritage and decides to become a pack animal. Her canine friends opt out when they find that comfort comes first: food, bed, and television. Martha returns to her pack, the other members of which are human. Last, Martha does her best to be endearing to her human grandmother, only to take several missteps. Martha can’t quite figure out an appropriate birthday gift. But Grandma recognizes her efforts and rewards her. Not only are the stories fun and informative, the illustrations are winners too. The reader can feel like part of the action.
Not surprisingly, Martha Speaks books have tons of added value for second grade readers. In addition to the popular television show, Martha Speaks, the show has an excellent website, www.pbskids.org/martha, which is loaded with information for parents and teachers and reading activities. Martha also has her own website, www.marthathetalkingdog.com; and the publisher’s website (www.hmhbooks.com) is useful to help increase reading skills and comprehension.