Sunday, December 30, 2012

Martha Speaks: Shelter Dog Blues

"by" Jamie White

I suppose it should be noted that this book is not by Susan Meddaugh, but "based on the characters created by" her, an "adaptation" by Jamie White, based on a TV script by Matt Steinglass.  A book written by a committee in pieces, for the purposes of extending a brand – not to tell a story.

Martha is a talking dog who loses her collar and gets snatched up by the dogcatcher.  Once at the pound, she leads an escape, gets caught again, and then organizes the other dogs to help showcase their plight and get them adopted.  I read this to my class.  It was received with interest, but none of the fervor that they have for, say, Stink, Flat Stanley, or the incomparable Mercy Watson books (which I read religiously but don't list here because in my mind they are too short to count).  This lack of fervor is understandable, as the Martha books seem not to have any of the kind of madcap humor aimed at adults as well as children or truly memorable eccentric characters that those series have.  As you might think about a book written to promote a show, it's simply too careful for such things; in other words, it's rather boring.

two stars

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