Sunday, January 6, 2013

Martha Speaks: White House Dog

"by" Susan Mettaugh

It should be noted that this book is not by Susan Mettaugh as listed, but rather “based on the characters created by" Susan Mettaugh, an "adaptation" by Jamie White, based on a TV script by Dietrich Smith.  It is a book written by a committee in pieces, for the purposes of extending a brand, in this case a television show – not to tell a story.  In this episode, Martha calls the White House to opine that the new president should adopt a shelter dog.  Then the president hears that Martha can talk and hires her to solve a problem with his new dog.  He then puts her on a temporary committee to interview dogs to find out what they’re thinking.  None of this leads to any resolution.  It’s not particularly funny or charming.  Scenes that are descriptions of TV moments that require visuals for humor or interest don’t translate to the printed page.  Bonus points for pushing the shelter dog message, and shoehorning in quick facts and definitions in a well-intentioned if stilted effort to be educational. 

two stars

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