Martha Walks the Dog (Martha Speaks Series)

Overview

Martha loves her daily walks. She enjoys sniffing and scratching with her pals down by the hydrant. But today something is different. A house down the street has been sold, the for sale sign replaced by a new sign - Beware of Dog! Always curious, Martha investigates and discovers that there's a new dog in town, a blustering tough-dog named Bob. He's big and mean, and even Martha reluctantly concedes that he may be a bad dog. Martha will have to keep all her canine wits about her to protect her buddies and herself...

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Overview

Martha loves her daily walks. She enjoys sniffing and scratching with her pals down by the hydrant. But today something is different. A house down the street has been sold, the for sale sign replaced by a new sign - Beware of Dog! Always curious, Martha investigates and discovers that there's a new dog in town, a blustering tough-dog named Bob. He's big and mean, and even Martha reluctantly concedes that he may be a bad dog. Martha will have to keep all her canine wits about her to protect her buddies and herself from the savage bully. Fortunately, she makes the acquaintance of a long-winded Parrot, and together the talkative duo may be able to restore peace to the neighborhood. In this hilarious new escapade by Susan Meddaugh, Martha is back, busily proving that there's no substitute for the simple power of praise for taming the toughest old dogs.

Martha the talking dog rescues the neighborhood from a bully dog with the help of a parrot.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this fourth book of Meddaugh's Martha series, the mild-mannered pooch who derives the power of speech from alphabet soup takes herself for a stroll. When someone calls her a "good dog," she ingenuously replies, "What other kind of dog is there?" She soon has her answer when she meets Bob, a hulking, bearlike mutt who viciously barks at passers-by. Bob's bearded owner is "just as ferocious," berating his pet with the words, "Bad dog Bob! Bad dog!" She moves on to another neighbor's yard, where she teaches a parrot to call her a "good dog." Martha's big mouth gets her into trouble when she returns to lecture Bob, not realizing that he has broken free of his thick metal chain. Fortunately, he chases Martha into the parrot's yard, where the magic words--"good dog!"--save Martha from certain doom. As in previous volumes, Meddaugh carries much of the story forward through dialogue that appears in hand-lettered voice bubbles, and her illustrations winningly convey the characters' personalities. The golden-brown, thick-waisted heroine's deep sincerity, with her drooping ears and expressive eyes, balance her comical self-righteous streak. The lunging, growling Bob is genuinely scary, but compliments tame his anger and smooth his shaggy coat. Young animal lovers should be warned that not every snarling bad dog can be as miraculously transformed as Bob into an earnest good dog. Nevertheless, Meddaugh successfully sends the message that pets (and their owners) respond best to kindness. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Martha the talking dog has yet another adventure. This time, the loquacious canine has the unfortunate experience of having a noisy neighbor move in with his bad dog. Bob is always barking and his owner is always screaming at him. When the offensive animal starts to pick on the neighborhood dogs, Martha speaks up. A beautifully creative name-calling chase ensues. "You mangy mongrel, crummy cur, big baboon," she taunts. However, she later finds that a talking parrot's praise is far more effective at controlling the bully's behavior, and his owner learns to calm him with sweet talk. The story ends, "Looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship." Everything about the book is extremely well done, from the story line to the illustrations and presentation. The drawings are colorful and full of emotion, showing a wide range of feelings in the canine and human faces. Another great story in a great tradition.-Shelley Woods, Boston Public Library, MA
Kirkus Reviews
Words can heal—-that's the moral Martha (Martha Blah Blah, 1996, etc.) the talking dog unexpectedly learns when she tangles with Bob, the "BAD DOG" of the neighborhood. Pragmatic Martha never lets flattery go to her head and is always ready to stick up for her friends, even when it means facing off with the most ferocious canine the neighborhood has ever seen. When Bob gets off his chain, Martha has to run for her life; cornered under the bushes, she is waiting for the feel of Bob's jaws around her throat when rescue comes from an unexpected source—-a parrot that Martha has been instructing in kind phrases. Bob calms down in the face of the parrot's praise. This humorous portrayal of the power of words to alter behavior is one that even very young listeners will appreciate. (Picture book. 5-8)
From the Publisher
"Martha tames a bully - with kind words - in the latest funny tale of the talking dog. She enjoys impressing humans with her ability to speak, but she also needs her daily walks with her neighborhood dog pals, scratching, sniffing, snoozing, chasing. Then a new dog arrives, a big, ferocious hound who barks at Martha and everything else and who is kept chained up by his fierce owner. One day, the angry bully breaks his chain and chases Martha. All her shouts and insults have no effect, and she nearly runs out of words and breath - until the bully hears the words 'Good dog!' and he smiles and wags his tail. As always, Meddaugh's line-and-watercolor cartoons and ballooned gags celebrate not only humor and courage but also Martha's elemental discovery: 'Words are such fun.'" Booklist, ALA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618380053
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/29/2003
  • Series: Martha Speaks Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 669,448
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD270L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan Meddaugh was born and raised in Montclair, New Jersey. She graduated from Wheaton College, where she studied French literature and fine arts. After working briefly with an advertising agency in New York, she moved to Boston and worked at a publishing company for ten years, first as a designer, then art editor, and finally as art director. While there, she did the illustrations for GOOD STONES (Houghton Mifflin) by Anne Epstein, and then decided to strike out on her own as a freelance illustrator and creator of children's books. Since that time, Susan has written and illustrated many popular books for children, including MARTHA SPEAKS, which was chosen as a NEW YORK TIMES Best Illustrated Book for 1992. In 1998 she was awarded the New England Book Award, given by the New England Booksellers Association to recognize a body of work. Her work also was acknowledged with a New York Times Best Illustrated Award. She lives in Sherborn, Massachusetts.

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