Susan Meddaugh has written herself into the hearts of children and their parents for more than a decade. Many kids know and love her most famous character, Martha, a chatty canine whose candid blunders often make for hilarious story lines. Such is th
e case in another installment in Meddaugh’s series of children’s book selections centered on the loquacious pup.
A thoroughly enjoyable story, Martha Calling is about Martha’s seemingly unstoppable tongue. This time, the dog uses a telephone to reach out to people and not just anybody. She dials a call-in radio show and ends up answering a question that earns her a four-person vacation at a place called Come-On-Inn. She dons grandmother-type garb and sits in a wheelchair before the family heads off for their weekend vacation. Once they get there, she learns the vacation spot does not allow pets. How dare they? Don’t they know that pets are lovable creatures that deserve a nice room to stay in during their vacation? Well, hilarious antics ensue when the title character becomes angry at the inn’s pet-barring policy.
In the 32-page cleverly written story, the plain text is
enhanced by the funny, action-packed illustrations that depict the family going on an outing with an upset pup that can’t keep herself from stepping out of character as the elderly woman. The dog is vindicated in the end after she makes her case in an eloquent statement to the inn keepers and rallies support for her cause from the inn’s other guests. Meddaugh is a skillful illustrator and it shows in her one-of-a-kind imaginative drawings of her most famous character. Mostly borderless, these watercolor-and-ink illustrations are colorful and fun, and they match the lively story line.
Meddaugh’s prime audience with
this series of books is children ages 4 to 8. They are inspiring, thoughtful, and even educational. Those who haven’t read any of the Martha Speaks books will be pleasantly surprised by how whimsical and fun a talking dog can be! Make these tales part of your bedtime routine or any time during the day. They are a
great read for children and even their parents.