12 February 2009 | jcook56050
Martha is a dog lovers dream
What would my dog say if it could talk? That was the question the daughter of children's author, Susan Meddaugh asked one day while eating alphabet soup. Susan took that one premise and her real dog, Martha, and constructed a very creative series of books which have now been transformed into a PBS animated series. Martha is the dog of Helen Lorraine, a ten year old little girl. One day, Martha accidentally eats some of "Martha's Alphabet Soup," and discovers that the letters go to her head instead of her stomach. Thus, she begins to talk, and talk, and talk. Produced by WGBH Boston and Studio B Productions, Inc., the show creatively introduces words to a young audience straight from a dog's point of view. Martha manages to wriggle herself into all kinds of situations while learning what words and phrases really mean by human standards. And, consequently, her human caregivers learn some new tricks from this very intelligent mutt. The fact that she can translate what other animals say comes in very handy at times, as she attempts to live in a world that real dogs rarely understand. To say that her antics are sometimes hilarious is somewhat of an understatement. Here is a family, two dogs, a group of friends, and a sly sense of humor located in a comfortable neighborhood that could be located just down the street. Martha creates a casual, entertaining learning mood that is easily revisited. This show is geared not only for children, but, as with the most successful cartoons, it works on many different levels for adults as well. As a new fan of this wonderful series, I can highly recommend that parents "sit" and watch this show with their kids, "speak" about what they have just seen, "roll over" with laughter, and go eat some "alphabet soup" for lunch. I promise you won't hit the "paws" button.