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Martha Speaks (Martha Speaks)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  2,059 Ratings  ·  110 Reviews
When Helen Finney feeds alphabet soup to her dog, Martha, it goes straight up to her brain, and Martha begins to speak! But having a talking dog isn't always as much fun as it seems.
Paperback, 32 pages
Published March 27th 1995 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published September 28th 1992)
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Apr 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you are familiar with the show, then you already know all about the book, but if not, Martha is a normal dog until one day her owner family feed her alphabet soup. Instead of the noodles going to her stomach, they went to her brain, giving her the ability to speak, and when she does, she does not want to be quiet. She talks to everyone about everything and drive her family crazy. We liked the story. : )
Dec 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
A perfectly designed and told story, with layout, typefaces, broad humor, easy and appropriate lesson, all perfect for young children (not toddlers!). Adults have to let their inner child out to play, though, or else it may seem casual or trite.
“Martha Speaks” is a classic children’s book from the mind of Susan Meddaugh, about a family dog named Martha who has quite a lot to say after she eats some alphabet soup. “Martha Speaks” is a wonderful story about this smart dog that children will enjoy for ages.

Susan Meddaugh has done an excellent job in creating a story about how a dog eventually begins speaking after eating some alphabet soup. Susan Meddaugh uses so much creativity in this story as she makes a dog talk after consuming alpha
Feb 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
Martha is a family's dog that speaks and sure has a lot to say. I think readers ages 5-8 will enjoy this book and will relate to Martha's comments. The message of learning when to speak and not to speak that was learned by Martha is one that children must learn also. A snack of alphabet soup, or Alphabits cereal may be appropriate and most fun upon completion of the story. The text and the speech bubbles are a good way to point out "voice" and also to compare to graphic novel reading. I look for ...more
James Govednik
Oct 13, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
A fantasy for young readers (ages 4-7), Martha Speaks introduces children to a world where a dog can gain the ability to talk simply by eating some alphabet soup. Martha's speaking ability allows us to see the world through her perspective as she reveals what dogs are really thinking. The humor will appeal to all ages, and it sets up the plot tension nicely. What begins as a funny and wonderful thing--"Our dog can talk!" soon turns out to have a down side. Adults will relate to their experiences ...more
I've been familiar with the premise of this book for so long, that somehow I forgot to ever read it! Good thinkg I was considering it for storytime and "re-reading" it for practice. The story is cute, but it's all of Martha's speech bubbles that made the book for me. Will have to read in storytime one day, but not what I'm thinking with the Food & Thanksgiving theme.

12/25/15 I only had one family (with 2 kids to work with), so I let the kids pick which book to read and when. This was the sec
May 14, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a fun book that is also a gentle reminder that we should not necessarily say every single thing that crosses our mind. We have seen "Martha Speaks" on PBS Kids, but haven't read too many of the books yet. Our youngest especially liked this one.

We borrowed this from our local library as a kit including a CD narrated by Kathy Najimy and a paperback book with ISBN-13: 9780395729526. Our girls enjoyed following along with the book while we listened to the CD in the car.
May 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Such a cute book! My little guy held it back from the library so I could read it with him, and boy was I glad. A great picture book for the little ones or a first reader for the slightly older. Clever, good visuals and, of course, a smart dog!
Jun 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
I read it so I would know what Marisa's Martha program is all about. Hilarious! Martha the dog eats some alphabet soup and gains the ability to talk. This has to be an advantage for Martha and her owners...right?! Wrong! Great depiction of learning the best times to speak up.
Megan Bernhard
Have you ever slipped your unwanted meal under the table for your dog to make it disappear? Martha Speaks is a story about a dog named Martha who begins to talk after Helen let her eat some alphabet soup. Martha's family shared her ability with everyone, asked her questions, and even taught her how to use the phone. Martha began to talk, a lot, and it soon was too much for her family to handle. Once they told Martha to shut up and Martha's feelings were hurt, she stopped talking. It takes a big ...more
Mary Ward
Feb 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: eced221
Martha Speaks by Susan Meddaugh is an excellent fantasy book. Martha, is just an ordinary family dog until one day she is fed alphabet soup. She learns to speak. Her new found talent is amusing until it gets out of control. Eventually her family grows tired of her endless chatter and orders her to "shut up". Offended, Martha stops talking and stops eating her alphabet soup. Her family grows worried, and not until a burglar breaks in does Martha return to her talking habits. She uses her talents ...more
Martha is a family dog who ate alphabet soup one day. Instead of the letters going to stomach, they went to her brain and she can talk! The first time that Martha spoke, she had a lot to tell her family and they had a lot of questions to ask her! Martha talked and talked and talked, much to the chagrin of her family at times. One day, after getting in trouble for talking way too much, Martha decided that she wasn’t going to eat her alphabet soup, that way she couldn’t talk anymore. However, one ...more
Allizabeth Collins
Jun 23, 2012 rated it really liked it

When Helen feeds alphabet soup to her dog, Martha, the letters go into her brain instead of her tummy! So instead of a "bark" or a "woof", Martha speaks words; but having a talking dog is not what Helen's family expects...


Martha Speaks is definitely a classic children's book, its popularity rivaling that of Clifford the Big Red Dog and Thomas the Train. Children and adults are pulled in by Susan Meddaugh's creative story-line and adorable water-color illustrations; Martha's
Dani Stephens
Jul 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
I loved this book as a child and after reading it again, I still love it! Susan Meddaugh does an awesome job of developing the main character, which happens to be a dog, Martha! By giving martha a ton of quotations, the reader is really able to understand and imagine what is going on inside the dogs head, and to me - it made me really wonder what my dogs would say if they could speak. Also, the illustrations are amazing and really help you realize and feel the emotions that Martha is feeling thr ...more
Jul 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Martha was just an ordinary pet until one day she eats some alphabet soup, and mysteriously she can talk and humans can understand what she is saying. Know how to speak is not the same and knowing what to say and what we should not say. Martha discovers very quickly that it maybe is not always a good thing to be able to speak. She share with a family friend that they do not really like a fruit cake she makes, and that even though they say it is not fit for a dog Martha really enjoyed it. There a ...more
CH_Emily Scholnik
This book is a riot! Martha, the family dog eats alphabet soup and suddenly learns to speak. At first, the family is delighted and amused at their pet's newfound talent. They love to shock people with their talking dog. Then, Martha's talking gets totally out of control! She just won't stop talking, interupting, ruining the movie by telling the ending! Finally, the family has had enough and they tell Martha to "Shut Up!" Martha is so hurt, she just lays in her dog bed and refused to eat. When an ...more
Briana Deleon
Feb 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Susan Meddaugh creates a humorously endearing picture of a typical family, with a not-so-typical dog. The day that Martha the dog ate alphabet soup is the day that changed their lives! Martha's incessant talking drives her owners up the wall--until one day when a robber strikes while the family is away. Meddaugh brings an ordinary dog to life by making her the very talkative hero in the story. The illustrations were the most enjoyable to me; Meddaugh gives this little dog a spunky character thro ...more
Nov 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I find the show to be annoying and I dreaded having to read this book because I felt it was going to annoy me too.

I actually enjoyed reading this book and my son loved it. We read it just about every night for two weeks and he was sad when we had to return it to the library.

I enjoyed this book because it can be long or short. The illustrations have the characters speaking. They have little chat bubbles that pop up so if you want, you can read them to make the book longer. You can also go ahead
Feb 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sophie - when she's older
Shelves: picture-books
I love this book! It's not for the very young, but pre-schoolers on up should enjoy its premise. Martha is a dog whose owners feed her alphabet soup. Instead of going into her stomach, the letters go right to her brain and she begins to speak. At first it is novel, but then it becomes embarrassing when she says whatever she thinks, and finally irritating when she can't shut up. But of course Martha saves the day and all is well. The illustrations are as funny as the story. A lot of the story is ...more
Nichole Perez
Apr 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Majority of us have wondered what our pets think, and now Martha gives us the opportunity to know. Martha is a dog that is given magical alphabet soup that allows her the ability to speak to her family. However, the family is unable to handle the strain of Martha talking so they request that she stops. Yet, a turn of events happens in the story that makes everyone glad that Martha has the ability to speak.

I enjoyed this story! I feel young readers would be delighted to get to hear the prospecti
Kathleen Ruff
Mar 31, 2011 rated it liked it
I have never watched the tv show but after reading this book, I just might. Martha is a family dog and on one particular day the little girl gives Martha some alphabet soup. Son Martha began talking, talking about any and everything on her mind. Soon her owners were tired of hearing her talk but Martha did something so heroic, saved them from a burglar and the family was sure glad Martha could speak.
The first time I ever heard of Martha Speaks was in a post-grad class! My teacher read it to us and it was so cute, it quickly became one of my favorite Children's books! Apparently, Martha also has some television episodes you can find on Netflix - I have found that my students and son are more motivated to read books that have a familiar character, possibly one they have already seen on TV :)

It is a fun, cute read aloud that even adults will enjoy!
Aug 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Modboy by: Noah Mazzeo
A clever book about a dog that learns how to talk simply by eating alphabet soup (the letters go into her brain rather than down into her stomach). The problem is that Martha doesn't know when to shut her mouth. This leads into some pretty funny situations which embarrass or frustrate her owners. Most young children who appreciate a plot will enjoy this story.
Jul 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book was clever and funny and one my children have asked me to read again and again. I am happy to do so, because I find it amusing as well. My mother was apalled that it used the words "shut up" however, as we consistently tell the children this is a bad and rude thing to say.
Kathryn Eder
Dec 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Such a creative spin on the idea of a talking dog. What would your dog say if he could speak? Would you like what you heard and what if you couldn't get your dog to shut up? It is a very cute book about a dog that speaks way too much. Great book for children.
Apr 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
'Martha Speaks' books are great for teaching children about the use of speech bubbles in writing. Speech bubbles teach children that not all texts are written in the same way, and we can add details to our pictures (such as speech bubbles) that will help to explain the story.
Jan 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
When we were trying to decide on a name for our dog when Brannon was in kindergarten, he really wanted to name her Martha. He was certain that if we fed our new dog alphabet soup like they did in Martha Speaks, she would start talking too!
Aug 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I like the book.
I hate the show.
I have no idea why, though. I just can't stand to watch it. Every time it comes on I change the channel, which causes my brother to make a peculiar face at me. I'm sorry, bro. I just don't like watching it.
Kate Petrocione
Oct 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: frigga-s-books
Martha is adorable.
May 22, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
My son is so far not to enthused by the Martha Speaks books. I rather like the idea of a talking dog, and there's a bit of humor (if not very subtle) in these books, but maybe it's just our bad luck that in the first one we read, Martha Walks the Dog, there's this mean dog that scared the crap out of my 3 year old (I tried to emphasize that in the end the mean dog wasn't really all that mean, but that wasn't enough), and in this Martha Speaks, we get a burglar. (Now, try to explain to a 3 year o ...more
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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 STONE ...more
More about Susan Meddaugh...

Other Books in the Series

Martha Speaks (6 books)
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  • Martha and Skits
  • Perfectly Martha

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“You can't let a little thing like total public humiliation stand between you and a good time." T.D. in the series Martha Speaks” 1 likes
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