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FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. Martha watches as the new dog her family brings home goes through all the troublesome phases of being a puppy. Even though he does not develop Martha's ability to speak, Skits develops his own unique talent.
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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 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.From Publishers Weekly:
In this fifth Martha adventure, the talking dog hears a phrase well known to middle-aged pets: "Meet your new brother." Martha's owners introduce a brown puppy, Skits, who chews random household objects, attacks the vacuum cleaner and launches himself upon "anything airborne." ("Bad dog!" shout the humans, echoing the key line in Martha Walks the Dog, while Martha looks on in fond amusement.) Martha and Skits become friends, although Martha asserts "alpha dog" status when Skits spills her alphabet soup, the potion that enables Martha to speak. Martha wonders why the soup doesn't grant Skits the same ability ("Martha worried about Skits's brain. Was it too small?"), until she discerns that his talents lie elsewhere. Using her customary combination of deadpan commentary, comical voice-bubble asides and witty drawings, Meddaugh takes an accurate look at puppy behavior. It's almost a shame when, with the flick of a page, Skits transforms from big-eyed, charmingly stupid youngster to oversize lummox. Yet the gangly, full-grown SkitsDdashing headlong into big troubleDprovides an amusing contrast to tawny-coated, plump and pragmatic Martha. Meddaugh gently shifts the weight of the book away from Martha and onto the two dogs as a team. Her fitting addition to Martha's family acknowledges time's passage, invigorating both her canine heroine and her series. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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