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BRAVE MARTHA by Margot Apple


by Margot Apple

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-395-59422-7
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Apple turns from the exploits of Nancy Shaw’s exuberant sheep (Sheep Take a Hike, 1994, etc.) to a quieter bedtime tale about a young girl facing her fears in the dark. Martha is very brave each night at bedtime when her cat Sophie goes first down the hall and checks “all the creepy places,” including under the bed. The nightly ritual is disrupted one evening when company comes, and they bring their dog. When Martha can’t find Sophie at bedtime, she’s startled by her coonskin cap and by Owl, a wild-thing stuffed animal. Forced to confront her fears on her own, Martha is greatly relieved when the “scritcha, scritcha, scritch” she hears proves to be Sophie, hiding in the dresser drawer. The comfortable pencil and watercolor drawings, making deliberate or accidental homage to Sendak’s Really Rosie, lend a nostalgic flavor to this age-old bedtime dilemma. (Picture book. 4-8)