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PERFECTLY MARTHA by Susan Meddaugh


by Susan Meddaugh & illustrated by Susan Meddaugh

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: March 29th, 2004
ISBN: 0-618-37857-X
Publisher: Walter Lorraine/Houghton Mifflin

Martha, the dog who took alphabet soup to new heights, smells a rat when the dogs in her neighborhood start behaving too obediently after a course with Otis Weaselgraft’s Perfect Pup Institute. They sit, they roll over, they lie down on command, which runs counter to Martha’s understanding of the dog brain: big sleep, eat, and play lobes, with a minor lobe, about the size of a dust mote, tuned to obedience (nicely illustrated by Meddaugh’s declarative art). Martha learns the trick to the professor’s system, a brain-blocking microchip inserted into the dog’s collar: “Lasts about a month,” admits Weaselgraft when Martha turns the tables on him, “just long enough to take your money and move to the next state.” Martha is the perfect mutt to raise the slogan “Question Authority” to an art form: really, if you’re not drinking from the toilet or scattering trash, are you being true to your inner dog? (Picture book. 4-8)