Friday, January 21, 2011

Martha Speaks: Thief of Hearts adapted by Karen Barrs.

Martha  Speaks: Thief of Hearts based on the characters created by Sesuan Meddaugh and adapted by Karen Barrs.

Product Description
Helen and friends decide to make homemade valentines for each other. But when everybody’s art supplies begin disappearing, they start to suspect each other. Can Martha sniff out the culprit of the stolen supplies before their sweet holiday mood goes sour?

I am a big fan of the original Martha books by Susan Meddaugh. When I requested this from the library, I didn’t realize that the books had been turned into a TV show. (First Max & Ruby, then Olivia and now Martha.)   I won’t comment on the shows, since I’ve not watched them (though I do feel the urge to grab my bowl of cheerios and plop down in front of the TV on Saturday morning.)

I was pleased to find that Martha looks the same as the original books.  Sometimes, once a book character becomes a TV cartoon star they get a little commercialized.  As is almost always the case, I do prefer Meddaugh’s originals to this TV tie-in.  Meddaugh’s original books are more fleshed out and the story doesn’t feel quite as rushed as this one.  However, as a Getting Ready to Read book, Thief of Hearts works fine.   Beginning readers will need some assistance, but reading with your child is a great experience!  The TV show tie-in might encourage a reluctant reader to check it out. 

I hope Meddaugh will write more in the original series of books, but in the mean time I hope to add this to my library’s collection.

Recommended for Kindergarten to 2nd Grade.

Mrs. Archer’s Rating: 4 of 5


  1. I always feel a bit of resentment when cartoons are made from really good children's literature - like "why can't they make up their own stories?" It seems almost like an insult to children, that they won't be able to read or understand the book, so they have to have it acted out with, sometimes, too much silliness. I am glad that Martha still looks the same. Also, makes me wonder if the granddaughters have Meddaugh's books...

  2. Well, I gave in and I've requested from the library some of the DVDs of the cartoon show. I guess I should do the same with Olivia, just so I can know what the kids are talking about. I know that several of my Kindergarten and 1st Grade students watch the Olivia series.