Sharing Pairing: Toy Trouble (Martha Speaks) by Susan Meddaugh
Up 'till now, catching Frisbees has always been Martha's and Skits' favorite outdoor game. But that was before Helen's friend T.D. gave them the best dog toy ever--a genuine Screaming Slingshot Squirrel! Not only does it catapult from his fingers and soar across the yard, tail flapping in the breeze, but it makes a sound--chitter-chitter-chitter--calculated to make any pooch swoon! Martha and Skits are after it in a nanosecond! Skits makes the first catch.
"SKITS! GIVE IT!" MARTHA YELLS. "MY TURN!
Helen is forced to be the judge and jury here. "You have to share," she frowns, but when Skits reluctantly hands over the prize, Martha seizes the prize and taunts Skits with a triumphant "All mine!"
Helen confiscates the toy and takes the two inside. Pulling out an old toddler video on sharing, she plunks the two mutts down in front of the TV for a bit of attitude adjustment.
It's still a squirrel standoff. Martha tries negotiating a swap for one of her old toys, but Skits isn't having any of that either. Finally Martha makes a grab for the squirrel and is off and running. The two dogs are soon merrily competing in a game of "steal the squirrel," which morphs into a toy tug of war when Skits catches up with the swiped squirrel. Helen frowns again and points out that they are still not sharing!
"THIS IS HOW DOGS PLAY!" MARTHA POINTS OUT PATIENTLY.
'HMMM, THINKS HELEN. THAT DOES LOOK LIKE FUN!
As usual, Martha manages to get the last word in Susan Meddaugh's newest, Martha Speaks: Toy Trouble (Reader) (Green Light Readers Level 2) (Houghton Mifflin, 2010). Another entry in her Green Light Readers for beginners in the independent reader group, this one offers additional activities following the story to reinforce the vocabulary introduced. Kids familiar with the favorite PBS program based on Susan Meddaugh's long-popular Martha Speaks books will find that Martha the talking dog is a natural as a companion for playtime and reading time.