During the Year of the Canid (aka 2013), one of the numerous canid characters I became a fan of during the year was Martha Lorraine, the eponymous talking dog of the PBS animated series Martha Speaks. Although, truth be told, when I first saw adverts for Martha Speaks following episodes of Arthur, I was actually kinda irritated by the character, as she never seemed to shut the hell up. However, I gave into curiosity and found out that, once I actually watched the series, Martha is actually a likeable and amusing (and adorable) character who could really tug at your heartstrings when things really went bad for her. Granted, she's the only reason I watch the series for the most part, outside of adorable PUPPIES! moments and occasional funny bits from the human characters. It's kind of funny to look at that same advert nowadays and recall that it once prompted me to change the channel whereas now I see it as future MS Paint fanart ideas and "Ha, she looks precious with a top hat on."
Well, until a while back, I had no idea the series was based on a children's book series. In hindsight, I probably should have as I noticed her creator Susan Meddaugh's name brought up a few times. But when you're focused on a series for the antics of its lead character, some details can pass you. With this in mind, I was browsing one of the local Hastings when I passed by the children's literature section. Recalling this tidbit about Martha Speaks being based on a picture book, I figure what the hell and looked it up. Sure enough, there was a used copy for about five dollars. It was in good shape and, compared to the $16.99 printed on the inside flap, a good deal. So I purchased it and read it. Although Meddaugh's illustrations are definitely off-model compared to what I was used to seeing in the animated series, it was a nice little story about Martha first learning to speak the human tongue when she's fed alphabet soup. I did, however, have a bit of an ironic laugh in hindsight because this tale's Martha really was the "never shuts the hell up" character I expected the show's incarnation to be, which led to her being told to shut the hell up. However, she ultimately redeems herself when she foils a cat burglar (wearing an actual cat mask, of course) after he unwittingly gives her alphabet soup to distract her. (And before any fellow fans bring it up, I am sure this was probably adapted as an episode, if not the pilot. Due to PBS' tendency to repeat episodes I've already seen and their unusually attentive grasp on the show's YouTube/Internet presence, I still haven't watched the entire series.)
What's more, the book came with a CD containing two versions of the story as it's read by Kathy Najimy. Of course, this meant I was mentally hearing Peggy Hill talk as Martha. After some effort, due to the CD holder's flap breaking and the CD being stuck to the inside cover, I gave it a listen. Honestly, I was laughing at some of the lines simply because I was hearing Peggy Hill reading this. I probably enjoyed it more than I should have, but the mental association was established and I just went from there. All in all, I'm glad I found this.
That said, I prefer Tabitha St. Germain as her voice actress. I think Rarity works better than Peggy.