We’re a PBS-loving family. We devour everything from documentaries, news programs, cooking shows, home improvement, and art to the kids programming. I love sharing favorites like Seasame Street with my kids, and discovering new-for-us shows like the Wild Krats and Martha Speaks. The week of June 16-20, 2014, is Martha Speaketh Week which culminates with Summer Learning Day on June 20th. To celebrate the week, PBS KIDS is airing three all-new episodes and launched a new online game called Martha’s Steaks!
The kids and I were excited to preview Monday’s new episodes, “Thou Callest Me a Dog,” and “Martha’s Paper Chase.”
- The thing I liked the most was that both episodes emphasized integrity even though that wasn’t the main topic of the show. In, “Thou Callest Me a Dog,” the kids rescued a really pompous actor from a locked closet (who arguably deserved to be locked in the closet for his rudeness) and in, “Martha’s Paper Chase,” the local paper didn’t print a story because it would have invaded the privacy of the story’s subject.
- I also liked, from the adult-watching-a-kid-show point of view, that none of the lessons hit you over the head, they were just part of the story.
- The boys, despite their almost five year age difference, could watch the show together and get different things from it.
- Shout out to the writers of “Thou Callest Me a Dog,” for calling the actor in the episode “Burbage” after one of the original actors at and the owner of the Globe theater who performed many of Shakespeare’s plays.
- When the boys played the game Martha’s Steaks, there were easy levels for Tobin and more advanced levels that Nicholas played.
- Tobin (4 years old): Martha is funny and smart and is nice to her friends. And she likes to tell stories.
- Nicholas (9 years old): The stories are good, and she teaches interesting words. But she doesn’t just tell you the words over and over, she uses them throughout the story so you figure them out by what is going on during the story.
My favorite quote while watching the Shakespeare episode:
Me to boys: Is Martha talking crazy?
Nicholas: No, Mom, she’s talking Shakespeare.
The boys both liked the online game, Martha’s Steaks; but, it was more on the level of Tobin than Nicholas. Nicholas did give Tobin pointers while they were playing, so it was a good way for them to play together. Tobin got lost in the website with all of the word games and storytelling features. In fact, he woke up the next morning asking for Martha Speaks!
Martha Speaks Goodies!
When we got the DVD for review, it came with a fun package that included the Martha Speaks book, Perfectly Martha (Tobin loved this one), a graphic novel (Nicholas loved this one), pencils, temporary tattoos, stickers, and a flip book. The boys were over the moon with excitement to read the books and play with the stickers and tattoos.
I hope you get a chance to watch these episodes and the series with your kids. And if you’re a word nerd like me, you’ll love that your kids are getting even more exposure to words they may not hear every day! Check your local listings to see when you can catch this fun show!
Disclosure: I was not compensated for this review, but I was provided a preview DVD of the new episodes along with the books, stickers, and tattoos.