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February 16-- The Vidalia-Toombs County Public Library, in coordination with WGBH and the Sweet Onion Animal Protection Society (SOAPS), will be hosting Susan Meddaugh, the author of the popular children’s book, Martha Speaks, on Saturday, February 25th from 2- 4 p.m.  Kids can watch Martha Speaks weekdays at 3pm and Saturdays at 6:30am on GPB and Daily at 10am on GPB Kids.

{mosimage}Accompanying Ms. Meddaugh will be Martha, the feature character of the book and star of the PBS KIDS series, Martha Speaks!  The library invites the community to come and meet the author and Martha and hear some stories from their many adventures through a reading and illustration session.  Children will also have the chance to have their picture taken with Susan and Martha, so parents – bring your cameras! 

In addition to teaching new vocabulary, Martha Speaks has another important mission: to help children and families understand animals, animal safety, and the importance of ending animal cruelty and homelessness. Many of the show's episodes incorporate information about how to treat animals humanely, be a responsible pet owner, and support animal shelters.

On the show, Martha is a shelter dog who is adopted by Helen and her family. The real dog named Martha, who inspired author Susan Meddaugh to write the popular children's book series, was a stray. "[The real-life] Martha has given me more than I could have ever imagined," Susan explains. "What if we hadn't adopted her? We would have missed so much. And it makes me sad to think of all the dogs in shelters, and all the love and surprises they could bring to a forever home of their own."

SOAPS spokesdog Janie, accompanied by Tabitha from the Altamaha Animal Clinic, will be on hand to help talk about SOAPS’ efforts to provide homes for homeless animals.  Participants will also get a chance to meet Donna Buie Beall’s licensed Reading Therapy dogs, Sonnet and Brie, and Tim Bienke’s licensed therapy dog, Scout.

While not required, all attendees are encouraged to bring a can of pet food for SOAPS.  All programs are free and no registration is required.  For additional information call the library at 912-537-9283 and speak to Martha Powers-Jones.