Tuesday, February 15, 2011

New Martha Speaks Episodes Highlighting the Arts Airing President's Day Week on PBS KIDS!

Fans won’t have to wait long for new episodes of Martha Speaks. PBS KIDS will premiere 5 brand new episodes featuring everyone’s favorite talking dog beginning President’s Day, Monday, February 21, 2011 (check local listings). Join Martha and her friends as they explore the arts while learning words such as soprano, conductor, legend, dramatize, and more.

“We hope Martha can provide a fun introduction to opera and classical music, theater, and Greek mythology,” says Senior Executive Producer Carol Greenwald. “For some kids, this will be their first exposure to these art forms. These subjects might seem really grown-up, but Martha has her own unique way of making them accessible to kids.”

The fun starts with “The Opera Contest” and “Maestro Martha” on Monday, February 21. In “The Opera Contest,” a local opera company is holding a contest to get kids interested in opera. When Martha helps the kids enter their own opera, will the audience shower them with applause? In “Maestro Martha,” bad guys Pablum and Weaselgraft have a plan to turn a charity concert into a heist by using the power of music...very strange music. Can Martha turn down the volume on their evil scheming before it’s too late?

On Wednesday, February 23, in “Martha Acts Up,” Mrs. Boxwood offers Martha a part in Alice in Wonderland. Martha is thrilled at her opportunity to become a star of the theater, but when she finds out she’s cast as the Cheshire cat, she’s horrified. Will Martha be able to get into character before the night of the show?

The week concludes on Friday, February 25 with the kids’ take on classic Greek myths. In “Myth Me?” and “TD’s Myth Take,” the gang turns a boring, rainy day into fun by acting out Greek myths. The trouble is, TD doesn’t like the way Greek myths end and decides to come up with his own endings. With the help of Martha and Truman, TD puts on a performance that exceeds everyone’s expectations.

Also airing during this special week is “Skits and Mr. Scruffles” and “Brave Truman” on February 22, and “Patrol Dog Martha” and “The Crooning Crook Caper” on February 24. Check local listings for exact airdates and times for all Martha Speaks episodes.

Martha Speaks Online

In addition to new episodes, join Martha and pals online at PBSKIDS.org/martha for new games, printables, and videos. New this season is a feature called Dog Tags that lets kids upload a picture of their pet, decorate and tag it with vocabulary words from the show like miniature, peculiar and nimble, and submit their creations to Martha’s featured pet gallery. In addition, kids can play with theater-associated words in the new game Truman’s Word Play. In this game, Truman sets the stage for the rest of the Martha crew to put on a terrific show. Kids participate in the production by first selecting a word on the stage and then providing the action for three different uses of that word. They actively learn the vocabulary as they mimic a dance, make a bowl of soup vanish, balance a sombrero by catapulting pineapples, and more at http://pbskids.org/martha/games/wordplay.
The Real Martha and Her Owner, Author Susan MeddaughSusan Meddaugh was an illustrator of children’s books when a neighbor named Martha found a stray and asked Meddaugh if she could give the dog a proper home. Meddaugh named the dog Martha as a tribute. Shortly after Martha’s arrival, Meddaugh was feeding her young son alphabet soup. He wondered what would happen if Martha ate the soup. Would she speak? A perfectly simple question from a seven-year-old got the author/illustrator thinking: What pet lover doesn’t wonder what his pet would say if it could speak? Fast-forward 15 years, and the books in the Martha Speaks series have sold more than one million copies in the US, been widely translated throughout the world, and enjoyed enormous popular and critical acclaim.

New Martha Speaks books based on the PBS KIDS episodes are available from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. With a variety of formats geared to a range of reading levels, these TV-inspired books extend the fun beyond the television and computer screen.

About Martha SpeaksMartha Speaks is a production of WGBH Boston and DHX Media. Martha Speaks is funded in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting through a cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Education's Ready to Learn Grant. Corporate funding is provided by Chuck E. Cheese’s®, Kiddie Academy® Child Care Learning Centers, and Chick-fil-A, Inc. Additional funding provided by public television viewers.

Distributed internationally by Decode Enterprises, Martha Speaks also airs on CBBC, TVO, Knowledge Network, and SCN and has been acquired by broadcasters across Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.

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