The Story Of Doctor Dolittle (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

The Story Of Doctor Dolittle (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

4.3 27
by Hugh Lofting

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In this first book in the series, Doctor Dolittle discovers that he can talk to the animals—Jip the dog, Dab Dab the duck, Polynesia the parrot.  See more details below


In this first book in the series, Doctor Dolittle discovers that he can talk to the animals—Jip the dog, Dab Dab the duck, Polynesia the parrot.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Kathleen Karr
Lofting was an Englishman, transplanted to America, who created the Doctor Dolittle character in letters home to his children from the battlefields of World War I. Eleven more books followed, garnering him a Newbery and an unforgettable place in literature for his loveable little doctor who could talk to-and cure-the animals. Lofting was a man of his time, and his fantasy recreates that world, including warts. This new edition chooses to eliminate the warts with a revision "for modern sensibilities" as noted in the foreword by Patricia and Fredrick McKissack. This bowdlerization chiefly affects the Prince Bumpo scenes and, of course, eliminates Lofting's original illustrations. Michael Hague's artwork is lovely and lush, but it leaves one yearning for the wry wit of Lofting's simpler drawings. 1997 (orig.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-8-The story of Doctor Doolittle's adventures and his eventual return home with the miraculous animal who joined the family.

Product Details

Demco Media
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.90(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
9 - 11 Years

Read an Excerpt

He was poorer than he had ever been before. But the Doctor refused to worry.

"Money is a nuisance," he said. "We'd all be much better off if it had never been invented. Who cares about money as long as we are happy?"

But soon even the animals began to worry. One night, as the Doctor snored in his chair before the kitchen fire, they whispered among themselves about what to do.

The owl, Too-Too, who was good at arithmetic, figured that there was only enough money to last one week—if they each had only one meal a day.

"I think we should do the housework ourselves," Polynesia suggested. "After all, it's because of us that the Doctor is so lonely and poor."

They agreed that Chee-Chee, the monkey, would do the cooking and mending; Jip, the dog, would sweep the floors; Dab-Dab, the duck, would dust and make the beds; Too-Too, the owl, would keep the accounts; and Gub-Gub, the pig, would do the gardening.  Because she was the oldest, Polynesia, the parrot, would be housekeeper and laundress.

At first the new jobs were very hard to do—except for Chee-Chee, who had hands and could do things like a person.  But soon they got used to it and thought it was great fun to watch Jip sweep his tail over the floor with a rag tied to it for a broom.  They worked so well that the Doctor said his house had never been so clean before!

The animals built a vegetable and flower stall outside the garden gate.  They sold radishes and roses to people going by on the road.  

But there still was not enough money to pay the bills.  Yet Doctor Dolittle did not worry.

"Never mind," he said.  "The hens lay eggs and the cow gives milk.  We can always have omelets and pudding.  There are plenty of vegetables in the garden. The winter is a long way off."

But that year the snow came earlier than usual.  Although the horse hauled in lots of wood from the forest for big fires in the kitchen, most of the vegetables were gone.  For the first time, the animals were really hungry.

Excerpted from The Story of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting.  Copyright (c) 1920 by Hugh Lofting.  Copyright (c) 1940 by Josephine Lofting. Centenary edition copyright (c) 1988 by Christopher Lofting.  Adaptation edition copyright (c) 1997 by Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers. Excerpted by permission of Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers, a division of the Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Story of Doctor Dolittle 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book ever!! I like what they said in the intro... Fun animals!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My son enjoyed reading the book but enjoyed the illustrations most!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the stories when i was 10, sixty years ago.i was appalled by the reviewer who said to see movie instead. The original movie that recieved and deserved 1 1/2*'s.i compare that to maybe recomending disneys 'mermaid' and panning hans christian anderson.
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Kimberly_Book_Addict More than 1 year ago
I am and always have been a huge fan of old movies. As a kid I was shown the Doctor Dolittle movie starring Rex Harrison and fell in love with the story of a man who could talk to animals. It's been years since I saw the movie and decided to read the first book in the series. Besides The Story of Doctor Dolittle, Hugh Lofting wrote eleven other books in this children's series. Dr. John Doolittle is a respected physician with a love of animals, who eventually loses his human patients due to the increasing amounts of animals that live with him. He lives with his sister in the English town of Puddleby-on-the-Marsh. One day he learns that he can speak to his animals when he begins to understand his parrot, Polynesia. He then takes up veterinary practice, and his fame spreads among the animals as a doctor who can talk to and understand them. He is eventually persuaded to travel to Africa to cure a monkey epidemic, but on the way is shipwrecked and captured by the king of Jolligingki. He barely escapes with his life, as the king is a victim of European colonization and hates any Europeans. Doolittle and his animal companions eventually make it to the land of the monkey epidemic, where he is able to cure and vaccinate all the monkeys. In appreciation for his services, the monkeys give Doolittle a rare gazelle-unicorn cross called a pushmi-pullyu. On the way back to England, Doolittle is again captured by the king of Jolligingki, but escapes with the help of a prince named Prince Bumpo. Eventually, Doolittle makes it back to England and tours with the pushmi-pullyu in a circus until he makes enough money to retire back to Puddleby. Surprisingly I really wasn't a fan of the book. I think it was because of the racism that was clearly evident in the writing and illustrations. The racial terms used to refer to black people and the monkey-like illustrations really hindered any type of pleasure I might have found in the novel. While young children reading the novel may not understand the offensiveness in the words and images, it still isn't something I'd want them learning if I was a parent. The one thing that I did enjoy about the book was the relationship that Doctor Dolittle had with his animals. It was heartwarming to see how much Dolittle cared about the animals. He was willing to go hungry, lose his house, and his family all for his love of the animals. The idea behind Doctor Dolittle and all the creatures and everything is a creative one, but there was just something about the book that didn't work for me. Maybe I was reading it at the wrong age? For those parents out there , show your kids the Rex Harrison film version if you want to introduce them to Doctor Dolittle, skip these books. Kimberly (Reflections of a Book Addict)
catesalim More than 1 year ago
For some reason, the font was not properly translated, so when reading it, it has odd characters where a letter should be, and page numbers fall in the middle of a page. Despite the difficulty of trying to translate it, it's still a lovely book.
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I bought this book to read to my 4-year-old. We both greatly enjoyed it. My daughter was entranced by a man who could talk to animals and his adventures. Great for boy or girl, young or old. Illustrations beautifully done!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book thirty-five years ago, and I still consider it one of the best books I ever read. Whether I'm going to the post office or discussing truffles, many things in life remind me of one Dr. Doolittle book or another. I have re-read it several times, and plan to read it again soon. It's like visiting with an old friend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its ok but i will read it again