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The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle

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Overview

Doctor Dolittle heads for the high seas in perhaps the most amazing adventure ever experienced by man or animal. Told by nine-and-a-half-year-old Tommy Stubbins, crewman and future naturalist, the voyages of Doctor Dolittle and his company lead them to Spidermonkey Island. Along with his faithful friends, Polynesia the parrot and Chee-Chee the monkey, Doctor Dolittle survives a perilous shipwreck and lands on the mysterious floating island. There he meets the wondrous Great Glass See Snail who holds the key to ...
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The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle (Classic Starts Series)

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Overview

Doctor Dolittle heads for the high seas in perhaps the most amazing adventure ever experienced by man or animal. Told by nine-and-a-half-year-old Tommy Stubbins, crewman and future naturalist, the voyages of Doctor Dolittle and his company lead them to Spidermonkey Island. Along with his faithful friends, Polynesia the parrot and Chee-Chee the monkey, Doctor Dolittle survives a perilous shipwreck and lands on the mysterious floating island. There he meets the wondrous Great Glass See Snail who holds the key to the greatest mystery of all.

When his colleague Long Arrow disappears, Dr. Dolittle sets off with his assistant, Tommy Stubbins, his dog, Jip, and Polynesia the parrot on an adventurous voyage over tropical seas to floating Spidermonkey Island.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Thanks to Patricia and Fredrick McKissack, Dr. Dolittle is back. Not the comic Dr. Dolittle of the recent movie but the delightfully eccentric doctor of Puddleby-on-Marsh. This Newbery classic has been reprinted with some slight editing to remove references that would offend today's culture. Now young and old can enjoy the charming, rotund animal linguist through the eyes of his 12-year old apprentice, Tom Stubbins, as they search for the elusive botanist, Long Arrow, and the even more elusive Great Glass Sea Snail. On board is Bumpo, the African prince who delights in using long words when short ones will do; Jip, the dog; and the irrepressible parrot, Polynesia. They stop in Spain to rid themselves of a pesky stowaway. While there, the doctor uses his animal linguistic ability to trick the town into outlawing bullfighting. After calm sailing, they encounter a storm and are shipwrecked. Fortunately, they find themselves close to Spidermonkey Island where Long Arrow was last seen. With the help of a Jabizri beetle, they locate the botanist who is trapped in a cave. Dr, Dolittle, the quintessential peace lover, is forced to lead a battle against a neighboring tribe for which he reluctantly accepts the role of king of the island. When the injured Great Glass Sea Snail arrives, Dr. Dolittle is convinced to return home inside the snail that teaches him the language of the shellfish and takes him home along the ocean floor so he can study this previously unknown world. 2001 (orig. 1920), HarperCollins Publishers, Ages 8 to 12.
—Moira Rose Donohue
Children's Literature - Keri Collins Lewis
In the village of Puddleby there lives a doctor who loves animals more than anything in the world. He has a variety of pets, from mice and a horse to his favorites, Dab-Dab the duck, Jip the dog, Gub-Gub the pig, Polynesia the parrot, and Too-Too the owl. When his human patients refuse to come to his office because of the animals, Doctor Dolittle and his sister Sarah run out of money to care for all of the creatures. In an effort to save the doctor from ruin, his friend the butcher suggests he become a veterinarian and treat animals instead of humans. Polynesia the parrot teaches him the language of birds, Jip teaches him the language of dogs, and soon the kind doctor's reputation for helping animals stretches around the world. Doctor Dolittle's famous adventures return to their roots in this abridged retelling from the Hugh Lofting original. In an effort to bring the classics to a young audience, Sterling Publishing has created the "Classic Starts" series, shortening the stories and presenting them in easy-to-understand language. Questions for discussion designed to make the story relevant to modern readers by focusing on its universal themes, are included at the end of the book. While fans of the modern movies may not recognize much in this pre-automobile British rendition of the beloved doctor, his winsome nature and the personalities of the various animals with whom he can speak will win over readers who love a good adventure tale, animal stories, or both. Reviewer: Keri Collins Lewis
School Library Journal
Gr 4-8-Doctor Dolittle sets sail towards the mysterious Spider Monkey Island accompanied by by nine-and-a-half-year-old Tommy Stubbins. By Hugh Lofting. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781604442007
  • Publisher: IndoEuropeanPublishing
  • Publication date: 5/28/2010
  • Pages: 268
  • Age range: 9 - 11 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Hugh Lofting (1886-1947) began what became the Doctor Dolittle stories while writing letters to his children from the front during World War I. The Story of Doctor Dolittle, first published in 1920, was followed by The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle, which was awarded the Newbery Medal, and ten more popular books in the series.

Michael Hague has illustrated more than thirty children's classics, including memorable editions of The Wizard of Oz, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Peter Pan, The Wind in the Willows, and The Secret Garden. He is also the artist of several bestselling books by his wife, Kathleen, including Alphabears, Numbears, and Ten Little Bears. The father of three grown children and the grandfather of four, Michael has a ready audience for all of his work.

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Read an Excerpt

The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle


By Lofting, Hugh

HarperTrophy

ISBN: 0060776005

Part One

The First Chapter

The Cobbler's Son

My name was Tommy Stubbins, son of Jacob Stubbins, the cobbler of Puddleby-on-the-Marsh; and I was nine and a half years old. At that time Puddleby was only quite a small town. A river ran through the middle of it; and over this river there was a very old stone bridge, called Kingsbridge, which led you from the marketplace on one side to the churchyard on the other.

Sailing ships came up this river from the sea and anchored near the bridge. I used to go down and watch the sailors unloading the ships upon the river wall. The sailors sang strange songs as they pulled upon the ropes; and I learned these songs by heart. And I would sit on the river wall with my feet dangling over the water and sing with the men, pretending to myself that I too was a sailor.

For I longed always to sail away with those brave ships when they turned their backs on Puddleby Church and went creeping down the river again, across the wide lonely marshes to the sea. I longed to go with them out into the world to seek my fortune in foreign lands -- Africa, India, China and Peru! When they got round the bend in the river and the water was hidden from view, you could still see their huge brown sails towering over the roofs of the town, moving onward slowly -- like some gentle giants that walked among the houses without noise. Whatstrange things would they have seen, I wondered, when next they came back to anchor at Kingsbridge! And, dreaming of the lands I had never seen, I'd sit on there, watching till they were out of sight.

Three great friends I had in Puddleby in those days. One was Joe, the mussel-man, who lived in a tiny hut by the edge of the water under the bridge. This old man was simply marvelous at making things. I never saw a man so clever with his hands. He used to mend my toy ships for me which I sailed upon the river; he built windmills out of packing cases and barrel staves; and he could make the most wonderful kites from old umbrellas.

Joe would sometimes take me in his mussel boat, and when the tide was running out we would paddle down the river as far as the edge of the sea to get mussels and lobsters to sell. And out there on the cold lonely marshes we would see wild geese flying, and curlews and redshanks and many other kinds of seabirds that live among the samfire and the long grass of the great salt fen. And as we crept up the river in the evening, when the tide had turned, we would see the lights on Kingsbridge twinkle in the dusk, reminding us of teatime and warm fires.

Another friend I had was Matthew Mugg, the Cat's-meat-Man. He was a funny old person with a bad squint. He looked rather awful but he was really quite nice to talk to. He knew everybody in Puddleby; and he knew all the dogs and all the cats. In those times being a Cat's-meat-Man was a regular business. And you could see one nearly any day going through the streets with a wooden tray full of pieces of meat stuck on skewers crying, "Meat! M-E-A-T!" People paid him to give this meat to their cats and dogs instead of feeding them on dog biscuits or the scraps from the table.

I enjoyed going round with old Matthew and seeing the cats and dogs come running to the garden gates whenever they heard his call. Sometimes he let me give the meat to the animals myself; and I thought this was great fun. He knew a lot about dogs and he would tell me the names of the different kinds as we went through the town. He had several dogs of his own; one, a whippet, was a very fast runner, and Matthew used to win prizes with her at the Saturday coursing races; another, a terrier, was a fine ratter. The Cat's-meat-Man used to make a business of rat-catching for the millers and farmers as well as his other trade of selling cat's-meat.

My third great friend was Luke the Hermit. But of him I will tell you more later on.

I did not go to school, because my father was not rich enough to send me. But I was extremely fond of animals. So I used to spend my time collecting birds' eggs and butterflies, fishing in the river, rambling through the countryside after blackberries and mushrooms and helping the mussel-man mend his nets.

Yes, it was a very pleasant life I lived in those days long ago -- though of course I did not think so then. I was nine and a half years old; and, like all boys, I wanted to grow up -- not knowing how well off I was with no cares and nothing to worry me. Always I longed for the time when I should be allowed to leave my father's house, to take passage in one of those brave ships, to sail down the river through the misty marshes to the sea-out into the world to seek my fortune. Continues...


Excerpted from The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle by Lofting, Hugh Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Introduction ix
Prologue 1
Part 1
I The Cobbler's Son 3
II I Hear of the Great Naturalist 7
III The Doctor's Home 12
IV The Wiff-Waff 18
V Polynesia 23
VI The Wounded Squirrel 29
VII Shellfish Talk 32
VIII Are You a Good Noticer? 35
IX The Garden of Dreams 39
X The Private Zoo 42
XI My Schoolmaster, Polynesia 45
XII My Great Idea 48
XIII A Traveler Arrives 51
XIV Chee-Chee's Voyage 55
XV I Become a Doctor's Assistant 58
Part 2
I The Crew of "The Curlew" 61
II Luke the Hermit 63
III Jip and the Secret 66
IV Bob 69
V Mendoza 74
VI The Judge's Dog 78
VII The End of the Mystery 82
VIII Three Cheers 85
IX The Purple Bird-of-Paradise 88
X Long Arrow, the Son of Golden Arrow 90
XI Blind Travel 94
XII Destiny and Destination 98
Part 3
I The Third Man 101
II Good-Bye! 106
III Our Troubles Begin 109
IV Our Troubles Continue 113
V Polynesia Has a Plan 118
VI The Bed-Maker of Monteverde 121
VII The Doctor's Wager 124
VIII The Great Bullfight 129
IX We Depart in a Hurry 136
Part 4
I Shellfish Languages Again 140
II The Fidgit's Story 145
III Bad Weather 155
IV Wrecked! 158
V Land! 164
VI The Jabizri 168
VII Hawk's-Head Mountain 172
Part 5
I A Great Moment 177
II "The Men of the Moving Land" 183
III Fire 186
IV What Makes an Island Float 189
V War! 192
VI General Polynesia 197
VII The Peace of the Parrots 200
VIII The Hanging Stone 203
IX The Election 209
X The Coronation of King Jong 214
Part 6
I New Popsipetel 218
II Thoughts of Home 224
II The Red Man's Science 228
IV The Sea-Serpent 231
V The Shellfish Riddle Solved at Last 236
VI The Last Cabinet Meeting 240
VII The Doctor's Decision 243
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First Chapter

The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle

Part One

The First Chapter

The Cobbler's Son

My name was Tommy Stubbins, son of Jacob Stubbins, the cobbler of Puddleby-on-the-Marsh; and I was nine and a half years old. At that time Puddleby was only quite a small town. A river ran through the middle of it; and over this river there was a very old stone bridge, called Kingsbridge, which led you from the marketplace on one side to the churchyard on the other.

Sailing ships came up this river from the sea and anchored near the bridge. I used to go down and watch the sailors unloading the ships upon the river wall. The sailors sang strange songs as they pulled upon the ropes; and I learned these songs by heart. And I would sit on the river wall with my feet dangling over the water and sing with the men, pretending to myself that I too was a sailor.

For I longed always to sail away with those brave ships when they turned their backs on Puddleby Church and went creeping down the river again, across the wide lonely marshes to the sea. I longed to go with them out into the world to seek my fortune in foreign lands -- Africa, India, China and Peru! When they got round the bend in the river and the water was hidden from view, you could still see their huge brown sails towering over the roofs of the town, moving onward slowly -- like some gentle giants that walked among the houses without noise. What strange things would they have seen, I wondered, when next they came back to anchor at Kingsbridge! And, dreaming of the lands I had never seen, I'd sit on there, watching till they were out of sight.

Three great friends I had in Puddleby in those days. One was Joe, the mussel-man, who lived in a tiny hut by the edge of the water under the bridge. This old man was simply marvelous at making things. I never saw a man so clever with his hands. He used to mend my toy ships for me which I sailed upon the river; he built windmills out of packing cases and barrel staves; and he could make the most wonderful kites from old umbrellas.

Joe would sometimes take me in his mussel boat, and when the tide was running out we would paddle down the river as far as the edge of the sea to get mussels and lobsters to sell. And out there on the cold lonely marshes we would see wild geese flying, and curlews and redshanks and many other kinds of seabirds that live among the samfire and the long grass of the great salt fen. And as we crept up the river in the evening, when the tide had turned, we would see the lights on Kingsbridge twinkle in the dusk, reminding us of teatime and warm fires.

Another friend I had was Matthew Mugg, the Cat's-meat-Man. He was a funny old person with a bad squint. He looked rather awful but he was really quite nice to talk to. He knew everybody in Puddleby; and he knew all the dogs and all the cats. In those times being a Cat's-meat-Man was a regular business. And you could see one nearly any day going through the streets with a wooden tray full of pieces of meat stuck on skewers crying, "Meat! M-E-A-T!" People paid him to give this meat to their cats and dogs instead of feeding them on dog biscuits or the scraps from the table.

I enjoyed going round with old Matthew and seeing the cats and dogs come running to the garden gates whenever they heard his call. Sometimes he let me give the meat to the animals myself; and I thought this was great fun. He knew a lot about dogs and he would tell me the names of the different kinds as we went through the town. He had several dogs of his own; one, a whippet, was a very fast runner, and Matthew used to win prizes with her at the Saturday coursing races; another, a terrier, was a fine ratter. The Cat's-meat-Man used to make a business of rat-catching for the millers and farmers as well as his other trade of selling cat's-meat.

My third great friend was Luke the Hermit. But of him I will tell you more later on.

I did not go to school, because my father was not rich enough to send me. But I was extremely fond of animals. So I used to spend my time collecting birds' eggs and butterflies, fishing in the river, rambling through the countryside after blackberries and mushrooms and helping the mussel-man mend his nets.

Yes, it was a very pleasant life I lived in those days long ago -- though of course I did not think so then. I was nine and a half years old; and, like all boys, I wanted to grow up -- not knowing how well off I was with no cares and nothing to worry me. Always I longed for the time when I should be allowed to leave my father's house, to take passage in one of those brave ships, to sail down the river through the misty marshes to the sea-out into the world to seek my fortune.

The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle. Copyright © by Hugh Lofting. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 141 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(72)

4 Star

(19)

3 Star

(12)

2 Star

(8)

1 Star

(30)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 141 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2010

    Warning to Parents - Problematic Content

    I read all the Dr. Dolittle books as a child and LOVED them-- I was captivated by the premise of being able to talk to animals as well as by the exciting adventures. However, I was not prepared for what I found in <The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle> (1951 printing) as I was reading it to my son. In Chapter 5 (p. 36), Polynesia the parrot is catching Dr. Dolittle up on the goings-on back in Africa. She tells him that one of the African kings they know has sent his son to study at Oxford. She further comments that the Prince didn't want to go, fearing that he would be eaten by white cannibals. She then states, "You know what those <n-word> are--that ignorant!" This troubling line has been excised from more recent printings. However...

    I'm afraid the trouble with the Dr. Doolittle books extends beyond problematic language. Unfortunately, the books promote a "white savior" mentality, as the good Doctor solves problems for ignorant natives at every stop in his voyages. Yes, in and of itself, having Dr. Doolittle help natives he encounters is noble and good. But it is the way the problem-solving is presented--one wonders how the natives ever managed to get along at all without him!

    This is MOST troubling in that these are children's books. I devoured these books as a child, never discussing them with my parents. While I believe I would have noticed any occurrences of blatantly racist language, the more subtle racist content in the "white savior" message went unnoticed and absorbed. This emphasizes the need for parents to carefully vet the books their children read so they may discuss any problematic issues. I don't know how popular Dr. Doolittle books are amongst today's children... hopefully, not very!

    8 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 29, 2012

    typos typos typos

    If you added up all the typos and random words like... fggfvhx it would probably add up to 5 full pages! Otherr than that it was great!

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2012

    Book

    Awesome book

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    read it!!!

    i read this book before i got my nook and loved it. it was entertaining and always left you wondering what will happen next. it would be great for any young adults and elementary school kids it's really intresting and easy to follow along with. if you are not sure if you want to download this ebook i say yes!!!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2012

    Dr. Doolittle has a funny name.

    Dr. Doolittle has a funny name that akes it sound very interesting. I wonder where he got his name from. Soinds very cool. Wanna read it someday.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2012

    Sucks

    Worst book ever typos were horrible

    3 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 11, 2010

    Great family reading OR a story young fluent readers (K-2) will love!

    Our family has fallen in love with the Classic Starts Series. This particular book; The Voyages of Doctor Doolittle is a darling story full of adventure that satisfies the interest of both kids; a first grade boy and preschool girl. The questions in the back allow the kids to think about the story and relate it to their own lives. The humor and conversations that materialize after are priceless! I would also recommend this title for fluent readers in lower grades (K-2)where age appropriate content matters.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2012

    ok

    The story line in the book is great but there are several things wrong with the format. Like i could be in the middle of a page and it will say something completely out of conntext like the voyages of doctor dolittle. It is a little better is you use the smallest text settings but it is not completely avoidable.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2012

    Fgn

    Would give it zero stars if i could

    2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2012

    I dont really like this book

    No

    2 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2011

    I am offended...

    So this Newbery Award winning classic has been edited????? Take off Hugh Lofting's name and put the others on it so no one is tricked into thinking they are getting the original. Stop with the politically correct censoring!!!

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    12 year old's review

    The beginning was great but the end was boring. It was hard to finish the book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 14, 2010

    Great for a bedtime story

    My husband read this book for my 5 year old daughter and they both enjoyed it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2013

    I have the same book except its a little different

    I have the same book except its a little different

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2013

    Awesome book

    This is a great book you and your kids will love it. It is a great source of literichure. Exploration is at hand!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2013

    Awesome

    Okay you 9 year old person is got to stop swiching and this book awesome.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2012

    awesome!!!!!

    The best book ever for all ages!!!!!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2012

    Good, but some formatting issues

    A very good story, but it has some formatting issues, like the title, instead of being on the top of the page, sometimes goes anywhere but the top. There are also some typos, random letters strewn about, and some missing puncuation which mysteriously moves to a whole section. But overall, it's very good. I would give it about 2 1/2 to 3 stars.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent old book

    Its an excellent old book to read and its a caldecott book. I love it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2008

    Perfect in every way......

    This book is perfect. Everyone who is interested in animals and nature and who likes a good adventure story should read it. Flawless.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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