Dolittle is soon to be a major motion picture from Universal Pictures, starring Robert Downey Jr. and featuring the voice talents of Emma Thompson, Tom Holland, Selena Gomez, and John Cena!
Doctor Dolittle returns in this classic Newberry Medal winner!
Doctor Dolittle heads for the high seas in perhaps the most amazing adventure ever experienced by man or animal! Told by 9-and-a-half-year-old Tommy Stubbins, crewman and future naturalist, Doctor Dolittle and company survive a perilous shipwreck and land on the mysterious, floating Spidermonkey Island. There he meets the Great Glass Sea Snail who holds the key to the biggest mystery of all.
|Publisher:||Random House Children's Books|
|Series:||Doctor Dolittle Series|
|Edition description:||Revised Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.25(w) x 7.69(h) x 0.80(d)|
|Lexile:||930L (what's this?)|
|Age Range:||9 - 11 Years|
About the Author
Hugh Lofting was born in 1886 in Maidenhead, Berkshire. His Doctor Dolittle books first appeared on paper in the form of letters to his children, Elizabeth and Colin. Lofting wrote a number of children's books besides the Dolittle series, including The Story of Mrs. Tubbs (1923), Tommy, Tilly and Mrs. Tubbs (1936), Porridge Poetry (1924), The Twilight of Magic (1930), and Gub Gub's Book (1932). Lofting also wrote one book for adults, Victory for the Slain (1942). He died in 1947 in Santa Monica, California.
Read an Excerpt
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 market-place 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 sea-birds 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 tea-time 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.CHAPTER 2
I Hear of the Great Naturalist
One early morning in the Springtime, when I was wandering among the hills at the back of the town, I happened to come upon a hawk with a squirrel in its claws. It was standing on a rock and the squirrel was fighting very hard for its life. The hawk was so frightened when I came upon it suddenly like this, that it dropped the poor creature and flew away. I picked the squirrel up and found that two of its legs were badly hurt. So I carried it in my arms back to the town.
When I came to the bridge I went into the mussel-man's hut and asked him if he could do anything for it. Joe put on his spectacles and examined it carefully. Then he shook his head.
"Yon crittur's got a broken leg," he said — "and another badly cut an' all. I can mend you your boats, Tom, but I haven't the tools nor the learning to make a broken squirrel seaworthy. This is a job for a surgeon — and for a right smart one an' all. There be only one man I know who could save yon crittur's life. And that's John Dolittle."
"Who is John Dolittle?" I asked. "Is he a vet?"
"No," said the mussel-man. "He's no vet. Doctor Dolittle is a nacheralist."
"What's a nacheralist?"
"A nacheralist," said Joe, putting away his glasses and starting to fill his pipe, "is a man who knows all about animals and butterflies and plants and rocks an' all. John Dolittle is a very great nacheralist. I'm surprised you never heard of him — and you daft over animals. He knows a whole lot about shellfish — that I know from my own knowledge. He's a quiet man and don't talk much; but there's folks who do say he's the greatest nacheralist in the world."
"Where does he live?" I asked.
"Over on the Oxenthorpe Road, t'other side the town. Don't know just which house it is, but 'most anyone 'cross there could tell you, I reckon. Go and see him. He's a great man."
So I thanked the mussel-man, took up my squirrel again and started off towards the Oxenthorpe Road.
The first thing I heard as I came into the market-place was some one calling "Meat! M-E-A-T!"
"There's Matthew Mugg," I said to myself. "He'll know where this Doctor lives. Matthew knows everyone."
So I hurried across the market-place and caught him up. "Matthew," I said, "do you know Doctor Dolittle?"
"Do I know John Dolittle!" said he. "Well, I should think I do! I know him as well as I know my own wife — better, I sometimes think. He's a great man — a very great man."
"Can you show me where he lives?" I asked. "I want to take this squirrel to him. It has a broken leg."
"Certainly," said the cat's-meat-man. "I'll be going right by his house directly. Come along and I'll show you."
So off we went together.
"Oh, I've known John Dolittle for years and years," said Matthew as we made our way out of the market-place. "But I'm pretty sure he ain't home just now. He's away on a voyage. But he's liable to be back any day. I'll show you his house and then you'll know where to find him."
All the way down the Oxenthorpe Road Matthew hardly stopped talking about his great friend, Doctor John Dolittle — "M.D." He talked so much that he forgot all about calling out "Meat!" until we both suddenly noticed that we had a whole procession of dogs following us patiently.
"Where did the Doctor go to on this voyage?" I asked as Matthew handed round the meat to them.
"I couldn't tell you," he answered. "Nobody never knows where he goes, nor when he's going, nor when he's coming back. He lives all alone except for his pets. He's made some great voyages and some wonderful discoveries. Last time he came back he told me he'd found a tribe of Red Indians in the Pacific Ocean — lived on two islands, they did. The husbands lived on one island and the wives lived on the other. Sensible people, some of them savages. They only met once a year, when the husbands came over to visit the wives for a great feast — Christmas-time, most likely. Yes, he's a wonderful man is the Doctor. And as for animals, well, there ain't no one knows as much about 'em as what he does."
"How did he get to know so much about animals?" I asked.
The cat's-meat-man stopped and leant down to whisper in my ear.
"He talks their language," he said in a hoarse, Mysterious voice.
"The animals' language?" I cried.
"Why certainly," said Matthew. "All animals have some kind of a language. Some sorts talk more than others; some only speak in sign-language, like deaf-and-dumb. But the Doctor, he understands them all — birds as well as animals. We keep it a secret though, him and me, because folks only laugh at you when you speak of it. Why, he can even write animal-language. He reads aloud to his pets. He's wrote history-books in monkey-talk, poetry in canary language and comic songs for magpies to sing. It's a fact. He's now busy learning the language of the shellfish. But he says it's hard work — and he has caught some terrible colds, holding his head under water so much. He's a great man."
"He certainly must be," I said. "I do wish he were home so I could meet him."
"Well, there's his house, look," said the cat's-meat-man — "that little one at the bend in the road there — the one high up — like it was sitting on the wall above the street."
We were now come beyond the edge of the town. And the house that Matthew pointed out was quite a small one standing by itself. There seemed to be a big garden around it; and this garden was much higher than the road, so you had to go up a flight of steps in the wall before you reached the front gate at the top. I could see that there were many fine fruit trees in the garden, for their branches hung down over the wall in places. But the wall was so high I could not see anything else.
When we reached the house Matthew went up the steps to the front gate and I followed him. I thought he was going to go into the garden; but the gate was locked. A dog came running down from the house; and he took several pieces of meat which the cat's-meat-man pushed through the bars of the gate, and some paper-bags full of corn and bran. I noticed that this dog did not stop to eat the meat, as any ordinary dog would have done, but he took all the things back to the house and disappeared. He had a curious wide collar round his neck which looked as though it were made of brass or something. Then we came away.
"The Doctor isn't back yet," said Matthew, "or the gate wouldn't be locked."
"What were all those things in paper-bags you gave the dog?" I asked.
"Oh, those were provisions," said Matthew — "things for the animals to eat. The Doctor's house is simply full of pets. I give the things to the dog, while the Doctor's away, and the dog gives them to the other animals."
"And what was that curious collar he was wearing round his neck?"
"That's a solid gold dog-collar," said Matthew. "It was given to him when he was with the Doctor on one of his voyages long ago. He saved a man's life."
"How long has the Doctor had him?" I asked.
"Oh, a long time. Jip's getting pretty old now. That's why the Doctor doesn't take him on his voyages any more. He leaves him behind to take care of the house. Every Monday and Thursday I bring the food to the gate here and give it him through the bars. He never lets any one come inside the garden while the Doctor's away — not even me, though he knows me well. But you'll always be able to tell if the Doctor's back or not — because if he is, the gate will surely be open."
So I went off home to my father's house and put my squirrel to bed in an old wooden box full of straw. And there I nursed him myself and took care of him as best I could till the time should come when the Doctor would return. And every day I went to the little house with the big garden on the edge of the town and tried the gate to see if it were locked. Sometimes the dog, Jip, would come down to the gate to meet me. But though he always wagged his tail and seemed glad to see me, he never let me come inside the garden.CHAPTER 3
The Doctor's Home
One Monday afternoon towards the end of April my father asked me to take some shoes which he had mended to a house on the other side of the town. They were for a Colonel Bellowes who was very particular.
I found the house and rang the bell at the front door. The Colonel opened it, stuck out a very red face and said, "Go round to the tradesmen's entrance — go to the back door." Then he slammed the door shut.
I felt inclined to throw the shoes into the middle of his flowerbed. But I thought my father might be angry, so I didn't. I went round to the back door, and there the Colonel's wife met me and took the shoes from me. She looked a timid little woman and had her hands all over flour as though she were making bread. She seemed to be terribly afraid of her husband whom I could still hear stumping round the house somewhere, grunting indignantly because I had come to the front door. Then she asked me in a whisper if I would have a bun and a glass of milk. And I said, "Yes, please."
After I had eaten the bun and milk, I thanked the Colonel's wife and came away. Then I thought that before I went home I would go and see if the Doctor had come back yet. I had been to his house once already that morning. But I thought I'd just like to go and take another look. My squirrel wasn't getting any better and I was beginning to be worried about him.
So I turned into the Oxenthorpe Road and started off towards the Doctor's house. On the way I noticed that the sky was clouding over and that it looked as though it might rain.
I reached the gate and found it still locked. I felt very discouraged. I had been coming here every day for a week now. The dog, Jip, came to the gate and wagged his tail as usual, and then sat down and watched me closely to see that I didn't get in.
I began to fear that my squirrel would die before the Doctor came back. I turned away sadly, went down the steps on to the road and turned towards home again.
I wondered if it were supper-time yet. Of course I had no watch of my own, but I noticed a gentleman coming towards me down the road; and when he got nearer I saw it was the Colonel out for a walk. He was all wrapped up in smart overcoats and mufflers and bright-colored gloves. It was not a very cold day but he had so many clothes on he looked like a pillow inside a roll of blankets. I asked him if he would please tell me the time.
He stopped, grunted and glared down at me — his red face growing redder still; and when he spoke it sounded like the cork coming out of a ginger-beer-bottle.
"Do you imagine for one moment," he spluttered, "that I am going to get myself all unbuttoned just to tell a little boy like you the time!" And he went stumping down the street, grunting harder than ever.
I stood still a moment looking after him and wondering how old I would have to be, to have him go to the trouble of getting his watch out. And then, all of a sudden, the rain came down in torrents.
I have never seen it rain so hard. It got dark, almost like night. The wind began to blow; the thunder rolled; the lightning flashed, and in a moment the gutters of the road were flowing like a river. There was no place handy to take shelter, so I put my head down against the driving wind and started to run towards home.
I hadn't gone very far when my head bumped into something soft and I sat down suddenly on the pavement. I looked up to see whom I had run into. And there in front of me, sitting on the wet pavement like myself, was a little round man with a very kind face. He wore a shabby high hat and in his hand he had a small black bag.
"I'm very sorry," I said. "I had my head down and I didn't see you coming."
To my great surprise, instead of getting angry at being knocked down, the little man began to laugh.
"You know this reminds me," he said, "of a time once when I was in India. I ran full tilt into a woman in a thunderstorm. But she was carrying a pitcher of molasses on her head and I had treacle in my hair for weeks afterwards — the flies followed me everywhere. I didn't hurt you, did I?"(Continues…)
Excerpted from "The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle"
Copyright © 2019 Hugh Lofting.
Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
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.
Table of Contents
Contents Part One Prologue Chapters 1-15 Part Two Chapters 16-27 Part Three Chapters 28-36 Part Four Chapters 37-43 Part Five Chapters 44-53 Part Six Chapters 54-60
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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!!!
This is a great book you and your kids will love it. It is a great source of literichure. Exploration is at hand!
Okay you 9 year old person is got to stop swiching and this book awesome.
The best book ever for all ages!!!!!!!!!
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.
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.
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.
The beginning was great but the end was boring. It was hard to finish the book.
Its an excellent old book to read and its a caldecott book. I love it.
This book is perfect. Everyone who is interested in animals and nature and who likes a good adventure story should read it. Flawless.
From the smallest ant to the biggest whale, Doctor John Dolittle studied and adored animals. In the story, 'The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle' the author Hugh Lofting presented the doctor to the world. Telling them about his voyages he took and the animals he talked to. It all started from a young boy named Jacob Puddleby, who is telling about his wonderful experience with the famous John Dolittle. Jacob's parents did not have enough money to send him to school. Jacob would walk around town and learn his own way. One day he sees a hawk that has a little squirrel in his grasp. Young Jacob scares the hawk just in time before it killed the squirrel. Scared and frightened that the squirrel was injured Jacob takes care of it. However he notices he doesn't have the proper education to treat it. So he goes in search of help the cats meat-man tells him about the greatest doctor ever doctor John Dolittle. There he goes in search for the great doctor. After visiting him everyday he becomes fascinated with animals and sooner or later he is living with the doctor and going on a voyage. The book had its strong points like the characters. John Dolittle seems like a great man, a man who seems to know all the answers in the world. He seems to be the kindest man to ever live. The young boy Jacob Puddleby had a voluminous amount of energy and always helping the doctor and thinking quickly. The book also had some weak points; in my opinion it was to short. This is a more of a mystery and adventure book. Another strong point would be the diversity of all the animals. The characters seem realistic such as Doctor Dolittle a man who loved nature. Also having stock characteristics such as the captain. I really do recommend that people should read this book. It makes you aware of nature and all it's amazing creations. It is a really good beach read, or a story that you can curl up in front of the fire. Either way you should read the book the voyages of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting, it sure to make an animal out of you.
This a magnificent book for those who LOVE animals. It is funny and unique. I've read it at least 5 times, Really!!!!! Prefect for 9 to 100yrs old.
This book is about a man named Dr. Dolittle who goes on an wonderful voyage. This book is very funny and interesting.
This is a fanciful look at the natural world - very much from a child's view. In this world one can ride on the back of a giant sea snail's back right down to the depths of the ocean, and islands can float, and animals have extensive languages that can be learned. I loved Dr. Dolittle - he is pleasant and interested and good. This tale reminded me of tales such as "The Odyssey" or "Gulliver's Travels". An enjoyable read.
Summary: In The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle, the now-famous Doctor who speaks the language of animals, takes on a young apprentice, Tommy Stubbins, who narrates this tale. Matters in the small town of Puddleby-on-the-Marsh keep Doctor Dolittle busy enough, but when he receives word that Long Arrow, the great Native American naturalist, is missing, he feels he must help. So the Doctor, Tommy, and an assortment of their animal companions travel halfway around the world to Spidermonkey Island, the last place that Long Arrow was seen. But when they get there, they find that the situation is even worse than they'd feared.Review: I don't ordinarily like to credit broad patterns in my life to single events from my childhood, but I am almost positive that stories from this book are what initially sparked my interest in marine biology. Traveling the depths of the ocean floor inside the translucent shell of the Great Glass Sea Snail? Yes please! Where do I sign up?This book is longer than its predecessor, although just as charming. Although it's technically the second book in the series, it could be picked up independently, since the introduction of Tommy as a narrator means that the reader gets a fresh introduction to Doctor Dolittle and all of his animals as well. For those who have read the first book, however, this re-introduction gives an interesting new perspective, and we get to see a different side to the Doctor's personality.Of course, the book has all of the same issues of its predecessor as well, especially in regards to casually racist attitudes. (To give the barest example, Long Arrow and his compatriots are referred to as Red Indians, which was admittedly the term at the time, but today conjures up uncomfortably Peter Pan-esque caricatures.) Similarly, there's an entire section in which the native inhabitants of Spidermonkey Island cheerfully crown the tubby white doctor as their king, which feels kind of icky in a post-colonial age. To be fair, though, the Doctor himself generally rejects both the racism and the colonialism; Long Arrow is (and is treated as) an intelligent and talented colleague, and the Doctor seems just as uncomfortable with his kingship as his readers are. In general, though, this entire series, and this book in particular, is just wildly charming. The characters are wonderful, the animals are lovable, the adventures are exciting, and the whole thing's just a good, fun, light read. One note: although both this and the first book are available for free on the Kindle, reading them in that format means missing out on Lofting's charming illustrations. 4.5 out of 5 stars.Recommendation: I love these books enough that I'd recommend them to just about everyone, but particularly those who've always secretly wished that they could talk to animals.
In this second book of the series we meet Tommy Stubbins, the boy who becomes Dolittle's assistant. Once again Dolittle sets off on a voyage this time to meet the great botanist Long Arrow, son of Golden Arrow and along the way they meet many side adventures. Dolittle becomes set on learning the shellfish language, meeting the Great Glass Sea Snail, ends up on Spidermonkey Island, saves the island from floating into the Antarctic and helps the natives build a thriving city and society.Both the 8yo and I thoroughly enjoyed every word of this book. Everything a child could want in a book is here: adventure, fantasy, science and animals all rolled into one. The action starts in the first chapter and is non-stop right to the very end which comes to a heart warming ending that leaves the reader with the feeling that there most certainly must be a sequel.The edition I have is unaltered from the original text. At least I can find no indication that it has been altered, though the spelling has been Americanized. This edition is part of the Grosset & Dunlap Illustrated junior Library which has been in publication since the 1950s so I am fairly confident the text has not been edited. Since these books are often cited as being racist by PC fanatics I will note that I found absolutely nothing offensive in the book at all. The original illustrations have been omitted and replaced by a handful of full-colour plates illustrated in a cute fashion which I am not fond of. I will look for an original edition with Lofting's illustrations to replace this one someday.Having read the first two together I can say for certain we will continue on with the series. The 8yo thought it was one of the best books we've read together and we both agree it is even better than the first book. Having read this as a child myself it is great to see that it lived up to my expectations and then some. Recommended!
Tommy Stubbins is thrilled to make the acquaintance of the esteemed Doctor Doolittle. Doolittle has the amazing ability to talk to animals and he loves to travel; these two combine to send him off on many adventures. And Tommy is able to come along, a witness to all the adventures of the doctor. They meet up with the world¿s greatest naturalist, Long Arrow, on a floating island. The doctor teaches the people of Spain a new way to fight bulls. And the doctor is made king.
Docter Dolittle seems like a both interesting and very good book at one time
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Typo alert but still good read :)