The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle (Sterling Unabridged Classics Series)

The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle (Sterling Unabridged Classics Series)


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Hugh Lofting's beloved story of the doctor who can talk to animals has long enchanted children. Though his fondness for pets drives away all his human patients, as a veterinarian, Doctor Doolittle has the magic touch. Join him, Polynesia, Jip the dog, Dab-Dab the duck, and the rest of his furry and feathered friends as they face evil kings and treacherous pirates while handling their most important case ever.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781402797217
Publisher: Sterling Children's Books
Publication date: 09/04/2012
Series: Sterling Unabridged Classics Series
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 86,800
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 9 - 11 Years

About the Author

Hugh Lofting was born just outside of London in 1886. While serving in the army during World War I, he did not want to write home to his children about the atrocities of the war. Instead he wrote fanciful letters that became the basis for the zany adventures of John Dolittle. The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle, published in 1922, won the prestigious Newbery Medal.
Dr. Arthur Pober has spent more than 20 years in the fields of early childhood and gifted education. He is the former principal of one of the world's oldest laboratory schools for gifted youngsters, Hunter College Elementary School, and former Director of Magnet Schools for the Gifted and Talented in New York City. Arthur is currently the US representative to the European Institute for the Media and European Advertising Standards Alliance. He lives in New York, NY.
Scott McKowen has created award-winning posters and graphics for theater companies across Canada and the United States--including on Broadway. His work has been exhibited in art galleries on both sides of the border, and in 2002 he curated an exhibition of theater posters from around the world that appeared in Stratford, Ontario, and Ottawa and at the Design Exchange in Toronto. Scott was also commissioned by the Royal Canadian Mint to design Canada's 2001 silver dollar. He lives in Stratford, Ontario, Canada.

Read an Excerpt

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 wasJoe, 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.

Table of Contents

Part 1
IThe Cobbler's Son3
III Hear of the Great Naturalist7
IIIThe Doctor's Home12
IVThe Wiff-Waff18
VIThe Wounded Squirrel29
VIIShellfish Talk32
VIIIAre You a Good Noticer?35
IXThe Garden of Dreams39
XThe Private Zoo42
XIMy Schoolmaster, Polynesia45
XIIMy Great Idea48
XIIIA Traveler Arrives51
XIVChee-Chee's Voyage55
XVI Become a Doctor's Assistant58
Part 2
IThe Crew of "The Curlew"61
IILuke the Hermit63
IIIJip and the Secret66
VIThe Judge's Dog78
VIIThe End of the Mystery82
VIIIThree Cheers85
IXThe Purple Bird-of-Paradise88
XLong Arrow, the Son of Golden Arrow90
XIBlind Travel94
XIIDestiny and Destination98
Part 3
IThe Third Man101
IIIOur Troubles Begin109
IVOur Troubles Continue113
VPolynesia Has a Plan118
VIThe Bed-Maker of Monteverde121
VIIThe Doctor's Wager124
VIIIThe Great Bullfight129
IXWe Depart in a Hurry136
Part 4
IShellfish Languages Again140
IIThe Fidgit's Story145
IIIBad Weather155
VIThe Jabizri168
VIIHawk's-Head Mountain172
Part 5
IA Great Moment177
II"The Men of the Moving Land"183
IVWhat Makes an Island Float189
VIGeneral Polynesia197
VIIThe Peace of the Parrots200
VIIIThe Hanging Stone203
IXThe Election209
XThe Coronation of King Jong214
Part 6
INew Popsipetel218
IIThoughts of Home224
IIThe Red Man's Science228
IVThe Sea-Serpent231
VThe Shellfish Riddle Solved at Last236
VIThe Last Cabinet Meeting240
VIIThe Doctor's Decision243

Customer Reviews

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The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 140 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome book
natnoodle3 More than 1 year ago
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!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book you and your kids will love it. It is a great source of literichure. Exploration is at hand!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Okay you 9 year old person is got to stop swiching and this book awesome.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The best book ever for all ages!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
lisa-g More than 1 year ago
The beginning was great but the end was boring. It was hard to finish the book.
lori21 More than 1 year ago
Its an excellent old book to read and its a caldecott book. I love it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is perfect. Everyone who is interested in animals and nature and who likes a good adventure story should read it. Flawless.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
meki on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is about a man named Dr. Dolittle who goes on an wonderful voyage. This book is very funny and interesting.
tjsjohanna on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
fyrefly98 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
ElizaJane on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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!
debnance on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Docter Dolittle seems like a both interesting and very good book at one time
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hi i'm Bravestar. Go to the fogotten warrior. For more info
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Typo alert but still good read :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago