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The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle

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The delightfully eccentric Doctor Dolittle, rendered immortal on screen by the gifted Rex Harrison, has remained a firm favorite with generations of children ever since he made his debut in an earlier novel, The Story of Doctor Dolittle.In his second outing titledThe Voyages of Doctor Dolittle, the maverick physician takes on a new assistant, Tommy Stubbins. The story is s The delightfully eccentric Doctor Dolittle, rendered immortal on screen by the gifted Rex Harrison, has remained a firm favorite with generations of children ever since he made his debut in an earlier novel, The Story of Doctor Dolittle.In his second outing titledThe Voyages of Doctor Dolittle, the maverick physician takes on a new assistant, Tommy Stubbins. The story is structured as a first person account given by Tommy, who is now a very old man. The boy who was the son of the village cobbler first meets Doctor Dolittle when he takes a hurt squirrel to the doctor for treatment. Tommy and the doctor quickly become friends, and the boy soon learns how to communicate with animals in their own languages. The remarkable talking parrot, Polynesia and other amazing creatures from the previous book also appear in this sequel. The mysterious disappearance of a friend of the doctor's called Luke the Hermit sets off a train of strange events. And Tommy finds himself accompanying the good doctor on an exciting, hazardous voyage to find Long Arrow, a native American and the son of Golden Arrow, who is reputed to be the greatest living naturalist in the world.The kind hearted, quirky, animal rights activist Doctor Dolittle dominates the plot. His enduring humanitarian approach to the world around him, his desire for peaceful coexistence among all and his concern for the environment make him a memorable and endearing character. This as much an adventure story as a strong appeal for compassion towards the innumerable species that share our planet with us. There are shipwrecks, South American and Mediterranean locations, underwater explorations where they discover a giant sea snail and wonderful descriptions of land and sea.Critics of Hugo Lofting's work point out that there are several passages which are now politically incorrect. However, readers would do well to remember that these books were written more than a hundred years ago, when attitudes to colonization and race were quite different.In the dozen or so books featuring Doctor Dolittle, the author Hugo Lofting ensures that a wide variety of themes, locations and ideas are explored. The books were originally illustrated by the author himself, as he was a talented artist and naturalist himself.


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The delightfully eccentric Doctor Dolittle, rendered immortal on screen by the gifted Rex Harrison, has remained a firm favorite with generations of children ever since he made his debut in an earlier novel, The Story of Doctor Dolittle.In his second outing titledThe Voyages of Doctor Dolittle, the maverick physician takes on a new assistant, Tommy Stubbins. The story is s The delightfully eccentric Doctor Dolittle, rendered immortal on screen by the gifted Rex Harrison, has remained a firm favorite with generations of children ever since he made his debut in an earlier novel, The Story of Doctor Dolittle.In his second outing titledThe Voyages of Doctor Dolittle, the maverick physician takes on a new assistant, Tommy Stubbins. The story is structured as a first person account given by Tommy, who is now a very old man. The boy who was the son of the village cobbler first meets Doctor Dolittle when he takes a hurt squirrel to the doctor for treatment. Tommy and the doctor quickly become friends, and the boy soon learns how to communicate with animals in their own languages. The remarkable talking parrot, Polynesia and other amazing creatures from the previous book also appear in this sequel. The mysterious disappearance of a friend of the doctor's called Luke the Hermit sets off a train of strange events. And Tommy finds himself accompanying the good doctor on an exciting, hazardous voyage to find Long Arrow, a native American and the son of Golden Arrow, who is reputed to be the greatest living naturalist in the world.The kind hearted, quirky, animal rights activist Doctor Dolittle dominates the plot. His enduring humanitarian approach to the world around him, his desire for peaceful coexistence among all and his concern for the environment make him a memorable and endearing character. This as much an adventure story as a strong appeal for compassion towards the innumerable species that share our planet with us. There are shipwrecks, South American and Mediterranean locations, underwater explorations where they discover a giant sea snail and wonderful descriptions of land and sea.Critics of Hugo Lofting's work point out that there are several passages which are now politically incorrect. However, readers would do well to remember that these books were written more than a hundred years ago, when attitudes to colonization and race were quite different.In the dozen or so books featuring Doctor Dolittle, the author Hugo Lofting ensures that a wide variety of themes, locations and ideas are explored. The books were originally illustrated by the author himself, as he was a talented artist and naturalist himself.

30 review for The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle (Doctor Dolittle, #2), Hugh Lofting The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle was the second of Hugh Lofting's Doctor Dolittle books to be published, coming out in 1922. It is nearly five times as long as its predecessor and the writing style is pitched at a more mature audience. The scope of the novel is vast; it is divided into six parts and the illustrations are also more sophisticated. It won the Newbery Medal for 1923. Tommy Stubbins, the narrator of the story, finds a sq The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle (Doctor Dolittle, #2), Hugh Lofting The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle was the second of Hugh Lofting's Doctor Dolittle books to be published, coming out in 1922. It is nearly five times as long as its predecessor and the writing style is pitched at a more mature audience. The scope of the novel is vast; it is divided into six parts and the illustrations are also more sophisticated. It won the Newbery Medal for 1923. Tommy Stubbins, the narrator of the story, finds a squirrel injured by a hawk so the mussel man informs him to get help from Doctor Dolittle. Tommy goes to Mathew Mugg to find out where the doctor lives who tells him that the Doctor can speak the language of animals so they go to his house but find out he's gone away on a voyage and is guarded by the his dog Jip. Later the Doctor comes home to meet Tommy and takes care of his squirrel then explains when Tommy see's a strange fish creature in his house that it's a Wiff-Waff and is trying to learn shellfish language but eventually he quits it as it is too hard to study. Unexpectedly Polynesia turns up in Puddleby from Africa who informs the Doctor that Bumpo is studying in Bullford then Tommy gets the Doctor, with the help of Poynesia, to teach him the animal languages. After Polynesia teaches Tommy the language of animals, so he can understand Jip and Dub-Dub, Chee-Chee comes from Africa disguised as a lady and tells about his voyage to Puddleby. The Doctor then gets a vessel called The Curlew and is thinking of taking Tommy, Polynesia, and Luke the Hermit. They find out from the hermit's dog, Bob, that he was sent to prison for murder but Bob is a witness so when the court is in process the Doctor proves to the judge that he can talk to animals, when this is settled he translates Bob's story to English. When the story is finished the judges conclude that the hermit is innocent. . . . عنوانها: سفرهای دکتر دولیتل؛ سفر؛ نویسنده: هیو لافتینگ؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و سوم ماه سپتامبر سال 2006 میلادی عنوان: سفرهای دکتر دولیتل جلد 2 از 12؛ نویسنده: هیو لافتینگ؛ مترجم: محمد قصاع؛ تهران، محراب قلم، 1385؛ در 376 ص، مصور؛ شابک: 9643233642؛ عنوان دیگر: سفر؛ موضوع: داستانهای مصور کودکان از نویسندگان انگلیس - سده 20 م نقل از متن: سال‌ها پیش، پزشکی بود که «دولیتل»، صدایش می‌کردند. این داستان به زمان پیش از دوران خردسالی پدربزرگ‌ها و مادربزرگ‌های شما مربوط می‌شود. نام کامل دکتر قصه «جان دولیتل طبیب» بود. کلمهٔ «طبیب» نشان‌دهندهٔ آنست که او یک پزشک درست و حسابی بوده است. مردی بسیار باهوش که بیماران بسیاری را درمان کرده است. دکتر دولیتل، در شهری بسیار کوچک، به نام: «پادلبی»، زندگی می‌کرد. همه ی اهالی شهر او را می‌شناختند. گذشته از اینها شناختنش خیلی هم آسان بود. دکتر، مردی بلند قامت بود، که همواره کلاهی بلند بر سر می‌گذاشت. با آن کلاه، قدش بلندتر هم به نظر می‌رسید. همچنین کت بلند و مشکی رنگی، با جیب‌های ژؤف به تن می‌کرد. او چیزهای مختلفی داخل جیب‌هایش می‌گذاشت، از جمله: یک دستمال، یک سیب (احتیاطاً برای مواقع مواجه شدن با یک اسب)، و یک دفترچه. هرگاه او در خیابان اصلی گام می‌زد، مردم با انگشت او را نشان می‌دادند، و می‌گفتند: «ببینید! آن دکتر است که می‌رود. واقعاً مرد باهوش و دانایی است.» بچه‌ ها دنبال او می‌دویدند و با خنده و شادی از وی سؤال می‌پرسیدند. دکتر هم همیشه به پرسشهای آنان پاسخ می‌داد و هیچ پرسشی را احمقانه نمی‌پنداشت... پایان نقل. ا. شربیانی

  2. 5 out of 5

    Miz Lizzie

    My mother read this book to my brother and me when we were children in the 1960s. I remember loving the story and, especially, being enamored of Dr. Dolittle's ability to talk with the animals. It became controversial in the 1970s when the portrayal of the African characters was considered to be offensive and racist. The version I recently re-read is the lightly edited version by the McKissacks to remove the offending descriptions and illustrations. It does not, however, remove the rather offens My mother read this book to my brother and me when we were children in the 1960s. I remember loving the story and, especially, being enamored of Dr. Dolittle's ability to talk with the animals. It became controversial in the 1970s when the portrayal of the African characters was considered to be offensive and racist. The version I recently re-read is the lightly edited version by the McKissacks to remove the offending descriptions and illustrations. It does not, however, remove the rather offensive portrayal of Native Americans as childlike people who don't even have fire and are happily civilized by Dolittle to the point of complete dependency. However, Dolittle's adventures with the native folk of a floating island consists of a great part of the voyages of the book's title, making it rather difficult to have them edited out without significantly shortening and changing the book. And, of course, the colonialist attitude toward native people was very endemic to the times and one that we are only now finally starting to shake off. Despite this troubling aspect, I still found the same delight I had as a child in the portrayal of the doctor who could talk with animals and in the description of his home and garden filled with animals. I especially enjoyed (and had forgotten) the description of Dr. Dolittle as a fat, funny little man. The movie musical with Rex Harrison that came out during my childhood had unfortunately replaced a very different image of the doctor in my memory. I was very distressed, however, with the many scenes of Dr. Dolittle happily cooking and eating sausages and bacon while surrounded by his talking animal friends (including a pig!). Surely, if anything was to make one a vegetarian, it would be the ability to actually communicate with animals! And even if one was barbaric enough to still eat (cousins of) one's friends, surely one would have the courtesy to do so out of sight of those friends and not have them participate in the very cooking and serving of the meal! Other than the distressing consumption of animal flesh, I did enjoy re-visiting Dr. Dolittle and his friends in the first two or three sections of the book. I would have difficulty with reading it aloud to young children today due to the portrayal of Native Americans though it could lead to some very interesting discussions when read with older children. Like many of the Newbery books from the first decade, however, I think it needs to be put in context for modern children -- a better teaching book than a pleasure book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lynne

    Sometime in my mid-20s, upon re-reading this book, I realized that John Dolittle was my main role model in life, and that hasn't changed. Compassionate, obsessive compulsive, an animal lover, a brilliant scientist, a talented linguist, an itinerant traveler, owner of a fireplace that you can sit inside to toast things on sticks, a crusading truth seeker and champion of the underdog (no pun no pun)--shouldn't we all aspire to these things? I've read all the books in the series and I own multiple Sometime in my mid-20s, upon re-reading this book, I realized that John Dolittle was my main role model in life, and that hasn't changed. Compassionate, obsessive compulsive, an animal lover, a brilliant scientist, a talented linguist, an itinerant traveler, owner of a fireplace that you can sit inside to toast things on sticks, a crusading truth seeker and champion of the underdog (no pun no pun)--shouldn't we all aspire to these things? I've read all the books in the series and I own multiple copies of several. *sigh*

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    The now-controversial "Voyages of Doctor Doolittle" would perhaps not fare well with many modern children, even with updated artwork and the removal of non-PC passages, as it's a bit old-fashioned and over-long. However, I really enjoyed the style and some of Lofting's passages were quite beautifully written. This is a glorious old-fashioned adventure complete with exotic locations, animal allies, shipwrecks, Indian wars and even a giant sea snail! But best of all is our hero, John Doolittle, on The now-controversial "Voyages of Doctor Doolittle" would perhaps not fare well with many modern children, even with updated artwork and the removal of non-PC passages, as it's a bit old-fashioned and over-long. However, I really enjoyed the style and some of Lofting's passages were quite beautifully written. This is a glorious old-fashioned adventure complete with exotic locations, animal allies, shipwrecks, Indian wars and even a giant sea snail! But best of all is our hero, John Doolittle, one of the most kindhearted and thoughtful creations in literature--not to mention he can talk to animals, which also makes him one of the coolest! ;-> I give the book four stars for his character and the spirit of the work, though I did find some parts were a bit long-winded or seemed disjointed from the greater arc of the story. I was determined to read the complete, unedited version with all its "controversy" in tact--including Lofting's artwork. I was not a real fan of the artwork and the black-and-white sketches would likely not appeal to many children, either--also, the depictions of the Indians and African could be seen as derogatory, were one inclined to seek out the worst; however, I think that even Doolittle himself seemed overly exaggerated, so I doubt it was Lofting's intent to be racist when, say, he made the Indian's nose a bit large or the Afrian's lips a bit plump. However, sensitive readers will want to take note. In terms of the story itself, I really believe Lofting wanted harmony amongst all races--moreover, amongst all living things. John Doolittle is kind to children and treats our young narrator Stubbins as a grown-up, with due respect. The Indian Long Arrow is regarded by Doolittle to be one of the greatest naturalists to ever live. Doolittle engages the help of animals--both long-time friends and new acquaintances--to bring about justice and peace in various situations. In my eyes, Doolittle is, above all, a gentle hero and role-model. In addressing the claims of racism in the story, I would ask readers to remember the era in which it was written and to consider how progressive Lofting's views were given the time. That is not to excuse the occasional sense of superiority that oozes into the story from time to time, especially in the final part with the Indians. I cannot give particulars without giving the story away, but I would encourage readers to remember to evaluate themselves when they evaluate John Doolittle. The issue of race aside, how many of us have offered our opinions (even when unasked for!) or seen our friends' or even strangers' behavior as inferior to our own way of living or viewing the world? Even when we believe we are acting with a sense of compassion or thoughtfulness, might we not be unfairly spreading around our views of superior/inferior and passing judgment if we, perhaps, suggest that they might try so-and-so because it has worked so well for us? Yes, perhaps the Indians' idolizing Doolittle and his ideas reflected shadows of British Imperialism or white supremacy; or perhaps Lofting simply meant for John Doolittle to be a remarkably wise and compassionate member of humanity to whom others would look for guidance--as, ostensibly, we do with our leaders today. Personally, I feel it would be a shame to dismiss all the wisdom of Lofting's book, and the kindness and compassion of Dr Doolittle, by choosing to interpret a few aspects in a negative light. Maybe it is there--or maybe we are imposing too much onto Lofting based on some of the transgressions of others... When you embark on the voyage with Dr. Doolittle, you will have to choose if you want to see the glass as half-empty, or half-full.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    So I don't think of these reviews as a book report, enough people summarize the book for you to get the gist. What I will say is that the book does have language and cultural insensitivities in it, as a lot of books from previous generations do. However, as I read this one to the kids I edited language out myself and used the cultural references, especially to bull fighting in Spain and "Indians" as a spring board for discussion with my children about how times have changed and how we no longer So I don't think of these reviews as a book report, enough people summarize the book for you to get the gist. What I will say is that the book does have language and cultural insensitivities in it, as a lot of books from previous generations do. However, as I read this one to the kids I edited language out myself and used the cultural references, especially to bull fighting in Spain and "Indians" as a spring board for discussion with my children about how times have changed and how we no longer think the same way or write the same way. Interestingly, it also brought up a discussion (with a 6 and 9 year old) about English Imperialism as well. If used in this way, the book is an excellent adventure story AND excellent conversation starter for in depth conversations. Oh and my 6 year old learned the meaning of OBSTREPEROUS and concluded that he was also obstreperous, based on the definition from the Kindle as I was reading. Making the Kindle version of this book VERY handy, LOL!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sierra Cook

    I love this book, The Doctor and young Tommy, and the Animals whimsical way make this children's book such a joy to read, the do descriptions of all the places and characters makes you feel as though you are their. Who doesn't love Doctor Dolittle! If you loved the beginning boo you will love this! For their is always laughter and life sessions, and who doesn't love taking animals

  7. 4 out of 5

    Individualfrog

    I read this recently to my 7-year-old niece, after having read it as a child myself. We had read The Story of Doctor Doolittle before, which I think she may have slightly preferred; I liked this one better for sure. From the first chapters (which she found very dreary) you can see that Lofting put more into the descriptions, which are more lyrical than the perfunctory first book. The plot is still episodic, but the continuing subplots--the Doctor's efforts to find Long Arrow and to learn shellfi I read this recently to my 7-year-old niece, after having read it as a child myself. We had read The Story of Doctor Doolittle before, which I think she may have slightly preferred; I liked this one better for sure. From the first chapters (which she found very dreary) you can see that Lofting put more into the descriptions, which are more lyrical than the perfunctory first book. The plot is still episodic, but the continuing subplots--the Doctor's efforts to find Long Arrow and to learn shellfish language--tie it all together much more neatly than the first book. The good Doctor, to those reading today, has many progressive notions--his opposition to bullfighting, for example--but also enormous blind spots which made me wince. His entire attitude towards the native peoples of Spider Monkey Island is so condescendingly paternalist, and essentially provincial that it makes my head spin. My niece actually laughed at the horror of the Doctor and Stubbins when they are given raw fish to eat. "Don't they like sushi?" she said. Even despite the fact, explicit in the text, that Long Arrow's medical knowledge is vastly beyond European science, the Doctor insists that the Popsipetels live according to 19th Century English notions of hygiene. It's a strange contradiction that he intends to bring this indigenous medicine to Europe, while imposing European medicine on the Popsipetels. Actually, if you decide to read it this way, you can make a case that it makes the Doctor more interesting--Lofting (or at least Tommy Stubbins) clearly intends him to be perfect, and these flaws deepen his character somewhat. It's interesting too that Polynesia, the ancient no-nonsense parrot, calls the Doctor on his bullshit to some small degree. Of course, it's impossible to escape the fact that Lofting has written the Spider Monkey islanders, Long Arrow somewhat excepted, as exactly the sort of childlike society that the Doctor takes them for. Despite all this there are still a lot of fun incidents and episodes--the trial, the fish's story, the shipwreck, and of course the mysteriously beautiful image of the Great Glass Sea Snail--that kept me interested and my niece entertained. She would have preferred, I think, a bit more to do with the animals. My Polynesia voice got a workout, but both of us frequently forgot that Jip and Chee-Chee were even there. I'm not sure if we'll read all the rest, but, in the tradition of the surreally lovely Great Glass Sea Snail, I think we will at least read the one where the Doctor rides a giant moth to the moon.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Loved this book as a kid, still love it now & want to keep reading the series. If only I had time. Reminds me a LOT of the Twenty-One Balloons! (Read this for my Newbery class.) As a sequel, I really appreciated that Lofting took the time to introduce us to his new character, Stubbins, before bringing us back to the Doctor. I read the first book when I was a kid, but honestly, didn't even remember it (or that this book WAS a sequel) until I did some research on the first 8 Newbery winners. (F Loved this book as a kid, still love it now & want to keep reading the series. If only I had time. Reminds me a LOT of the Twenty-One Balloons! (Read this for my Newbery class.) As a sequel, I really appreciated that Lofting took the time to introduce us to his new character, Stubbins, before bringing us back to the Doctor. I read the first book when I was a kid, but honestly, didn't even remember it (or that this book WAS a sequel) until I did some research on the first 8 Newbery winners. (Felt kind of stupid, there.) The strength of this for people who have read the books in order is that Stubbins becomes a much more viable character to them - the book no longer is just about John Dolittle, it's about his relationship with Tommy Stubbins. The introduction of Stubbins' character tells children of all ages, myself included, that it's possible to discover & follow dreams you never even knew you had. Of course, there are some tell-tale signs of the times in which the book was written - the monkey being able to pass as a black man and safely travel, the black man traveling with them as a chef, the Red Indians being unable to care for themselves properly and requiring the assistance of John Dolittle, the powerful, civilized, strong savior White Man. But really... this was an awesome book to read. If I had the time, I would go back and read all the adventures of John Dolittle. Maybe I'll make it a monthly project - read one Dolittle! A coworker of mine absolutely LOVES everything Dolittle, and is adamant that the editions should not be made PC because they are indicative of the time in which Lofting wrote them. As she says, "[the prince Bumpo] is well educated, which for his era was unheard of and considered fantasy - a black African getting a European education like he was a human or something." The book keeps it's weight & merit today mostly as a read-aloud - because of the potential issues with the political correctness, I think it'd be better for a kid to read it aloud with a grown-up. The origin of the Dolittle absolutely amazing - the letters Lofting wrote to his children in lieu of writing them horror stories from the war... then the kids demanding pictures to accompany the adventures. Information about this creation should be included in all the volumes - I think kids would love to know about it!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Laura (Book Scrounger)

    This is a tricky book to rate, and I almost wish I could give it two ratings. One would be for the general story, which was just as good, if not better than the first. I'd give that four stars, because I once again enjoyed the character of Doctor Dolittle and the way he manifested the drive and observation of a scientist as well as the compassion of an animal-lover. I especially thought it was nice this time around to have him described by another character, rather than simply read about in a th This is a tricky book to rate, and I almost wish I could give it two ratings. One would be for the general story, which was just as good, if not better than the first. I'd give that four stars, because I once again enjoyed the character of Doctor Dolittle and the way he manifested the drive and observation of a scientist as well as the compassion of an animal-lover. I especially thought it was nice this time around to have him described by another character, rather than simply read about in a third-person narrative. Seeing him through someone else's eyes helps to make him truly larger than life. I was once again amused at the fantastical elements of the story, even when they were a bit silly, as well as different ways that the doctor's skill of talking to animals helped others as well as the crew of his voyage. On the other hand, this was written in a different time, and it shows. I'm sure there are updated, modern versions of this book that are not quite as offensive as this one, which came out in the 50s, but this is what I have to review because it's what the library had. It uses terms like "red Indians" to describe South American natives, refers to Africa as a "country" more than once, and even contains a couple n-words. I can only assume newer versions have edited things like this out (considering I read a modern version of the first book that didn't seem to be nearly as offensive), but unfortunately there are other elements of the story that I don't imagine can be edited out so easily -- it's more of a "general attitude" -- for example, this particular group of South American natives was apparently so ignorant that they had not discovered fire until Doctor Dolittle and his crew enlightened them. So... I'm not sure if/when I'll read this to a child, but if I do I'll want to be sure to procure an updated copy, and have a conversation about the portrayal of indigenous peoples.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Raechella

    This has been the very first book that I have read—and the very beginning of my rooted fascination towards literature. It was given to me by my favorite cousin when I was in 5th grade, never knowing that somehow it’ll change my tediously unvarying childish amusements and diversions during that time. You think I missed out on my childhood? No. Instead, I think my childhood friends are those that had missed out on this terrific experience. I have been so envious of Tommy Stubbins since day one. Wh This has been the very first book that I have read—and the very beginning of my rooted fascination towards literature. It was given to me by my favorite cousin when I was in 5th grade, never knowing that somehow it’ll change my tediously unvarying childish amusements and diversions during that time. You think I missed out on my childhood? No. Instead, I think my childhood friends are those that had missed out on this terrific experience. I have been so envious of Tommy Stubbins since day one. Who wouldn’t? He met the doctor, travelled with him, learned amazing things about animals and their languages and nature—a far cry from what children of his age learn at that time. The doctor, on the other hand, has been always my favorite character—he is smart, affectionate, brave, yet silly and funny at times. Their party consisting of a clever parrot, a dog, and a monkey on a journey to Spidermonkey Island—I have been dreaming of having such company and travelling to that fictional place in my musings. And my favorite part: their experience of meeting the Great Glass Sea Snail and riding in its transparent shell where you can have the wonderful experience of seeing the beauty and grandeur of the sea below, which is, just so fascinating if you were even a witness. However, there were some issues regarding the book. The description of the Natives in Spider Monkey Island was said to be racist. I, on the other hand, never found any offensiveness towards that, but maybe it was just me. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the book much more than The Story of Dr. Dolittle—the first book in the sequel, which I have read later. Furthermore, I am giving this 4 out of 5 stars. ----- 4/14/14 Can't help but reread the book before I pass it on to a friend. Much better the 2nd time around. Hooray for 5 stars! :D

  11. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I was actually surprised at how well this book managed to keep my attention. I was really kind of expecting that I would find it very boring and would have to struggle through it. But that wasn't the case at all. Instead, I found myself reading through it quite fast, wondering what would happen. The only thing I had against this book was that it seemed a little "simple" for a juvenile book, but I think that maybe that is because I am a lot older then its intended audience. I would recommend this I was actually surprised at how well this book managed to keep my attention. I was really kind of expecting that I would find it very boring and would have to struggle through it. But that wasn't the case at all. Instead, I found myself reading through it quite fast, wondering what would happen. The only thing I had against this book was that it seemed a little "simple" for a juvenile book, but I think that maybe that is because I am a lot older then its intended audience. I would recommend this book for 8-year-olds, or around that age range. I was also a little dismayed to read the introduction and find out that there had been changes made to this book because of "racial prejudices." It only made me want to go out and find the original book. I do not like it when people censor my books for me, I am perfectly capable of judging whether a book is offensive or not. I am now quite curious to know what "minor changes" they made and how it could have affected the book so much that they felt they needed to change it. All in all though, I found this a fairly enjoyable book, aside from a couple ridiculous ideas or settings I liked it and would probably recommend it. *Taken from my book reviews blog: http://reviewsatmse.blogspot.com/2009...

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer (JenIsNotaBookSnob)

    * Not appropriate for the modern classroom due to rampant stereotyping and overall colonialistic attitudes. If this book isn't for children, who is it for? People trying to complete the Newbery winners list or people who enjoy reading older literature and who are old enough to understand why big portions of this are inappropriate. Obviously, that stuff is a big deal and I can't picture myself recommending this book to kids. HOWEVER, if not for all that rubbish this would be a sort of simplistic a * Not appropriate for the modern classroom due to rampant stereotyping and overall colonialistic attitudes. If this book isn't for children, who is it for? People trying to complete the Newbery winners list or people who enjoy reading older literature and who are old enough to understand why big portions of this are inappropriate. Obviously, that stuff is a big deal and I can't picture myself recommending this book to kids. HOWEVER, if not for all that rubbish this would be a sort of simplistic adventure story with animals that kids probably would like. Lofting's Dolittle character was a bit ahead of his time in the animal rights department, opposing bullfighting and the keeping of lions in small cages. Additionally, while pretty much all the minorities are steeped in stereotype, you are meant to like them. I guess that's why I still gave it three stars. I left the book with the impression that Lofting really liked the indigenous and African people in his book; he was unfortunately a colonialist all the way through and it felt like he thought he was being complimentary. Intent matters to me even if it doesn't change the fact that you can't recommend this book to children. On the bright side, finished it early and going into my next Newbery book 5 days ahead of schedule. Hopefully that one is better.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Shawn Thrasher

    Proto-Peta, early environmentalist, anti-colonialist - if you've only seen the movies, you're in for a taste of something different (a touch of the radical?) when you read the books. Voyages isn't the best of the Dolittle books (even though it won the Newbery) but it's certainly never dull. 90 years ago, if you were some little farm boy on the Kansas prairie, winter wind blowing outside, then the adventures of a vet who could talk to animals, his voyages fraught with danger and shipwreck, and on Proto-Peta, early environmentalist, anti-colonialist - if you've only seen the movies, you're in for a taste of something different (a touch of the radical?) when you read the books. Voyages isn't the best of the Dolittle books (even though it won the Newbery) but it's certainly never dull. 90 years ago, if you were some little farm boy on the Kansas prairie, winter wind blowing outside, then the adventures of a vet who could talk to animals, his voyages fraught with danger and shipwreck, and one of his trusting companions a nine year old boy - it must have been marvelous. Quite frankly, it still is. There is a marvelously far thinking passage where the doctor talks about discovering the North Pole long before anyone else - but the polar bears convince him to keep it a secret because people will come and ruin it all. The polar bears were right all along, weren't they?

  14. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    Some of this was great, especially in the first half (too many books I've been reading lately have great first halves and peter out from there). I can't help feeling like it would have been a better book if he'd stuck to England--and then there'd be a lot less of that messy racism problem--but then it wouldn't be The Voyages, would it?...

  15. 5 out of 5

    Christiane

    Fantastical adventures of young Tommy Stubbins, the amazing Doctor Dolittle, and a menagerie of talking animals. In many ways ahead of its time (1922) in terms of animal rights (the Doctor is firmly against lions and tigers in zoos, bullfighting, and scooping up fish to live in an aquarium) the book does have uncomfortable moments when Lofting is writing about human beings rather than animals. Most versions of "The Story of Doctor Dolittle" (which I haven't read yet) and the "Voyages" have been Fantastical adventures of young Tommy Stubbins, the amazing Doctor Dolittle, and a menagerie of talking animals. In many ways ahead of its time (1922) in terms of animal rights (the Doctor is firmly against lions and tigers in zoos, bullfighting, and scooping up fish to live in an aquarium) the book does have uncomfortable moments when Lofting is writing about human beings rather than animals. Most versions of "The Story of Doctor Dolittle" (which I haven't read yet) and the "Voyages" have been edited and re-written. If the books are no longer considered suitable for children that's fine, but to sanitize a Newbery winning book so it better suits the more enlightened values of a later time seems wrong to me. For all it's flaws, this is what Lofting wrote. Read it with your kids and discuss how much things have changed since the 1920s.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    Another childhood favorite. When I was little, I really wanted to be Tommy Stubbins and go with the good doctor. I played Dr Dolittle games and fantasized. It got me interested in looking at nature and being amazed at the beauty of everything around me. I loved this book and all of the Dolittle classics. My paperback copies from childhood all fell apart, and I bought, and re-read, the whole series in hard cover as an adult. I've read this book at least 10 times, and the last time was in 2006 on Another childhood favorite. When I was little, I really wanted to be Tommy Stubbins and go with the good doctor. I played Dr Dolittle games and fantasized. It got me interested in looking at nature and being amazed at the beauty of everything around me. I loved this book and all of the Dolittle classics. My paperback copies from childhood all fell apart, and I bought, and re-read, the whole series in hard cover as an adult. I've read this book at least 10 times, and the last time was in 2006 on a couple of lazy summer days beneath a forest canopy. It's been an inspiration all of my life, really.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kat!e Larson

    This book is delightful! It's the first Doctor Dolittle book I've read (although it's the second one, that didn't cause me any confusion) and I look forward to reading the rest! It's such a fun, creative adventure. And I adore the doctor himself. He's such an adorable Hufflepuff. And the other characters are fantastic as well; especially the brilliant Polynesia. I really just adored everything about this story.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    I just can't with the unselfconscious racism imperialism. Stopped before reality could intrude too far into the realm of "happy childhood memories of musical movie."

  19. 4 out of 5

    Candina

    I was a little hesitant to read this with my 9-year-old because I thought she might find the language a little archaic and the plot sluggish, given her love of Harry Potter and the Fudge books. This has been our "morning book" for the past couple of months. Every morning, while she eats breakfast and before the bus comes, we read for a few minutes. It's a nice, relaxed way to start the day, and I like that it makes our weekday morning routine feel a bit less rushed and hectic. She surprised me, I was a little hesitant to read this with my 9-year-old because I thought she might find the language a little archaic and the plot sluggish, given her love of Harry Potter and the Fudge books. This has been our "morning book" for the past couple of months. Every morning, while she eats breakfast and before the bus comes, we read for a few minutes. It's a nice, relaxed way to start the day, and I like that it makes our weekday morning routine feel a bit less rushed and hectic. She surprised me, though, and really seemed to enjoy this. It was a silly and not at all realistic story, which is one of the reasons I think she enjoyed it. Who wouldn't love to be able to talk to a dog and have a duck keep house? Indicative of the times when it was written, it is rather racist in its account of life with the natives, portraying them as child-like and incompetent, happy to be saved by the great white hero. I know some parents prefer not to expose children to that, and I can see their point, but I try to use such passages as an opportunity for discussion if there are other redeeming qualities in the book. I do think this book has those redeeming qualities. The sentence structure and vocabulary are far more complicated than current books targeted to this age bracket, and the narrator has an unusual pattern of speech, which made this an interesting read. We enjoyed it and given that it's a classic, I'm glad we read it, but we probably won't bother with the other books in the Dr. Dolittle series. There are just too many other good books to read.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Benji Martin

    The 1923 Newbery winner! What I liked about this book: As opposed to the 1922 book, this is a book that I think children would actually enjoy. You can tell that it was published in 1922, the language is a little archaic, but a good children's book will appeal to children for many, many years. There are funny parts, there's lots of adventure and there are talking animals! What’s not to love? What I disliked about this book: Not much, really. As mentioned before, the language is a bit archaic. Some w The 1923 Newbery winner! What I liked about this book: As opposed to the 1922 book, this is a book that I think children would actually enjoy. You can tell that it was published in 1922, the language is a little archaic, but a good children's book will appeal to children for many, many years. There are funny parts, there's lots of adventure and there are talking animals! What’s not to love? What I disliked about this book: Not much, really. As mentioned before, the language is a bit archaic. Some words which may have been acceptable in 1922, that are not now were used (like the "n word" ). There really isn't a whole lot for me to criticize. Did it deserve the Newbery?: Yes, definitely. Why?: After reading The Story of Mankind (the 1922 pick) this was refreshing. It was good to see the committee picking a book that children would actually want to read. I think the fact that there were no Newbery Honor books in 1923 (there were five in 1922) shows that either, there wasn't much else to choose from that year or that Dr. Dolittle was a unanimous pick. The only other children's book of note that I can find that was published in that year is The Velveteen Rabbit, but that would have been more of a Caldecott contender if it had been around then. Dr. Dolittle is a very good Newbery pick. I wonder if there was a fuss about him being from Britain. The people, who were complaining about Neil Gaiman winning the Newbery despite him not being a natural U.S. citizen, didn't do their homework very thoroughly. Next Up: The Dark Frigate by Charles Hawes

  21. 4 out of 5

    Adelina

    I have fond memories of watching Disney’s version of Doctor Dolittle as a child. The music is catchy, and the adventures were so grand. Plus, how cool would it be to talk to the animals? A few yeas ago my sister gifted me the book, which is when I realized, I had never actually read this classic story. I put it on my shelf to eventually be read, and just never got around to it. I finally started reading it to my kids as their bedtime story. I’ve found the enjoy real people movies (as I call them I have fond memories of watching Disney’s version of Doctor Dolittle as a child. The music is catchy, and the adventures were so grand. Plus, how cool would it be to talk to the animals? A few yeas ago my sister gifted me the book, which is when I realized, I had never actually read this classic story. I put it on my shelf to eventually be read, and just never got around to it. I finally started reading it to my kids as their bedtime story. I’ve found the enjoy real people movies (as I call them) more, if they’ve read/heard the book first. So we finished the book this week, and I was surprised at many of the differences between book and movie (that shouldn’t have surprised me right). When we made our weekly library trip, we were very excited to find Disney’s Doctor Dolittle just waiting for us in the DVD section. My kids have been just as captivated with the movie as I was. They have even pointed out some of the things that are different between book and movie – yay, they were actually listening to me read! We’re only halfway through the movie since it is a long one, but we’ll be finishing it up tonight. Off to find the great Glass Sea Snail!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jade Lauron

    Having read this Newbery winner, I've decided that I believe NONE of the Dolittle series is any longer appropriate for children. While you can sanitize out the racist language quite easily, you cannot remove the subtle and insidious "white savior" issues inherent to this classic. And, since you cannot remove these things, I feel that it is okay to read the NON-sanitized versions. In fact, I HIGHLY recommend them. I feel that this book would make an incredible read for discussion in a sociology cl Having read this Newbery winner, I've decided that I believe NONE of the Dolittle series is any longer appropriate for children. While you can sanitize out the racist language quite easily, you cannot remove the subtle and insidious "white savior" issues inherent to this classic. And, since you cannot remove these things, I feel that it is okay to read the NON-sanitized versions. In fact, I HIGHLY recommend them. I feel that this book would make an incredible read for discussion in a sociology class, or for a sociology minded book group, who would like to discuss in depth these kinds of issues. Reading book one, which is very short (it's really more of a story) is somewhat necessary to give you the backstory on the characters. This book is a real book, longer and more detailed. Read them together, along with possibly some nonfiction about the time period and a biography of the author, and I think it will give you a very rich contextual idea of the attitudes of the time and also how societies are shaped. How has the past influenced how we still think today? How can we change this?

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rosemary

    My kids enjoyed this as a read aloud, for the most part. That's the only reason it gets two stars, because I was SO over it by the time we reached the end. First of all, we read an older edition from the library that had a TON of racist stuff I had to edit out on the fly. I'm sure this wouldn't be a problem with a newer, abridged version. Second, it was pretty disjointed. Just to give one example, WHY was Luke the Hermit even in here? Third, I got tired of all the talk about how awesome the Doct My kids enjoyed this as a read aloud, for the most part. That's the only reason it gets two stars, because I was SO over it by the time we reached the end. First of all, we read an older edition from the library that had a TON of racist stuff I had to edit out on the fly. I'm sure this wouldn't be a problem with a newer, abridged version. Second, it was pretty disjointed. Just to give one example, WHY was Luke the Hermit even in here? Third, I got tired of all the talk about how awesome the Doctor was all the time. It got a little ridiculous and preachy. The point of the action was often to exhibit the doctor's virtue, which wasn't true in the first book. And his character wasn't the only one that suffered: Polynesia was nothing but grumpy and mean, ever. Grumpiness is a part of her character, sure; but it was the ONLY aspect of her personality in this book, and there was no reason to like her at all. Crotchety old bird. I really enjoyed the first book with my kids; sad that this one wasn't as good.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte

    Tommy Stubbins is a ten year old whose father is a shoe maker. He lives in Puddleby in England. One day he finds a hurt squirrel and is sent to Dr. Dolittle for help to heal him. When Tommy meets the doctor, he finds out he can converse with animals. Tommy convinces Dr. Dolittle to hire him on as an apprentice and soon Stubbins can converse with a few of the animals as well. The Doctor is trying to learn the language of the shellfish because they are some of the oldest creatures alive. The two f Tommy Stubbins is a ten year old whose father is a shoe maker. He lives in Puddleby in England. One day he finds a hurt squirrel and is sent to Dr. Dolittle for help to heal him. When Tommy meets the doctor, he finds out he can converse with animals. Tommy convinces Dr. Dolittle to hire him on as an apprentice and soon Stubbins can converse with a few of the animals as well. The Doctor is trying to learn the language of the shellfish because they are some of the oldest creatures alive. The two friends and an african prince set sale to find Long Arrow, a naturalist who can help them find a giant sea snail. In the process they save Long Arrow and his people, the doctor is appointed king and they spend years on a floating island. I have seen the old movie Dr. Dolittle and I thought this book wasn't going to be as good. I was surprised that I very much enjoyed this story. It wasn't one that I hated to put down, but it was quite entertaining and well written. Some of the sciences mentioned are a little outdated, but overall I though the story was excellent.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Christian

    I very much liked reading "The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle," the sequel to "The Story of Dr. Dolittle." I have not read "The Story of Dr. Dolittle," but I believe that I did not need to. In "The Voyages" (for short), Hugh Lofting wrote so that it was Dr. Dolittle's first appearance in a book. This book was very well written and I enjoyed reading it, even though it was written in early 1900's and based in the 1800's. Hugh Lofting clearly had a great imagination and was also a great author. While th I very much liked reading "The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle," the sequel to "The Story of Dr. Dolittle." I have not read "The Story of Dr. Dolittle," but I believe that I did not need to. In "The Voyages" (for short), Hugh Lofting wrote so that it was Dr. Dolittle's first appearance in a book. This book was very well written and I enjoyed reading it, even though it was written in early 1900's and based in the 1800's. Hugh Lofting clearly had a great imagination and was also a great author. While the main character was a "young lad Tommy Stubbins," the main focus seemed to be pointed towards Dr. Dolittle, and how he can TALK TO ANIMALS. Like I did when I was reading the book, I find myself thinking about if I could talk to animals or if I could join Tommy and Dr. Dolittle. Hugh Lofting did an excellent job at catching the readers attention early, and for that I will suggest this book to anyone at all, not just to readers who like animals.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Linds

    Cuuute. It’s ridiculous, and absurd, and all adjectives in that area. The pace was fast, and new “oh dears!” kept developing. I think this will remain a book that kids would, and should, enjoy. However... once I hit the end I realized I was reading an edited version. I was under the impression that I'm against censoring books, but once I read the original, it turns out I prefer the updated edition. The changes made were relatively subtle and don’t make much of an impact on the storyline. However, Cuuute. It’s ridiculous, and absurd, and all adjectives in that area. The pace was fast, and new “oh dears!” kept developing. I think this will remain a book that kids would, and should, enjoy. However... once I hit the end I realized I was reading an edited version. I was under the impression that I'm against censoring books, but once I read the original, it turns out I prefer the updated edition. The changes made were relatively subtle and don’t make much of an impact on the storyline. However, I certainly had a more negative look at Dr. Dolittle for calling Bumpo’s people derogatory words in the first few chapters, and I didn't like how haughtily Polynesia treated him. It makes a vastly different character impression by removing a few words here and there, amazingly. I maintain my review with the caveat that people stick with the updated version, though that does seem a little strange to me.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

    Hands down this book and really the Doctor Dolittle series did more to captivate, excite, and engage my imagination than any other book I remember reading as a little girl. I still imagine riding across the bottom of the ocean in the clear shell of a sea snail - observing the sea in all its beauty... In retrospect, I appreciate the compassion the book encouraged young children to have for animals and their environment - it almost made me a vegetarian (almost). And finally, the Eddie Murphy movie Hands down this book and really the Doctor Dolittle series did more to captivate, excite, and engage my imagination than any other book I remember reading as a little girl. I still imagine riding across the bottom of the ocean in the clear shell of a sea snail - observing the sea in all its beauty... In retrospect, I appreciate the compassion the book encouraged young children to have for animals and their environment - it almost made me a vegetarian (almost). And finally, the Eddie Murphy movies are an abomination on the name of this series and aside from the Doctor's ability to talk to animals has NOTHING to do with this wonderful series. This is an excellent choice if you're looking to read a book aloud to the little ones in your life.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Waller

    Far and away one of my favorite series when I was young, the Doctor Dolittle books don't bear up so well with time. We are more aware of the implicit racism in characterizations of Africans and South American Indians in this book, and the attempt to bowdlerize the books to make them more palatable to today's inclusive atmosphere don't completely succeed in their own purpose and undermine the novel as a whole. But worst, while the central idea of the series, of a man who can talk to animals, rema Far and away one of my favorite series when I was young, the Doctor Dolittle books don't bear up so well with time. We are more aware of the implicit racism in characterizations of Africans and South American Indians in this book, and the attempt to bowdlerize the books to make them more palatable to today's inclusive atmosphere don't completely succeed in their own purpose and undermine the novel as a whole. But worst, while the central idea of the series, of a man who can talk to animals, remains intriguing, in this particular instance, at least, the execution seems to be a bit dull, too slow in getting to the real action. There's also a bit of misdirection in the title - the promised "Voyages" turn out to be just a single voyage.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    The kids loved this one, but I thought it was just okay. It has a very Pippi Longstocking vibe to it, but not as good. I liked the first half much better than the latter, when he went on his voyage. I did really like that the chapters were so short, meaning I was willing to a read a chapter or two every night, as opposed to some others we've read recently (looking at you, Greenglass House), which required a good 30- to 40-minute commitment, which wasn't going to happen most school nights.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Anna Smithberger

    While at times charming, I still found the second winner of the Newbery Medal uninteresting, abounding in "what a crazy random happenstance" moments, and pretty racist in a patronizing, colonial, great white savior kind of way. Perhaps if I had read this as a child I would have liked it more, and it was certainly better than The Story of Mankind, but altogether not great.

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