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Story of Doctor Dolittle, The

by Hugh Lofting

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About Book

Doctor Dolittle--a 19th-century English physician--has never been one for worrying much. Even after his human patients desert him (when one too many sit on one of the doctor's unusual parlor pets), he manages to convert gracefully to animal medicine. Having mastered animal language along the way (with the help of his caustic yet amusing parrot, Polynesia), he has a good head start in his practice. Then, one cold, dark winter night, as the doctor and his pets sit around the fire, a message arrives, via sparrow, from Africa. A terrible epidemic has broken out among the monkeys, and Doctor Dolittle is the only one who can save them. The beneficent physician checks his money box--not a penny left. But the fate of Africa's ailing apes lays squarely on his shoulders.

And so begins the delightful, whimsical adventures that are still enthralling readers three quarters of a century after their original 1920 publication. Hugh Lofting, winner of the 1923 Newbery Medal for The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle, has more than a knack for storytelling. His ability to imbue in his characters--human and animal--distinct, unique personalities is remarkable, and his respect for the rights of all who share the planet shines throughout. (Ages 9 to 12) --Emilie Coulter

From Publishers Weekly
Kleinbaum's adaptations, accompanied by Lofting's illustrations from the original editions, bring the classic books to younger readers. Ages 6-9.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal
Grade 4-8-The story of Doctor Doolittle's adventures and his eventual return home with the miraculous animal who joined the family.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From AudioFile
Opening with jaunty music, this story of the good Doctor Dolittle's fascinating and magical adventures will charm kids 9 and up. It's truly amazing how a single reader can portray a female, several animal voices and a few male parts, as well. Some of the parts stretch Bennett a bit. His rendition of Polynesia the parrot is annoyingly screechy and high. He does his best reading for the middle-aged characters, as in his portrayal of Dolittle and his sister, Sara. The hoity-toity lion is well portrayed also. A.G.H. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine

The L.A. Times
Just pretend you're buying this for your kids, even if you don't have any. Much wittier than the printed version, this s areal audio treat. Directed by actress Lindsay Crouse and featuring original music -- some composed by Short -- its one of the brightest, best produced audios on the market. ...

This tale about a doctor who can talk tothe animals is an escapist treat to begin with, but Short's performance greatly enriches it. So what if the parrot sounds suspiciously like Kathryn Hepburn, and one of the monkeys could pass for a Kennedy? Short is one clebrity narrator who should be recording audio books on a regular basssis. His comedic performance is so finely honed you may find yourself a repeat listener.

Book Description
When Polynesia, Doctor Dolittle's parrot, teaches him how to speak animal language, it seems a good idea.  But animals come from far and wide until Doctor Dolittle has no more time for his human patients--and no more money.  The animals grow hungry, the house is a mess, and the animals begin to worry.

Until one day, a swallow arrives in Puddleby-on-the-Marsh where the good Doctor lives, with news that the monkeys of Africa are ill--and only the doctor who talks to animals can save them.  Doctor Dolittle, along with such good friends as Jip, his loyal dog, and Dab-Dab, his housekeeper duck, are now faced with great danger and challenges on their journey to Africa to save the monkeys.

This is the story of Doctor Dolittle's adventures and his eventual return home with the miraculous animal who joined the family and provided for them for the rest of their lives.  No child should be without this classic story of a misunderstood doctor who finds great understanding and affection among the animals.  Produced by the world's foremost creators of radio entertainment and brilliantly read by Alan Bennett,  Doctor Dolittle and all his animal friends come magically to life in this charming presentation. Listeners young and old will be enthralled and delighted by The Story of Doctor Dolittle.

Card catalog description
The adventures of a kind-hearted doctor, who is fond of animals and understands their language, as he travels to Africa with some of his favorite pets to cure the monkeys of a terrible sickness.

From the Publisher
"Any child who is not given the opportunity to make the acquaintance of this rotund, kindly, and enthusiastic doctor/naturalist and all of his animal friends will miss out on something important."-- Jane Goodall

Inside Flap Copy
Doctor Dolittle is truly extraordinary. Not only can he talk to the animals--he can also understand what they say to him. One day Doctor Dolittle receives a message from Africa. The monkeys there need his help. So he sails off from his home,bringing along all his animal friends: Dab-Dab, the duck; Jip, the dog; Gub-Gub, the baby pig; Polynesia, the parrot; and Too-Too, the owl. The doctor and his friends have many amazing adventures. They even meet the rarest of all animals, the two-headed pushmi-pullyu!

About the Author

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



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