The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle (Doctor Dolittle, #2)
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The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle (Doctor Dolittle #2)

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3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  8,624 ratings  ·  322 reviews
Doctor Dolittle, the veterinarian who can actually talk to animals, sets sail on the high seas for new adventures with Polynesia the parrot, Jip the dog, Chee-Chee the monkey, and young Tommy Stubbins. Together they travel to Spidermonkey Island, brave a shipwreck, and meet the incredible Great Glass Sea Snail. This novel won the Newbery Medal in 1922 and now features a fo...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published May 31st 2005 by HarperCollins (first published 1922)
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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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
Snorkle
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
D.C.
This is solid, lighthearted entertainment that will keep all ages engrossed for hours on hand. Some of the adventures are kind of random but are still impossibly fun. The new "updated" version (which is pretty much the only one available to the general public) corrects a lot of racial stereotypes present in the original edition. Such changes are obvious, but there is still a rather uncomfortable and fairly racist portrayal of Indians in the main adventure of the story, which is harder to change...more
Donald
I read this in 6th grade because it was a Newberry book and because I thought it would be about talking animals. Boy, was I wrong. This book has very little to do with the Dr. Doolittle movie, except that both characters are, well, doctors. It's got an old time feel to it, maybe because it was written in 1922, but, for some reason, that didn't bother me. I don't know what it was, but my 12 year old mind couldn't put it down. At the time this book outweighed any of my previously read books by at...more
Amy
I can't believe I never read these as a kid! This book was so cute. I'm sure I would have loved it. I was especially amused at how the Spanish called him "Juan Hagapoco". That made me laugh. It got a little tedious there for a while, while they were on the island; and then it seemed to rush to the end. But the middle parts, with the actual adventure, that was definitely worth reading. I also enjoyed the idea of traveling the sea floor in a giant snail with a transparent shell. Very imaginative.

H...more
Mary Beth
It's great to go back and see where this story originated from. Also interesting to see the style of children's literature from this time period (including some rather interesting political views popular at the time).

The edition I read was true to the original and NOT edited for political correctness. The forward explained that it had been banned from schools in the US because of the racial slurs, so Hugh Lofting's son re-wrote certain sections to make it more socially acceptable.
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...more
Ron
Another Newbery Award winner - I rad the ebook off of Project Gutenberg. There are a couple of places where the "n" word is used to describe an African. This would be a great book to read aloud to your kid and you could 'edit' out anything while reading. It would also be a great book to read while your kid reads and point out how some things have changed over the years.
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?...
Dustin
I read this as part of Kat and I's project to read all of the Newbery award winners. It won the second Newbery medal in 1923 and is the first one that I would consider recommending for kids. This is the first time I've read the book, being familiar with the character only from the 1950's Disney movie. Well, and the remakes, but the only thing those share with the book is a doctor that talks to animals.
I honestly think the best way to describe The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle is "whimsical." It's a su...more
Magda
This is a somewhat bowdlerized edition, and it was a bit too cute for my tastes, but I did enjoy it more than I thought I would.
Chris Zannetti
The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle was a book that brought me back to my childhood. The book wrapped me up as soon as I started reading and I didn't want to put it down. The story was one that can be enjoyed by people of any age. The text is complex enough for adults but the story can still be enjoyed by younger people.

At times, the story was hard to believe. I know that it's supposed to be about talking animals but at times, it went overboard. For a person like me, that takes some enjoyment out of...more
David Blaylock
A children's book written 90 years ago was not the best choice for me to read.
William Dickerson
This was a great read. It makes me glad that I avoided the Eddie Murphy Doctor Dolittle movies. This Doctor Dolittle is resourceful naturalist who has learned a great deal of animal languages with the help of his parrot Polynesia.

Doctor Dolittle doesn't know all of the languages, and his passion is learning how to talk to the shellfish so he can learn the oldest histories of the world.

This is the second book to win the Newberry Medal back in 1923, but it is still an enjoyable story that is wor...more
Roo
it was not very good. I would not read it again.
Ann Carpenter
I sort of wanted to give this book more stars. I would have if it had ended with the rescue of Long Arrow. At that point the "this was written in the 1920's and the worldview was different" was certainly there, but not as bad as it could have been (and nowhere near as bad as the scenes in Africa from the first book, which, years later, still make me blanch). And then an entire section of the book is spent with the "childlike" Indians (later referred to, by a disgruntled character, as a "bunch of...more
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...more
Rachel
I used the 1998 hardcover edition of this book, published in New York by Grosset & Dunlap, which has 276 pages. I am glad to have finally read this book, although I am fairly sure that it is an edited version as I had heard before reading it that some of the character descriptions were fairly racist, as well as some of the illustrations. I found this blog article, which outlines the changes made by Christopher Lofting, the son of the author: http://blog.plover.com/book/Dolittle....

That bein...more
Megan
The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle is the second book in a vast series by Hugh Lofting. I never realized there were twelve books in the series as well as a couple of companion books. The first book, The Story of Doctor Dolittle was written prior to the Newberry awards conception. The second book was deemed worthy of the prize and I quite agreed. It had a lovely story, bringing back all of Dr Dolittle's beloved animal friends, as well as, Tommy Stubbins, a young boy who became Dr Dolittle's assistant...more
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Children's Books: Winner (no Honors) from 1923 4 72 Nov 18, 2013 11:44PM  
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Hugh Lofting was a British author, trained as a civil engineer, who created the character of Doctor Dolittle — one of the classics of children's literature.

Lofting was born in Maidenhead, England, to English and Irish parents. His early education was at Mount St Mary's College in Sheffield, after which he went to the United States, completing a degree in civil engineering at the Massachusetts Inst...more
More about Hugh Lofting...
The Story of Doctor Dolittle (Doctor Dolittle, #1) Doctor Dolittle's Circus (Doctor Dolittle, #4) Doctor Dolittle's Zoo (Doctor Dolittle, #5) Doctor Dolittle's Post Office (Doctor Dolittle, #3) Doctor Dolittle's Return (Doctor Dolittle, #9)

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