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The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle (Doctor Dolittle #2)

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  10,602 ratings  ·  382 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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Community Reviews

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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 ...more
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.

There were a series of Dr D books. This is the second. I remember it fondly from reading it to myself in childhood. It was the one adapted for a movie in the 1970s maybe that merged Puddleby-on-the-Marsh scenes with tropical islands.

The first Dr Doolitle book Dr. Doolittle (Original Illustrations & Text) , even without its original illustrations, is not suitable for children unless accompanied by sermons about century-old attitudes on race and geography. In the second half of that first book
The book, "Voyages of Doctor Dolittle," is a real page turner. The main characters are a nine-and-a-half year old named Tommy Stubbins, (but Doctor Dolittle calls him Stubbins) who is a boy who lives in Puddleby, a small town. He learned how to become a naturalist, so he can speak to animals. The next main character is of course, John Dolittle, a quite big man who is a naturalist and can speak to almost every animal in their own language, but he really wants to learn shellfish language, a langu ...more
How did I never read this as a child? Maybe I read an excerpt of it somewhere...but now that I've just sat down and read the whole thing I realize that this book IS me in so very many ways. So it's a good thing that as an adult I have an obsession with lists and a compulsion to read all the classics and I therefore do things like set about reading all the Newbery Medal winners that I haven't ever read. THIS ONE IS AWESOME. Dr. Dolittle, obviously, is a character who is known even by those who ha ...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.
I'm surprised that I've never picked up Dr. Dolittle's various adventures until recently. The descriptions are lush, and there are all sorts of delightful details that bring the settings and stories to life. Each chapter is manageably short and sets up the next adventure to come.

I hope these tales encourage dreams, awe, and wanderlust in generations of children to come.

I do agree that race portrayals are a problem in these stories, though it's difficult to do much about it without changing the v
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
The second book in my Newbery Challenge to read all the Newbery Medal Winners from oldest to newest.
This is the 1923 winner.
The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle in one of the books in the series of stories about the famous doctor who could talk to animals. Although, I have not read the other books in the series, I was familiar enough with the characters and concept that I did not feel as though I was missing out on much.
The story is told by 9 year old Tommy, a boy in the village where Doctor Dolittle
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.
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?...
A classic of its time, this book shows its age in some ways, and in others it has a somewhat timeless quality to it. I think this was my favourite of all all the Dolittle books when I was a child, and I must have read it at least twice as it is probably the one I have the clearest memory of.

To be sure I was not enthralled by the adventures of the Doctor and his companions in quite the same way as when I was a boy, but I was surprised at how much deeper the book was than I expected. Forward think
Monica Fastenau
Read the full review on my blog:

What a famous book this is, and how many movies have been made from this plot! This book is pretty interesting and unusual. It’s the second in the Doctor Dolittle series, which had at least ten sequels. If you know anything about Doctor Dolittle, you probably know the gist of the plot. Doctor Dolittle can speak to animals, and he goes on a voyage with Tommy Stubbins in order to find the greatest naturalist in the world.

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
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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 about Hugh Lofting...

Other Books in the Series

Doctor Dolittle (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • The Story of Doctor Dolittle (Doctor Dolittle, #1)
  • Doctor Dolittle's Post Office (Doctor Dolittle, #3)
  • Doctor Dolittle's Circus (Doctor Dolittle, #4)
  • Doctor Dolittle's Zoo (Doctor Dolittle, #5)
  • Doctor Dolittle's Caravan (Doctor Dolittle, #6)
  • Doctor Dolittle's Garden (Doctor Dolittle, #7)
  • Doctor Dolittle in the Moon (Doctor Dolittle, #8)
  • Doctor Dolittle's Return (Doctor Dolittle, #9)
  • Doctor Dolittle and the Secret Lake (Doctor Dolittle, #10)
  • Doctor Dolittle and the Green Canary (Doctor Dolittle, #11)

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