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The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle

(Doctor Dolittle #2)

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really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  15,089 ratings  ·  546 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published May 31st 2005 by HarperCollins (first published 1922)
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Hyaroo Hyaroo Probably you'd manage without. This book does refer to the events of the first book quite a bit, but the story itself is standalone, the characters…moreProbably you'd manage without. This book does refer to the events of the first book quite a bit, but the story itself is standalone, the characters and concept are introduced clearly enough, and the narrative does a decent enough job of bringing you up to speed.

I'd say you'll be able to understand this book just fine without having read the first one, even if a couple of details and callbacks might make a little more sense if you have. (less)

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really liked it 4.00  · 
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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
...more
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
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
Kathryn
Apr 20, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
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
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
Sierra Cook
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
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
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 ...more
Emily
Feb 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
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 ...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
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
...more
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 ...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
Wendy
Jun 28, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: newbery
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?...
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
Richard
May 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Kat!e Larson
Mar 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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."
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,
...more
Benji Martin
Feb 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Adelina
Feb 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
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
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
Charlotte
Mar 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-lit-13-25
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
Rosemary
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
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
...more
Linds
Apr 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: newbery-win
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,
...more
Christian
Mar 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Catherine
Sep 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Waller
Jul 27, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
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.
Mitchell
Book#2 of my grand Newbery Winner read/re-read complete.

This one is also showing its age. But in general it was an readable and enjoyable and with interesting characters. Sure the basic premise was silly but workable - though a duck carrying a lit candlestick in its foot wouldn't seem to work. Not any obvious female characters, and our pov character was not really his age. And a bit of the details were just wrong, about the animals, the plants and the geography. But still better than I expected
...more
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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

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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