Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle

Finished The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle by Hugh Lofting. This is the second book in the series. It won the Newbery Medal in 1923. This book differs from the first because the narrator is a child. Tommy Stubbins meets the Doctor, becomes his friend and is inspired to be a great naturalist when he grows up. His parents have not been able to afford to send Tommy to school. Tommy and the doctor propose to the parents that Tommy go to live with the Doctor and be his assistant. In return for the work he performs the Doctor will teach him to read and write.

Well the doctor teaches him much more than this. Tommy learns the languages of numerous animals and has great adventures traveling with the Doctor. Within the book are some interesting criticisms of zoos, aquariums and bullfights. I enjoyed this one, although the dated racial stereotypes still made me squirm.

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