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Doctor Dolittle

From Academic Kids

Doctor Dolittle is the central character of a series of children's books by Hugh Lofting. He is a doctor who shuns human patients in favour of animals, with whom he can speak in their own languages. He later becomes a naturalist, using his abilities to speak with animals to better understand nature and the history of the world.

Doctor Dolittle first saw light in the author's illustrated letters to children, written from the trenches during World War I when actual news, he later said, was either too horrible or too dull. The stories are set in early Victorian England, where Doctor John Dolittle lives in the fictional village of Puddleby-on-the-Marsh.

Doctor Dolittle had a few close human friends, including Matthew Mugg, the Cat's-Meat Man. The animal team consisted of Polynesia (a parrot), Gub-Gub (a pig), Jip (a dog), Dab-Dab (a duck), Chee-Chee (a monkey), Too-Too (an owl), and the Pushmi-Pullyu (a rare type of African antelope with a head on each end of its body).

The books

The Story of Doctor Dolittle: Being the History of His Peculiar Life at Home and Astonishing Adventures in Foreign Parts Never Before Printed (1920) began the series. The sequel The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle (1922) won the prestigious Newbery Medal. The next three, Doctor Dolittle's Post Office, (1923), Doctor Dolittle's Circus (1924) and Doctor Dolittle's Caravan (1926) are all actually prequels. Seven more followed, and after his death two more volumes, composed of short unpublished pieces, appeared.

The books, in order of publication, are:

  1. The Story of Doctor Dolittle (1920)
  2. The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle (1922)
  3. Doctor Dolittle's Post Office (1923)
  4. Doctor Dolittle's Circus (1924)
  5. Doctor Dolittle's Zoo (1925)
  6. Doctor Dolittle's Caravan (1926)
  7. Doctor Dolittle's Garden (1927)
  8. Doctor Dolittle in the Moon (1928)
  9. Gub-Gub's Book, An Encyclopaedia of Food (1932)
  10. Doctor Dolittle's Return (1933)
  11. Doctor Dolittle's Birthday Book (1936)
  12. Doctor Dolittle and the Secret Lake (1948)
  13. Doctor Dolittle and the Green Canary (1950)
  14. Doctor Dolittle's Puddleby Adventures (1952)

Adaptations

The Doctor Dolittle stories have inspired a number of versions in other media:

External links

Template:Doctor Dolittle books

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