Cover image for The story of Doctor Dolittle
The story of Doctor Dolittle
Lofting, Hugh, 1886-1947.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Ashland, OR : Blackstone Audio Books, [1995]

Physical Description:
2 discs : analog.
The adventures of a kind-hearted doctor, who is fond of animals and understands their language.
General Note:
Blackstone Audio Books: 1698.

Compact disc.
Added Author:


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J FICTION CD Juvenile Audiobook on CD Audiobooks

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Doctor Dolittle, a little, lovable old doctor, had so many animal pets spread throughout his house and garden that patients would not come to him anymore. As a result, he became poorer and poorer. But he occupied nearly all of his time tending to his pets, and his fame as an animal doctor spread all over the world. When the monkeys in Africa were stricken with an epidemic, they gave the good doctor a call. He set sail at once.

The adventures during his magnificent journey across the ocean, through the high kingdom of the Jolliginki and back again by way of the Canaries, combine to form a story filled with delight. An enduring classic, it will dazzle and delight readers young and old.

Author Notes

Hugh Lofting was born in 1866 in Maidenhead, England. He trained as a civil engineer, getting his education from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Polytechnic Institute of London. He worked in Africa, the West Indies and Canada and then settled in New York to become a writer.

The stories about Doctor Dolittle began as letters to his children while overseas in England during World War I, where Lofting served with the British Army. The first Doctor Dolittle book published was "The Story of Doctor Dolittle" in 1920. He wrote thirteen more, winning the Newberry Medal in 1923 for "The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle." Lofting illustrated all of the Dolittle books himself.

In 1967, the Doctor Dolittle books were made into a musical film starring Rex Harrison.

Hugh Lofting died in 1947 at the age of 81.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 3-6. Out of print since the early 1970s, these classic children's books have been edited to remove racially offensive passages and illustrations. Story, first published in 1920, was the first title in the series and is considered by many to be the best. Voyages won the 1923 Newbery Medal. Textual changes are minimal, but salutary. While a few of the illustrations have been cropped or deleted, the publishers have added other drawings by Lofting that were not used in the original editions. Libraries will welcome the opportunity to replace battered, rebound copies, flawed with objectionable references and stereotypes, with these bright, new volumes retaining all the essential charm, wit, and humanity of the originals. CP.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Kleinbaum's adaptations, accompanied by Lofting's illustrations from the original editions, bring the classic books to younger readers. Ages 6-9. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-8-The story of Doctor Doolittle's adventures and his eventual return home with the miraculous animal who joined the family. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



The Story of Doctor Dolittle The First Chapter PUDDLEBY ONCE UPON A TIME, MANY YEARS AGO--WHEN OUR grandfathers were little children--there was a doctor, and his name was Dolittle--John Dolittle, M.D. "M.D." means that he was a proper doctor and knew a whole lot. He lived in a little town called Puddleby-on-the-Marsh. All the folks, young and old, knew him well by sight. And whenever he walked down the street in his high hat everyone would say, "There goes the Doctor! He's a clever man." And the dogs and the children would all run up and follow behind him; and even the crows that lived in the church tower would caw and nod their heads. The house he lived in, on the edge of the town, was quite small, but his garden was very large and had a wide lawn and stone seats and weeping willows hanging over. His sister, Sarah Dolittle, was housekeeper for him, but the Doctor looked after the garden himself. He was very fond of animals and kept many kinds of pets. Besides the goldfish in the pond at the bottom of his garden, he had rabbits in the pantry, white mice in his piano, a squirrel in the linen closet, and a hedgehog in the cellar. He had a cow with a calf too, and an old lame horse--twenty-five years of age--and chickens, and pigeons, and two lambs, and many other animals. But his favorite pets were Dab-Dab the duck, Jip the dog, Gub-Gub the baby pig, Polynesia the parrot, and the owl Too-Too. His sister used to grumble about all these animals and said they made the house untidy. And one day when an old lady with rheumatism came to see the Doctor, she sat on the hedgehog who was sleeping on the sofa and never came to see him anymore, but drove every Saturday all the way to Oxenthorpe, another town ten miles off, to see a different doctor. Then his sister, Sarah Dolittle, came to him and said, "John, how can you expect sick people to come and see you when you keep all these animals in the house? It's a fine doctor would have his parlor full of hedgehogs and mice! That's the fourth personage these animals have driven away. Squire Jenkins and the Parson say they wouldn't come near your house again--no matter how sick they are. We are getting poorer every day. If you go on like this, none of the best people will have you for a doctor." "But I like the animals better than the 'best people,'" said the Doctor. "You are ridiculous," his sister said, and walked out of the room. So, as time went on, the Doctor got more and more animals, and the people who came to see him got less and less. Till at last he had no one left--except the Cat's-meatMan, who didn't mind any kind of animals. But the Cat's-meat-Man wasn't very rich and he only got sick once a year--at Christmastime, when he used to give the Doctor sixpence for a bottle of medicine. Sixpence a year wasn't enough to live on--even in those days, long ago--and if the Doctor hadn't had some money saved up in his money box, no one knows what would have happened. And he kept on getting still more pets; and of course, it cost a lot to feed them. And the money he had saved up grew littler and littler. Then he sold his piano, and let the mice live in a bureau drawer. But the money he got for that, too, began to go, so he sold the brown suit he wore on Sundays and went on becoming poorer and poorer. And now when he walked down the street in his high hat, people would say to one another, "There goes John Dolittle, M.D.! There was a time when he was the best-known doctor in the West Country. Look at him now--he hasn't any money and his stockings are full of holes!" But the dogs and the cats and the children still ran up and followed him through the town--the same as they had done when he was rich. All new material copyright (c) 1998 by Tom Doherty Associates, Inc. Excerpted from The Story of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.