Cover image for The voyages of Doctor Dolittle
The voyages of Doctor Dolittle
Lofting, Hugh, 1886-1947.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollins, [2001]

Physical Description:
xii, 355 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm.
When his colleague Long Arrow disappears, Dr. Dolittle sets off with his assistant, Tommy Stubbins, his dog, Jip, and Polynesia the parrot on an adventurous voyage over tropical seas to floating Spidermonkey Island.
Reading Level:
860 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.7 11.0 93.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 7.1 17 Quiz: 16039 Guided reading level: NR.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
J FICTION Juvenile Fiction Award Winners
X Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Reference

On Order



Doctor John Dolittle, the veterinarian who can actually talk to animals, sets sail on the high seas for new adventures! Accompanied by his young friend Tommy Stubbins and the beloved animals of his household -- Polynesia the parrot, Jip the dog, and Chee-Chee the monkey -- the good doctor is off to forbidding Spider Monkey Island to examine the rare jabizri beetle. But the mysterious island holds another, darker secret: The famous Indian naturalist, Long Arrow, has mysteriously disappeared -- and Doctor Dolittle urgently needs to speak with him.Doctor Dolittle and his friends brave a shipwreck, find the floating island, and meet the incredible Great Glass Sea Snail -- the keeper of the greatest mystery of all. This is the most popular of the twelve Doctor Dolittle novels. The next has been carefully edited for modern readers by renowned children's book authors Patricia and Fredrick McKissack. This new edition, featuring color illustrations by best-selling artist Michael Hague, is sure to bring a whole new generation under the spell of Doctor Dolittle and his animal friends.

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 1

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-8-Doctor Dolittle sets sail towards the mysterious Spider Monkey Island accompanied by by nine-and-a-half-year-old Tommy Stubbins. By Hugh Lofting. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle Part One The First Chapter The Cobbler's Son My name was Tommy Stubbins, son of Jacob Stubbins, the cobbler of Puddleby-on-the-Marsh; and I was nine and a half years old. At that time Puddleby was only quite a small town. A river ran through the middle of it; and over this river there was a very old stone bridge, called Kingsbridge, which led you from the marketplace on one side to the churchyard on the other. Sailing ships came up this river from the sea and anchored near the bridge. I used to go down and watch the sailors unloading the ships upon the river wall. The sailors sang strange songs as they pulled upon the ropes; and I learned these songs by heart. And I would sit on the river wall with my feet dangling over the water and sing with the men, pretending to myself that I too was a sailor. For I longed always to sail away with those brave ships when they turned their backs on Puddleby Church and went creeping down the river again, across the wide lonely marshes to the sea. I longed to go with them out into the world to seek my fortune in foreign lands -- Africa, India, China and Peru! When they got round the bend in the river and the water was hidden from view, you could still see their huge brown sails towering over the roofs of the town, moving onward slowly -- like some gentle giants that walked among the houses without noise. What strange things would they have seen, I wondered, when next they came back to anchor at Kingsbridge! And, dreaming of the lands I had never seen, I'd sit on there, watching till they were out of sight. Three great friends I had in Puddleby in those days. One was Joe, the mussel-man, who lived in a tiny hut by the edge of the water under the bridge. This old man was simply marvelous at making things. I never saw a man so clever with his hands. He used to mend my toy ships for me which I sailed upon the river; he built windmills out of packing cases and barrel staves; and he could make the most wonderful kites from old umbrellas. Joe would sometimes take me in his mussel boat, and when the tide was running out we would paddle down the river as far as the edge of the sea to get mussels and lobsters to sell. And out there on the cold lonely marshes we would see wild geese flying, and curlews and redshanks and many other kinds of seabirds that live among the samfire and the long grass of the great salt fen. And as we crept up the river in the evening, when the tide had turned, we would see the lights on Kingsbridge twinkle in the dusk, reminding us of teatime and warm fires. Another friend I had was Matthew Mugg, the Cat's-meat-Man. He was a funny old person with a bad squint. He looked rather awful but he was really quite nice to talk to. He knew everybody in Puddleby; and he knew all the dogs and all the cats. In those times being a Cat's-meat-Man was a regular business. And you could see one nearly any day going through the streets with a wooden tray full of pieces of meat stuck on skewers crying, "Meat! M-E-A-T!" People paid him to give this meat to their cats and dogs instead of feeding them on dog biscuits or the scraps from the table. I enjoyed going round with old Matthew and seeing the cats and dogs come running to the garden gates whenever they heard his call. Sometimes he let me give the meat to the animals myself; and I thought this was great fun. He knew a lot about dogs and he would tell me the names of the different kinds as we went through the town. He had several dogs of his own; one, a whippet, was a very fast runner, and Matthew used to win prizes with her at the Saturday coursing races; another, a terrier, was a fine ratter. The Cat's-meat-Man used to make a business of rat-catching for the millers and farmers as well as his other trade of selling cat's-meat. My third great friend was Luke the Hermit. But of him I will tell you more later on. I did not go to school, because my father was not rich enough to send me. But I was extremely fond of animals. So I used to spend my time collecting birds' eggs and butterflies, fishing in the river, rambling through the countryside after blackberries and mushrooms and helping the mussel-man mend his nets. Yes, it was a very pleasant life I lived in those days long ago -- though of course I did not think so then. I was nine and a half years old; and, like all boys, I wanted to grow up -- not knowing how well off I was with no cares and nothing to worry me. Always I longed for the time when I should be allowed to leave my father's house, to take passage in one of those brave ships, to sail down the river through the misty marshes to the sea-out into the world to seek my fortune. The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle . Copyright © by Hugh Lofting. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from The Voyages 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.

Table of Contents

Part 1 Prologuep. 1
I. The Cobbler's Sonp. 2
II. I Hear of the Great Naturalistp. 5
III. The Doctor's Homep. 9
IV. The Wiff-Waffp. 15
V. Polynesiap. 20
VI. The Wounded Squirrelp. 25
VII. Shellfish Talkp. 27
VIII. Are You a Good Noticer?p. 30
IX. The Garden of Dreamsp. 33
X. The Private Zoop. 36
XI. My Schoolmaster, Polynesiap. 39
XII. My Great Ideap. 42
XIII. A Traveler Arrivesp. 45
XIV. Chee-Chee's Voyagep. 48
XV. I Become a Doctor's Assistantp. 50
Part 2
I. The Crew of "The Curlew"p. 52
II. Luke the Hermitp. 54
III. Jip and the Secretp. 56
IV. Bobp. 59
V. Mendozap. 63
VI. The Judge's Dogp. 66
VII. The End of the Mysteryp. 70
VIII. Three Cheersp. 73
IX. The Purple Bird-of-Paradisep. 76
X. Long Arrow, the Son of Golden Arrowp. 78
XI. Blind Travelp. 82
XII. Destiny and Destinationp. 85
Part 3
I. The Third Manp. 87
II. Good-Bye!p. 92
III. Our Troubles Beginp. 94
IV. Our Troubles Continuep. 97
V. Polynesia Has a Planp. 101
VI. The Bed-Maker of Monteverdep. 104
VII. The Doctor's Wagerp. 107
VIII. The Great Bullfightp. 111
IX. We Depart in a Hurryp. 117
Part 4
I. Shellfish Languages Againp. 120
II. The Fidgit's Storyp. 124
III. Bad Weatherp. 133
IV. Wrecked!p. 136
V. Land!p. 141
VI. The Jabizrip. 144
VII. Hawk's-Head Mountainp. 148
Part 5
I. A Great Momentp. 153
II. "The Men of the Moving Land"p. 158
III. Firep. 161
IV. What Makes an Island Floatp. 164
V. War!p. 167
VI. General Polynesiap. 172
VII. The Peace of the Parrotsp. 175
VIII. The Hanging Stonep. 177
IX. The Electionp. 183
X. The Coronation of King Jongp. 187
Part 6
I. New Popsipetelp. 190
II. Thoughts of Homep. 196
III. The Red Man's Sciencep. 199
IV. The Sea-Serpentp. 201
V. The Shellfish Riddle Solved at Lastp. 205
VI. The Last Cabinet Meetingp. 208
VII. The Doctor's Decisionp. 210