Friday, November 16, 2007

Read Aloud #60 - The Story of Doctor Dolittle

The Story of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting
Illustrated by Michael Hague
First of the Doctor Dolittle books

Pages: 159
Finished: Nov. 16, 2007
Reason for Reading: a favourite of my childhood, I hoped ds would enjoy it.
First Published: 1920
Genre: children animal fantasy
Rating: 5/5

First Sentence:

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.

Comments: Doctor Dolittle is an impoverished doctor who is very friendly with animals. After he gives up his human practice and becomes an animal doctor, he receives a cry for help from the monkeys of Africa who are experiencing an epidemic sickness. I have fond memories of reading all the Doctor Dolittle books as a child. This is my first time to re-read one and I was not disappointed. Lofting was a master storyteller and this book enchants from start to finish. Each chapter is packed with action, adventure and humour. There are many endearing animal characters, each with their own distinct personality. I loved Gub-Gub the pig who was frequently reduced to tears, while my 7yo loved Polynesia the wise and rather bossy parrot. This was a fun and quick book to read aloud and the 7yo enjoyed it immensely. The second book in the series has already been placed on our up-and-coming read-alouds pile.

We also finished another book in the Animal Behaviour series for our non-fiction reading. Animal Senses by Patricia Hickman. Here's my review I wrote for LibraryThing.

This is our favourite entry in the Animal Behaviour Series. There are many hands-on demonstrations (ie experiments) using simple items found around the house. (The only thing we had to buy was a party blower from the $ store.) Interesting text, colourful pictures and hands-on fun make for a enjoyable book that 7yo really enjoyed.

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