Author(s): Hugh Lofting
'Many years ago - when our grandfathers were little children - there was a doctor and his name was Dolittle.' Dr Dolittle lives in Puddleby-on-the-Marsh with his friends Dab-Dab the duck, Jip the dog, Gub-Gub the baby pig, Too-Too the owl, the parrot Polynesia, as well as rabbits in the pantry, white mice in the piano and a crocodile in the fish pond. Why do the animals love Dolittle so? Its because he can speak their language, and because he's the best animal doctor for miles around. When the monkeys in Africa call on his aid, Doctor Dolittle sets off on an marvellous voyage, encountering bad-tempered kings, fearsome pirates and the mysterious pushmi-pullyu along the way. Includes exclusive material: In the Backstory you can learn about the different ways that animals talk to each other! Vintage Children's Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from The Jungle Book and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
Why do the animals love Dolittle so? Its because he can speak their language, and because he's the best animal doctor for miles around.
"A work of genius...a treat for us all" -- Nina Bawden Evening Standard "There are few kindlier heroes in children's literature. And none to match his gift for understanding animals" -- Blake Morrison Guardian "Any child who is not given the opportunity to make the acquaintance of this rotund, kindly and enthusiastic doctor and all his animal friends will miss out on something important" -- Jane Goodall (World Expert On Chimpanzees)
Hugh Lofting was born in Maidenhead, England, in 1886 and was educated at home with his brothers and sisters until he was eight. He studied engineering at London and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After his marriage in 1912 he settled in the United States of America. When the First World War broke out he left his job as a civil engineer and was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Irish Guards. He found that writing illustrated letters to his children eased the strain of war. 'There seemed to be very little to write to youngsters from the front; the news was either too horrible or too dull. One thing that kept forcing itself more and more upon my attention was the very considerable part animals were playing in the war. That was the beginning of an idea: an eccentric country physician with a bent for natural history and a great love of pets...' These letters became The Story of Doctor Dolittle, published as a book in 1920. Children all over the world have enjoyed this book and the eleven sequels that followed as they have been translated into almost every language. The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle won the Newbury Medal in 1923. Drawing from the twelve Doctor Dolittle volumes, Hugh Lofting's sister-in-law, Olga Fricker, later compiled Doctor Dolittle: a Treasury. Hugh Lofting died in 1947 at his home in Topanga, California.