_Doctor Dolittle's Circus_ (1924) is the fourth book in the series about the great doctor who talks to the animals. The earlier books in the series are _The Story of Doctor Dolittle_ (1920), _The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle_ (1922), and _Doctor Dolittle's Post Office_ (1923).
The current novel opens with a familiar scene. The doctor and his companions are back home at Puddleby-on-the-Marsh from their travels. But they need money to pay off their debts. Doctor Dolittle has a plan. Why don't the animals form a circus, using the pushmi-pullyu as their main sideshow attraction?
Of course, things don't go strictly according to plan. John Dolittle's snooty sister Sarah interferes, a crooked ringmaster doublecrosses, a highwayman engages in skulduggery, and assorted animals have all kinds of ailments at inconvenient times.
But fortunately, the good doctor gets assistance from Matthew Mugg, the cats-meat-man and Hercules, the strong man. Dab-Dab the duck, Too-Too the owl, Gub-Gub the pig, Sophie the Seal, and several blacksnakes are also available to give help. Eventually, after much trial and error, we find that rarest of circuses-- a place of good acts where animals are treated well. Just like people, in fact.
Perhaps this is an appropriate spot to elaborate on my artistic bias. There are many versions of the Doctor Dolittle books about nowadays, with many different artistic interpretations. But I much prefer the originals by Hugh Lofting himself (available in the Dell-Yearling paperbacks). Yes, they are stiff and primitive. But they have a kind of gentle charm about them that conveys why animals and country people alike admire Doctor Dolittle-- even if snobs and aristocrats do not.
- Paperback: 286 pages
- Publisher: Independently Published (16 February 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1796769703
- ISBN-13: 978-1796769708
- Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 1.7 x 27.9 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 826 g
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