07 September 2008

The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle.

Elf and Emperor have finished with the Story of Doctor Dolittle, and we're now taking turns reading chapters in the next book. Doctor Dolittle is off on an adventure with his animal friends, Bumpo the African prince, and Tommy Stubbins, his assistant and the narrator of the book.

Doctor Dolittle has managed to trick the people on a Spanish island to give up bullfighting by speaking to the bulls and throwing the match. He became matador for the day and had the bulls pretend to be very frightened of the Great Doctor. Elf and Emperor have found an old baby hat shaped like a bunny and Elf is wearing this so that he can be a bull. Emperor will wave a pink burp cloth to complete the effect. Sometime I'm *required* to film this and put it on one of the children's blogs.

The animals and the Indian peoples have strange ideas about the "White" people. They are seen as being very backward and greedy. It even feels backward to read the book, but it's a funny adventure story. Bumpo has been to Oxford and is now using his educated white man's vocabulary. (He pitched the shoes and is trying to forget the Algebra, though. I admire that Bumpo takes what he wants out of the culture and literally throws out the rest.)

I could imagine a movie on the books, and what a strange character Bumpo would make. Even the children think he's hilarious when he says, "What discourteous pagans!" about the Indian people who threatened them. Bumpo's people weren't exactly courteous or Christian in their reception of Doctor Dolittle, either. I think Bumpo is my favourite character.

1 comment:

  1. I have never read the books but I did love the movie & if I think long enough I may remember who played Dr Doolittle. Rex Harrison? That's the musical version(1967), not the newer one. I'm sure someone has it on DVD though.


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