Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Book cover & endpapers: "Doctor Dolittle in the Moon"

  • Title: Doctor Dolittle in the Moon
  • Author and illustrator: Hugh Lofting (1886-1947)
  • Publisher: J.B. Lippincott Company (A Stokes Book)
  • Original publication date: 1928
  • Publication date of this edition: Difficult to determine. It is listed as the "Twelfth Impression." Many editions were issued, some with different exterior color palettes. Best guess is that this edition is circa the early 1950s.
  • Pages: 307
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Original price: Unknown
  • Provenance: (1) There's a label on the inside front cover indicating the book once belonged to Ann Cecilia Snyder, who lived in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (2) It was purchased by me this year in Gatchellville, Pennsylvania.
  • Some chapter titles: "The Land of Colors and Perfumes," "The Singing Trees," "The Magellan of the Moon," "Monkey Memories of the Moon," and "How the Moon Folk Heard of Doctor Dolittle."
  • First sentence: In writing the story of our adventures in the Moon I, Thomas Stubbins, secretary to John Dolittle, M.D. (and son of Jacob Stubbins, the cobbler of Puddleby-on-the-Marsh), find myself greatly puzzled.
  • Last sentence: "Between them they will find a way."
  • Random sentence from middle: It was curious that after that I too longer feared the enormous creature who looked like something from a fairy-tale or nightmare.
  • Wikipedia description of book: "Doctor Dolittle in the Moon (1928) was intended to be the last of Hugh Lofting's Doctor Dolittle books, and differs considerably in tone from its predecessors; the stripped down narrative does not have room for any of the sub-plots and tales previously present. Instead there is a growing sense of an event about to happen that is almost spooky in tone. There are some very complex passages for a children’s book; for example, it begins with a meditation about what the writer expects from the reader and vice versa."
  • Goodreads rating: 3.85 stars (out of 5)
  • Goodreads review excerpt: In 2007, Jean wrote: "What I love it for, however, is Lofting's thoughtful imaginings of what life would be like on the moon, not only the phantasmagorically evolved giant trees and moths (good indoctrination in Darwinism, too), but also what it would feel like to walk in low gravity, how far you could go in a step, to what extent the curvature of a smaller sphere would be evident to one used to the earth's size. And I will put the passage from the book's lonely middle about the comfort of the formerly forbidding stars up against anything you care to bring."
  • Amazon rating: 4.2 stars (out of 5.0)
  • Amazon review excerpt: In 2010, Laserlad wrote: "I read Dr. Doolittle in the Moon as a child and recently was reminded of it when I saw a huge moth feeding on a datura flower under a full moon. It is a magical treat."

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