I grew up with Hugh Lofting's books and wanted my children to read them. As Dr. Dolittle learns to communicate with animals, we begin to think about feelings and habits of individuals very different from ourselves. Dr. Dolittle did not fit in with many of the stuffier aspects of British society. Thus, he was a miserable failure as a human doctor. His animals recognized his caring spirit and taught him to become an outstanding animal doctor. The stories contain suspense and adventure but there is little explicit violence. The animal characters, Jip the dog, Gub Gub the pig, Polinesia the parrot each have their own personalities and become friends with the reader. Hugh Lofting was an Englishman of the early 20th century. As such, he used some troubling phrases that might be considered racist. Much of this seems to have been deleted or modified in the current version of this book. I wanted my children to read all of the other Dr. Dolittle books. Unfortunately most of them are out of print. Thank goodness,I was able to find a number of the other titles in the Amazon.com used book section.