Fruit, orangeade, sardines, and a good doctor named Dolittle inspired the kids to learn about helping animals at our Doctor Dolittle Book Club.
Doctor Dolittle Book Club Discussion
This month our book club was inspired by the book, The Story of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting. This book (also known as The Story of Doctor Dolittle, Being the History of His Peculiar Life at Home and Astonishing Adventures in Foreign Parts) is the story of a physician at the turn of the 20th century who doesn't relate well to people, so he learns to speak animal and become an animal physician.
The story of the good doctor who can speak to animals has been reinvented many different times and in many different forms of media. But the original story has much more depth and character than most of the movie versions.
The kids loved the idea of being able to speak to animals and what’s better than a story whose main cast of characters are humorous, talking animals? So, we dove into reading the book and followed it up with watching the latest movie version about the doctor and his animal friends.
The original version of this book was written at the turn of the 20th century and contains some terms that are not appropriate for children. Because of this I recommend the version that is illustrated by Michael Hague and edited by Patricia and Fredrick McKissack. This version deletes racial slurs that were common at the time and revises one scene that would be considered racist by today’s standards.
You can read a full summary of the book at my article in Homeschooling Today Magazine.
Then we had some Doctor Dolittle inspired snacks!
Doctor Dolittle Book Club Snacks
At our book club, I like to choose snacks that are either mentioned in the story or are inspired by it.
This month I had a lot of fun choosing snacks that the kids loved and some that they hated!
We started off with lots of types of fruits that are mentioned in our story like mango, dates, coconut and pineapple.
And, because they are mentioned in the book, we also had sardines.
I'll have to admit I didn't think these would be a big hit for the kids... and they weren't. Well, that is for most of the kids. But, one or two absolutely loved them and they were gone by the end of the book club!
For drinks, we had coconut milk. I had considered drilling a hole and letting them drink from the coconut, but coconuts are not that easy to buy in Tennessee. So, I opted for store bought coconut milk.
Then the kids took turns cutting up oranges and making their own "orangeade" to drink.
I decorated the table with some of the fruit that had not been cut up and with toy animals of those animals that were mentioned in the book. And, there were a LOT of animals mentioned in the book!
After we had filled our bellies, we started on our hands-on activity or, what I like to call, magic dust.
Doctor Dolittle Book Club Activities
Since our book is about helping animals in need, we wanted to do an activity that would be a nod to the doctor.
We were inspired by the pirates who become birdseed farmers to make birdseed feeders for our local animals.
We started with an icecream cone and a inserted a pipe cleaner through the end as a hanger.
Next, we spread creamy peanut butter on the ice cream cones.
At this point, I had to stop children from EATING our bird feeders!
They did look awfully yummy.
Lastly, the kids rolled the peanut butter covered ice cream cones in bird seed.
This drastically cut down the eating of the bird feeders though I did have one mom tell me that her child had scraped off the seed and ate the ice cream cone in the car!
And, voila! We had a bird feeder we could hang up on a tree outside our homes.
It turns out squirrels enjoy these bird feeders as well as birds, so we shared the Doctor Dolittle love with multiple animals!
Doctor Dolittle Online Book Club
We had so much fun with our fruit and seeds day that we decided to extend it to more fun the rest of the month!
Join us on an adventure into this crazy animal-lovers fantasy.
In this course, Doctor Dolittle Online Book Club, we will read through the book The Story of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting. As we are reading, we will go on rabbit trails of discovery into history, language, science and more. We will find ways to learn by experiencing parts of the book through hands-on activities.
At the conclusion of the story, we will have a party school to celebrate Doctor Dolittle and the animals.
This full language arts curriculum has everything you need to study the book: grammar, spelling, rabbit trails, hands-on exploration, and connections to the literature. It is perfect for a month of elementary language arts!
Take a Sneak Peek into our Doctor Dolittle Online Book Club:
For this book club, we will be using the book by Hugh Lofting and illustrated by Michael Hague. This version of the book has some minor changes to the original text that bring it in line with modern-day values, such as racial pejoratives and stereotypes.
Hi, I’m Dachelle. I’m a homeschooling mom of 3 in the South. I love chocolate and have been known to hide it from my children. I can often be found reading a good book (or even sometimes just an okay book) and enjoying a jar of Nutella — don’t judge. I blog, here, at HideTheChocolate.com when I’m not creating book clubs and making lists…lots and lots of lists (it’s an addiction). Learn more…