by Hugh Lofting
This is one volume of the classic story of Dr. Dolittle, the English naturalist who can talk to animals. He and his young protegee Tommy Stubbins go on an epic adventure, meeting many interesting people and creatures along the way.
I found this book light, funny, and an easy read, but at times it was a little too silly. There were some references that were a bit dated and less politically correct than modern readers might be comfortable with. But for younger middle-graders who like animals and silly adventures, this is a worthwhile read. (And it’s really nothing like the Eddie Murphy movie that I remember from my own childhood.)