This was my first interaction with Dr. Doolittle, in any form. The accompanying illustrations really cemented its offensiveness, and I am surprised it has remained a mainstay. So, what’s the deal? Are the movies just totally different and simply share a name and the ability to talk to animals? Why hasn’t this been ditched completely and supplanted with a new book with a new doctor who communicates with animals?
I appreciated some of the humor in the book, especially the disparaging stuff about humans. Is this why this book was popular? Did people look past the racism and see a humorous and fun adventure? Or did they not care? At what point in time was the racism in this book addressed by outsiders?
“Many of us are increasingly aware that American childhoods can look very different from one another, varying with race and ethnicity, geographic location, economic status, and many other factors. This has always been true, of course, but until very recently, the imagined child reader was monolithic” (Schwebel & Van Tuyl). Who imagined the child reader as monolithic? Authors? Publishers? Critics?