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Doctor Dolittle is a fun book to read aloud to your kids. Here are some food and activity ideas to do as a family after you read.

The first Read Aloud Book Club post is finally here! I’m so excited about this book club and I’ve loved the responses I’ve been getting about how it’s working in your homes. Nothing makes me happier than seeing families spend quality time together surrounding books.

If you don’t know what the Read Aloud Book Club is, you can check out the original post HERE for details, the full list of books, and some free printables!

Doctor Dolittle

This book was a lot of fun and loved the cast of characters. My kids loved that there were so many animals (and loved their unique names) and thought it was so cool that Doctor Dolittle could actually talk to animals.

I got a kick out of the random bits of humor here and there and loved that the book lent itself to some cool discussions with my kids. In fact, one of my son’s favorite things about the book was the Doctor Dolittle cared more about helping animals than he did about money–something he brought up to discuss all on his own!

This book is listed at a fifth grade level. My son is in third grade and my daughter is in preschool and they both really enjoyed it. My son picked up on more than my daughter did, but I was pleasantly surprised with how much my daughter picked up on.

I’m a big believer in reading books to my kids that are way above their reading level (assuming the content is appropriate). Kids understand more than we give them credit for sometimes, I think, so it’s important for us to give them those opportunities to learn and grow and think and take in.

Content Notes

I mentioned in the post announcing the Read Aloud Book Club that older versions of this book have some content that is disrespectful to ethnic minorities. Newer prints of the book, like the one we read, have been censored to remove that content. The version I purchased has been updated and is linked HERE.

Also, the book does bring up tobacco more than once, so you can either censor that content, ignore it, or take the opportunity to chat with your kids about the dangers of tobacco.

Now, on to the Read Aloud Book Club Activities!

Discussion Questions:

  1. Which character do you think was the most important in the book? Why?
  2. Is money a nuisance, as Doctor Dolittle calls it? Why or why not? What do you think would happen without it?

Food Ideas

My kids loved both of these snacks and gobbled them right up!

Orange “Lemonade”

“They used to make their lemonade out of the juice of wild oranges, sweetened with honey which they got from the bees’ nests in hollow trees.” (Chapter 7 of Doctor Dolittle)

Ingredients

  • 5 medium navel oranges*
  • 1 tablespoon honey

*The number of oranges needed may vary, depending on how juicy they are. We used 5 medium navels and got about 16 oz. of juice.

Directions:

  1. Wash the oranges.
  2. Slice them in half, or peel them and break them in pieces, depending on the type of juicer you have. The juicer we used is linked HERE.
  3. Using a juicer, get as much juice from each section as possible.
  4. Add the honey to the juice and stir well.
  5. Cool in the refrigerator or pour over ice.
  6. Enjoy!

Animal Crackers and Dolittle Dip

This was a fun idea my son and I came up with that we thought paired well with the book.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Nutella
  • 1/2 cup Marshmallow Creme
  • 1/4 cup Peanut Butter (if you have a peanut allergy, you can simply leave this out)
  • Sprinkles to garnish
  • Animal crackers (Costco has our VERY favorite ones, though they aren’t pictured here)

Directions

  1. Mix Nutella, Marshmallow Creme, and peanut butter together, stirring well. This is a very thick dip, so it does take some time to mix well.
  2. Top with sprinkles, if desired.
  3. Dip animal crackers into the mixture and enjoy!

Activity: Make Your Own Animal

Just like the fun addition of the Pushmi-Pullyu in the book, have your kids each create their own animal! They can be as detailed or as minimalist as they want on this activity–what does it look like, what is it called, what sound does it make, where does it live, what does it eat, etc.

I created a free worksheet for you to print off for your kids to use and fill out, or have them create their animal out of craft supplies or household items. Better yet, do both–use the worksheet to brainstorm, then create the final product as a craft project!

You can download the free printable HERE or by clicking on the image below:

Doctor Dolittle Thoughts

Overall, Doctor Dolittle was a fun book to read and these activities made it a fun family experience!

What were your thoughts? Did your kids like the book and/or activities? Let me know in the comments below! And if you join in on the fun, use #CMHReadAloudBookClub so we can all see what you thought and how your family used the activities.

February’s book is going to be Frindle by Andrew Clements. Check the blog on February 18th for the corresponding food and activities for that book.

If you want to see the whole year’s list of books, you can see it on this post HERE. Or sign-up for the free book club below and get a download to check off each book as you go (and a download to track each month’s book as well).

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