Doctor Dolittle is not only quaint but he is wise. The reader, very soon gets a sense that if he were in trouble, not necessarily medical, he would go to Dolittle and ask his advice.
Doctor Dolittle is a wonder for the imagination. Who among us has ever wished we could talk to the animals? What would that conversation sound like?
Giving life to animals, making them talk and behave like human beings, is an extremely difficult task. John Dolittle's friends are convincing because their creator (Hugh Lofting) never forces them to desert their own characteristics. Polynesia, for instance, is natural from first to last. She really does care about the Doctor but she cares as a bird would care.
Doctor Dolittle is poetry and fantasy and humor, and anyone who reads it, will believe! Whether they be children of four or ripe of ninety-four.