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Visiting daughter: Mmmrg? [translation: I haven’t had any coffee yet. Can’t make human conversation.]

Me handing her a latte: It’s probably going to climb up to your bedroom window, climb in, go up to the ceiling above your bed, and drop onto your face while you’re sleeping.

Visiting daughter: Oh, for %#¢£$ sake. [translation: Why can’t I have a normal mother?]

See, I hate snails. Those little bastards spend the whole night getting in position so that when I stumble out with the dog in the morning, I step on them and they squorsh all over my shoes and I want to vomit. So of course, after this conversation, I had only one choice for a keyword search for this week’s Friday Five Challenge. I typed “snail” into Amazon and sat back ready to get ill. Wait…4951 results? Those little slimers have some serious PR muscle. I scanned down, past titles ranging from—I swear I’m not making these up—The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating to Talk to the Snail: Ten Commandments for Understanding the French to The Dead Snail Diaries. That last one was almost a contender when I spotted it: Doctor Dolittle in the Moon.

I still have no idea what it has to do with snails, but there was the original 1929 edition of Doctor Dolittle in the Moon, complete with dust cover and illustrated by author Hugh Lofting.

Rosie Amber’s Friday Five challenge is to take ONLY FIVE MINUTES to browse an unfamiliar category and select a book based solely on the cover art.

Book blurb:


One of those uniquely magical Hugh Lofting Tales brought to a rather surreal life by his equally magical illustrations – this one giving us a moon as some of us wishes it were.

Near Fine; Dust Jacket – Very Good; London: Jonathan Cape Ltd., 1929. First Edition. Illustrated by Lofting as well. Octavo, 320 pp.; decorative orange & black jacket with illustration; matching decorative boards with the illustration as a pastedown; illustrated endpapers. Near Fine copy, corners just touched, presumed slight darkening of page edges, nominal soil. Jacket has one moderate chip at top left front, some darkening of spine, less darkening elsewhere. Please see scans.  



  • Book Title: Doctor Dolittle in the Moon Hardcover – 1929
  • Author: Hugh Lofting
  • Genre: Children’s fantasy
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd.; First Edition edition (1929)
  • Price: NOTE: out of print. Eight copies available ranging from $19.99 to $325
  • Reviews: 4 …but who cares?
  • Pages: 320

81E+dRPPWRL-1My Analysis: I took one look at that dust jacket and went back in time. More than fifty years ago, my mother read these books to us. A few years later, I was reading them to younger siblings. Still later, it was my own children listening to the Doctor like it was a travel documentary. (Certainly, it made them receptive to that other Doctor a few years later!) Now, as I’m about to welcome my first grandchild, I wonder if that magic is still out there, waiting? As Hugh Walpole says of the “The Story of Dr. Dolittle“,

“This book is a work of genius. There is poetry here, and fantasy and humour, but above all a number of creations in whose existence everybody must believe, whether they be children of four or old men of ninety, or prosperous bankers of forty-five. It is the first real children’s classic since Alice.”

BUY or PASS:   BUY — but only the original editions, before subsequent publishers abandoned the amazing and delightful original illustrations. (And, hopefully, not too many snails…)

Here is Rosie’s Friday Five Challenge. It only took five minutes and a couple more to write up, and was a ton of fun. I hope you’ll consider joining in. All Rosie asks is that you link back to her original post here so we can all join in viewing your challenge results.

AUTHORS – You often only have seconds to get a reader to buy your book, is your book cover and book bio up to it?

Rosie Amber's Friday Five Challenge. Get yourself a cuppa and give yourself 5 minutes.

Rosie Amber’s Friday Five Challenge. Get yourself a cuppa and give yourself 5 minutes.

My Friday Five Challenge is this….. IN ONLY FIVE MINUTES….

  1. Go to any online book supplier,
  2. Randomly choose a category,
  3. Speed through the book covers, choose one which has instantly appealed to your eye,
  4. Read the book Bio/ Description for this book, and any other details.
  5. If there are reviews, check out a couple,
  6. Make an instant decision, would you BUY or PASS?
  7. I’ll be back next week with another Friday Five Challenge, do feel free to join in.