There will never be another set of books that excites, instructs, and entertains children as ably as this series does.
Dr. Dolittle is a somewhat absentminded amateur naturalist who has, by dint of a lifelong academic pursuit, discovered how to speak the language of the animals. Or some of them, anyhow; all of the books are suffused with the good Doctor's attempts to add another species or several to his list of languages.
This particular book is, like others in the series, deliciously uneven, as it presents a series of canine anecdotes before it bothers settling into the main plot. Every night dogs from all around come to hear each other speak, and to tell their life stories, each of which is an amusing short story in its own right.
Then the book moves on to the subject at hand, which involves Dolittle's attempts to learn the language of insects. Frankly, some of the other animals don't believe that anything as small and dumb as an insect could even have a language, but Dolittle soon proves them wrong. And just in time, too, because at some point, an enormous moth (the size of a small house) lands in the garden, and Dolittle feels sure that it is trying to communicate some great need.
Some of the language in the book is somewhat antiquated, but the story is so strong that it rises above that problem. The books succeed for several reasons, the most important of which is probably the immensely entertaining idea that people can learn to talk to animals, and that animals have their own societies that are very similar to human societies. The key to this concept is that Dr. Dolittle has learned how to speak with animals; there is no magic amulet or technological wizardry that has given him this power. Indeed, all of the wonders of the book are seen with a naturalists eye, and readers are sure to be inculcated with an appreciation of the value of the scientific process.
Hugh Lofting has tapped into an inexhaustible reservoir of stories by making us see the world around us in a slightly different light; he hasn't created a world of his own so much as told the stories of our world in a new way.
Every child should read this series, and this book in particular is a very exciting volume, setting the stage for the next volume.