Dr. Doolittle is awesome! I loved this book when I read it as a kid, and I still love it. The one problem with reading it on kindle is that you don't get all the cool drawings Lofting embedded with his tale.
This is the first of the series. Dr. Doolittle's parrot teaches him to talk to animals. Once he has mastered this skill, he becomes an animal doctor and is asked to go to Africa where there is an epidemic of sickness among the monkeys. The doctor and his entourage are imprisoned by an African king, captured by pirates, become destitute a number of times, but triumph in the end (and, of course, cure the monkeys).