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The One and Only Ivan

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Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly ever thinks about it at all. Instead, Ivan thinks about TV shows he’s seen and about his friends Stella, an elderly elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly ever thinks about it at all. Instead, Ivan thinks about TV shows he’s seen and about his friends Stella, an elderly elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. But mostly Ivan thinks about art and how to capture the taste of a mango or the sound of leaves with color and a well-placed line. Then he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, and she makes Ivan see their home—and his own art—through new eyes. When Ruby arrives, change comes with her, and it’s up to Ivan to make it a change for the better. Katherine Applegate blends humor and poignancy to create Ivan’s unforgettable first-person narration in a story of friendship, art, and hope.


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Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly ever thinks about it at all. Instead, Ivan thinks about TV shows he’s seen and about his friends Stella, an elderly elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly ever thinks about it at all. Instead, Ivan thinks about TV shows he’s seen and about his friends Stella, an elderly elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. But mostly Ivan thinks about art and how to capture the taste of a mango or the sound of leaves with color and a well-placed line. Then he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, and she makes Ivan see their home—and his own art—through new eyes. When Ruby arrives, change comes with her, and it’s up to Ivan to make it a change for the better. Katherine Applegate blends humor and poignancy to create Ivan’s unforgettable first-person narration in a story of friendship, art, and hope.

30 review for The One and Only Ivan

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rick Riordan

    I've had The One and Only Ivan on my 'to be read' list for several months, and I'm so glad I read it! A fabulous book for elementary and middle grades (and older), this is probably my favorite animal story since Charlotte's Web -- and I don't make that comparison lightly. Like E.B. White's classic, it is by turns tender, funny, sad and uplifting. It's a quick read -- I'm a slow reader, and I got through it in one day. Ivan the gorilla narrates, and he is a very fine fellow indeed. I loved it. Mo I've had The One and Only Ivan on my 'to be read' list for several months, and I'm so glad I read it! A fabulous book for elementary and middle grades (and older), this is probably my favorite animal story since Charlotte's Web -- and I don't make that comparison lightly. Like E.B. White's classic, it is by turns tender, funny, sad and uplifting. It's a quick read -- I'm a slow reader, and I got through it in one day. Ivan the gorilla narrates, and he is a very fine fellow indeed. I loved it. More importantly, I think kids will love it too.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    A very touching story that will rip out your heart, stomp on it, then pick it back up and cradle it. Cause that's what Silverbacks do. I appreciate all the things KA managed to work into this book - primarily, our misunderstanding of animals (and mistreat), while showing that we aren't all bad. Also Stella's character was awesome. I'LL MISS YOU STELLAPHANT. Anyways, READ IT. A very touching story that will rip out your heart, stomp on it, then pick it back up and cradle it. Cause that's what Silverbacks do. I appreciate all the things KA managed to work into this book - primarily, our misunderstanding of animals (and mistreat), while showing that we aren't all bad. Also Stella's character was awesome. I'LL MISS YOU STELLAPHANT. Anyways, READ IT.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    OMG!! I finally read this book because of a book challenge and Omg!! This book is fiction but it is based on a real "IVAN". One of the sad things besides Ivan’s life is that I probably already knew all about this but forget things too easy now. One of the OMG moments is that Ivan was at Zoo Atlanta when I went there years ago!! I need to see if I can find my old pictures of him! I can’t believe I met the Ivan from the book!! Here is a link telling about Ivan and his life and his death at 50 year OMG!! I finally read this book because of a book challenge and Omg!! This book is fiction but it is based on a real "IVAN". One of the sad things besides Ivan’s life is that I probably already knew all about this but forget things too easy now. One of the OMG moments is that Ivan was at Zoo Atlanta when I went there years ago!! I need to see if I can find my old pictures of him! I can’t believe I met the Ivan from the book!! Here is a link telling about Ivan and his life and his death at 50 years old =( https://www.earthintransition.org/201... This book was wonderful and sad. I love you Ivan! Sometimes I press my nose against the glass. My noseprint, like your fingerprint, is the first and last and only. The man wipes the glass and I am gone. •••••••• Not so long ago, a little boy stood before my glass, tears streaming down his smooth red cheeks. "He must be the loneliest gorilla in the world," he said, clutching his mother’s hand At times like that, I wished humans could understand me the way I can understand them. It’s not so bad, I wanted to tell the little boy. With enough time, you can get used to almost anything. I feel you Ivan! Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾 MY BLOG

  4. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    In a book called “The One and Only Ivan”, it makes sense that Ivan is at the heart of the story. Not only does his life take center stage, but he's also our one and only narrator. This book is all Ivan, all the time! In case you're having second thoughts about spending time in an ape's brain, worry not. Ivan is as articulate a narrator as they come, and a bit of a poet to boot! He recounts his life with honesty, humility, and major smarts. A fun fact: there really was a gorilla named Ivan who li In a book called “The One and Only Ivan”, it makes sense that Ivan is at the heart of the story. Not only does his life take center stage, but he's also our one and only narrator. This book is all Ivan, all the time! In case you're having second thoughts about spending time in an ape's brain, worry not. Ivan is as articulate a narrator as they come, and a bit of a poet to boot! He recounts his life with honesty, humility, and major smarts. A fun fact: there really was a gorilla named Ivan who lived in a mall for a long time after being captured. At a certain point, he actually did move to the zoo where he spent the rest of his days. Real life Ivan’s story matches up with our Ivan’s story, but Katherine Applegate wove her magic in telling the story in the first gorilla (I just can’t help it!) POV and personified Ivan with an entire range of human thoughts, feelings and emotions. In the entirety of the book, Ivan is always on display but it's not a one-way street. Ivan watches all the people watching him, and his observations about humans are among my greatest delights in the book. It's a lonely life, but he does have a few loyal friends, including a highly opinionated dog, an aging elephant and, eventually, a baby elephant named Ruby who sets his life on an entirely new course. It is clear that Applegate has written the book for a younger audience, but I think even adults would appreciate it. Some of the growing up elements in it, particularly in Ruby and Ivan's journeys, are appealing because they explore issues of youth, maturity, and overcoming our past, which is something each and every one of us has to do in some way, at some point. The book also takes a good hard look at the human practice of capturing wild animals, digging deep into what this means for, well, the animals. What emerges is a clear sense that animals matter--you know, just like we do! “The One and Only Ivan” doesn't come right out and say that animals can't ever have happy lives in captivity. What it does say though, is that how we treat the animals we keep in captivity really matters. They might not be people, but that doesn't mean they don't deserve comfort and consideration. I bet everyone who has spent time with Ivan strongly agrees. I couldn’t shower enough accolades for this book. I have already considered it a classic, to be enjoyed by all generations. Who can resist Ivan’s charms? The best part is, he is extraordinary just by being himself--The One and Only Ivan!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    The One and Only Ivan, Katherine Applegate The One and Only Ivan is a children's novel written by Katherine Applegate and illustrated by Patricia Castelao. The book is about a silver-back gorilla named Ivan, who lives in a cage at a mall. The novel is written in first person from the point of view of Ivan, a silver-back gorilla. The story is placed at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade. Ivan, the silver-back gorilla, has lived in captivity at the Big Top Mall for 9,855 days by his own tally The One and Only Ivan, Katherine Applegate The One and Only Ivan is a children's novel written by Katherine Applegate and illustrated by Patricia Castelao. The book is about a silver-back gorilla named Ivan, who lives in a cage at a mall. The novel is written in first person from the point of view of Ivan, a silver-back gorilla. The story is placed at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade. Ivan, the silver-back gorilla, has lived in captivity at the Big Top Mall for 9,855 days by his own tally. He lives in his domain, and is generally content with his life. He watches television, eats bananas and makes artwork that is sold by the owner. Along with Ivan, Stella the elephant and Bob a stray dog, live at the mall. Stella is an older elephant who has a chronic injury in one leg and regularly performs in the daily shows. Unlike Ivan, Stella has a long memory, and can remember living other places, like the circus where she was taught many of her tricks. However, Stella would like to live at a zoo, because they have much wider spaces for their domains. Stella believes that zoos are how humans make amends. ... عنوانها: «ایوان بی همتای قهرمان»؛ «ایوان منحصر به فرد»؛ «یکی و آن هم ایوان»؛ نویسنده: کاترین اپل گیت؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و هفتم ماه دسامبر سال 2015میلادی عنوان: ایوان بی همتای قهرمان؛ نویسنده: کاترین اپل گیت؛ تصویرگر پاتریشیا کاستلائو؛ مترجم: شهره نورصالحی؛ تهران، پیدایش، 1392؛ در 348ص؛ شابک 9786002961242؛ موضوع: داستانهای کودکان از نویسندگان آمریکایی - سده 21م عنوان: ایوان منحصر به فرد؛ نویسنده: کاترین اپل گیت؛ تصویرگر: پاتریشیا کاستلائو؛ مترجم: کیوان عبیدی آشتیانی؛ تهران، افق، 1392؛ در 246 ص؛ شابک: 9789643699833؛ فانتزی شگفت‌ انگیز و تلخ عنوان «یکی و آن هم ایوان»؛ کتابی است، در زمینه ی ادبیات کودک و نوجوان، نوشته ی «کاترین اپلگیت»، و مصور سازی شده، توسط «پاتریشیا کاستلو»، داستان درباره ی گوریلی است، که در یک فروشگاه، و در اصل در یک مرکز خرید بزرگ، در قفس زندگی می‌کند، و زندگیش، پس از آشنا شدن با یک بچه فیل، دیگر می‌شود؛ «اپلگیت»، با الهام از مقاله ی یک روزنامه ی مربوط به بیست سال پیش از تاریخ نگارش این قصه، که درباره ی زندگی واقعی گوریلی به نام «ایوان» در یک فروشگاه بود، و سرانجام به باغ وحش سپرده شد، کتابش را نوشته است تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 15/10/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی

  6. 5 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    Oh my fricken bananas... I knew ‘nothing’ about this book ...[ a children’s book]... based on a true story.... Only that it was suggested I read it. Thank you Mischenko and Lisa I not only read this wonderful children’s book... but the facts about the true story. Damn... if this story didn’t make me cry!! Sometimes, life just pisses me off ... the selfish stupid insane things they do! My anger and sadness buttons were pushed from the true story. The children’s book is written with dignity-moral cons Oh my fricken bananas... I knew ‘nothing’ about this book ...[ a children’s book]... based on a true story.... Only that it was suggested I read it. Thank you Mischenko and Lisa I not only read this wonderful children’s book... but the facts about the true story. Damn... if this story didn’t make me cry!! Sometimes, life just pisses me off ... the selfish stupid insane things they do! My anger and sadness buttons were pushed from the true story. The children’s book is written with dignity-moral consciousness - and some honest happy smiles too!!!! Appropriate for children’s ears. There is still sadness- but handled with tenderness. The illustrations compliment the story - wonderful! Besides Ivan, the silverback gorilla, you’ll meet Bob, the dog, and Ruby, the elephant - other animal friends ... Enjoy this adventure fantasy story.... I’m not going to share more other than to say ... we all know animals never belong locked up in a mall. Zoo’s are questionable enough. If you haven’t read this ( I’m probably the late banana-peel to party), — love animals at all —take the time to read it. If you have little people in your life.... this is a great book choice to read and discuss.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mischenko

    Please visit my blog www.readrantrockandroll.com to see this review and learn more about Ivan the gorilla. I really enjoyed this fictional story of Ivan the gorilla. The story made me think of the real Ivan and his life. What really went on in his head during those 27 years of being locked up at that dept. store? The story is cute and great for all ages. I'd recommend reading the true story about Ivan and his life before reading this fictional one. 4**** Please visit my blog www.readrantrockandroll.com to see this review and learn more about Ivan the gorilla. I really enjoyed this fictional story of Ivan the gorilla. The story made me think of the real Ivan and his life. What really went on in his head during those 27 years of being locked up at that dept. store? The story is cute and great for all ages. I'd recommend reading the true story about Ivan and his life before reading this fictional one. 4****

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mischenko

    I first learned of Ivan the gorilla years ago after reading Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla with my kids. His story captivated all of us, and we wanted to learn more about his life. We grabbed every book and documentary we could find. After learning about Ivan, I wondered about his feelings. What did Ivan think about? How did Ivan feel about his owners and his surroundings? At times he seemed happy, but was he? Ivan’s story is a heartbreaking reminder of how humans c I first learned of Ivan the gorilla years ago after reading Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla with my kids. His story captivated all of us, and we wanted to learn more about his life. We grabbed every book and documentary we could find. After learning about Ivan, I wondered about his feelings. What did Ivan think about? How did Ivan feel about his owners and his surroundings? At times he seemed happy, but was he? Ivan’s story is a heartbreaking reminder of how humans can be so cruel to animals, even when they don’t deliberately intend to. After his first few years of life living with his owners, he was then isolated in an unhealthy environment for 27 years before he was finally transferred to a zoo in Atlanta, Georgia. When Katherine Applegate’s The One and Only Ivan became available, I went straight out to buy a copy for our home library. I’ve now read this book twice, and my kids devoured it within two sittings. It’s such a wonderful yet poignant story. This story is fiction but does share some truthfulness about Ivan as well. The entire book is narrated by Ivan, and what I loved most about the book is hearing the inner voices of these animals. If only this could be true in real life—to hear their thoughts and truly pay attention to their needs. The question is: how much of a difference would it make? Overall, this story is powerful, thought-provoking, and easily provokes discussions on equality, empathy, animal cruelty, and rights. I also can also recommend the audio narrated by Adam Grupper, which we used along with the physical books. We love this and will be reading The One and Only Bob next. 5*****

  9. 5 out of 5

    Whitney Atkinson

    This book is so real. It's almost too deep for a children's book. Even though it's about talking animals and Ivan's complexity of thought could be a little misleading, this book touches on so many great themes both superficial toward children, but also in general about humanity, if you're mature enough to understand it. This book was cute, sad, and something very new to me. I adored it and it is such a fast read that I highly recommend it! This book is so real. It's almost too deep for a children's book. Even though it's about talking animals and Ivan's complexity of thought could be a little misleading, this book touches on so many great themes both superficial toward children, but also in general about humanity, if you're mature enough to understand it. This book was cute, sad, and something very new to me. I adored it and it is such a fast read that I highly recommend it!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sherry

    Just when I think I'm too old, too mature, too hard-hearted, too sophisticated, too busy, or too "something" to allow a children's book to make me cry, along comes a story like this one. Don't have enough of the right words to describe it...I definitely haven't mastered the craft of writing the way Ms. Applegate has. And the way she does it, with the sparest of prose, is impressive. To me, "good" writing makes the reader view something with a fresh perspective, as if (s)he has never, ever experie Just when I think I'm too old, too mature, too hard-hearted, too sophisticated, too busy, or too "something" to allow a children's book to make me cry, along comes a story like this one. Don't have enough of the right words to describe it...I definitely haven't mastered the craft of writing the way Ms. Applegate has. And the way she does it, with the sparest of prose, is impressive. To me, "good" writing makes the reader view something with a fresh perspective, as if (s)he has never, ever experienced it before. Or, as if (s)he is suddenly living inside another's body, thinking thoughts that only the character could think, seeing the world as only that character would. So, for the past couple of hours, I have lived life as a captive silverback gorilla in a filthy roadside circus. It was...poignant. Who knew. Never thought about being a gorilla before. I can't WAIT to get a set of these and share this story with kids, both to showcase the fine writing AND for the remarkable lessons on friendship, humane treatment of animals, and the unexpected.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Michael Finocchiaro

    My daughter and I cried and cried while reading this wonderful story of Ivan the Silverback, his dog friend Bob and his elephant friend Ruby. It is funny and clever and heartwarming about loyalty, love and friendship. Perfect for a few nights of bedtime stories. No wonder it won a Newberry Medal!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Paul Hankins

    Mr. Hankins is putting his readers on THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN for the beginning of 2012's reading season. Think of all of the good stuff you loved about THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN and TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE and, instead of sitting with Enzo in a cozy living room watching the discovery channel or with Morrie in a study littered with books and notes, you'll be sitting in a cage with Ivan, "the Ape at Exit 8," a thoughtful gorilla tasked with one of the most difficult callings ever. . .caring for a Mr. Hankins is putting his readers on THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN for the beginning of 2012's reading season. Think of all of the good stuff you loved about THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN and TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE and, instead of sitting with Enzo in a cozy living room watching the discovery channel or with Morrie in a study littered with books and notes, you'll be sitting in a cage with Ivan, "the Ape at Exit 8," a thoughtful gorilla tasked with one of the most difficult callings ever. . .caring for a new cast member in a broken down circus, a baby elephant. Appelgate's prose is beautiful, and Ivan, her narrator, like Enzo, gets to saying some things about being "human" that we all need to hear. . .a lovely, lovely book that will prompt discussions about what it means to live within one's intended calling even when that calling is not made manifest in the day-to-day doings. The book could also foster conversations about what it means to dig deep for that one latent gift that is just waiting for us to tap into it for the greater good--not only of ourselves, but for those around us. Mr. Hankins is coming out early to predict big things for Katherine Appelgate's THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN in 2012. I predict that this will become an instant classic that readers will return to again and again, sharing it with every friend they can.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Brina

    I have not read a middle grade children's book in a long time, and I am glad I picked up Ivan for my kids. Ivan is the fictionalized tale of Ivan the lowland gorilla who lived in wretched conditions in a shopping mall for 27 years and then later moved to the Atlanta zoo. Kristina Applegate does a wonderful job giving Ivan and his friends their inner voices as they contemplate life in captivity and what it means to be a good or a bad human. I think this book is appropriate for elementary aged chi I have not read a middle grade children's book in a long time, and I am glad I picked up Ivan for my kids. Ivan is the fictionalized tale of Ivan the lowland gorilla who lived in wretched conditions in a shopping mall for 27 years and then later moved to the Atlanta zoo. Kristina Applegate does a wonderful job giving Ivan and his friends their inner voices as they contemplate life in captivity and what it means to be a good or a bad human. I think this book is appropriate for elementary aged children. They will probably find both the animal and human characters enjoyable as they root for Ivan and his friends to get out of their cages and into the zoo. I even recommend it to adults who are looking for an easy read and I am looking forward to reading more of Applegate's work.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Reading_ Tam_ Ishly

    This is so beautiful!!!! Winner of the John Newberry Medal which is partly fictionalized, this children's book tells the story of Ivan, a real gorilla who later lived at Zoo Atlanta, before he was rescued and had to struggle for 27 years caged in a circus themed mall in Washington state. One of the most well-written books, short and captivating; emotional and hard-hitting; inspirational and provokes you to think about the lives of other beings more than our idea of fun and entertainment at the cos This is so beautiful!!!! Winner of the John Newberry Medal which is partly fictionalized, this children's book tells the story of Ivan, a real gorilla who later lived at Zoo Atlanta, before he was rescued and had to struggle for 27 years caged in a circus themed mall in Washington state. One of the most well-written books, short and captivating; emotional and hard-hitting; inspirational and provokes you to think about the lives of other beings more than our idea of fun and entertainment at the cost of their discomfort and abuse, the story tells the story of the animals kept in poor conditions for the sake of making money and mere entertainment. Ivan, the gorilla, for his so called talent of painting which the owner Mack sells; Stella, the neglected circus trained elephant with an infected, hurting foot; Bob, the street dog. And later on, Ruby, a baby elephant to work for the circus. One of my most favourite child characters ever, Julia, the daughter of the cleaner, keeps Ivan company and actually does something big with the help of her father towards the end that makes this book so beautiful and memorable! The book deals with animal neglect and abuse; unexpected friendships and found family; death and grief. The ending is so damn satisfying. I cried, I laughed, I found love and hope all over again. The writing is so good! The characters blended well. They are outstanding. A must read✨

  15. 5 out of 5

    Carmen

    "Everyone has parents," Bob explains. "It's unavoidable." I started out this review with a funny quote - but this is NOT a funny book. It's one of those emotionally manipulative sad books about animals. A seven-year-old girl personally recommended this to me. Little kids LOVE emotionally manipulative sad books about animals. Charlotte's Web, Black Beauty, Old Yeller, Shiloh, Where the Red Fern Grows, The Cat Who Went to Heaven etc. etc. You can add this book to the list. This is based (loosely) on "Everyone has parents," Bob explains. "It's unavoidable." I started out this review with a funny quote - but this is NOT a funny book. It's one of those emotionally manipulative sad books about animals. A seven-year-old girl personally recommended this to me. Little kids LOVE emotionally manipulative sad books about animals. Charlotte's Web, Black Beauty, Old Yeller, Shiloh, Where the Red Fern Grows, The Cat Who Went to Heaven etc. etc. You can add this book to the list. This is based (loosely) on a true story. Ivan is a gorilla who is kidnapped along with his sister in Africa when he was a baby. His parents were murdered. Both he and his sister were shipped to the U.S., but his sister died in transit. Now Ivan lives in a cage in the mall, eking out his solitary and depressing existence. But at least he has company. An old wise elephant named Stella, who was bought from a circus, and a stray chihuahua-mix called Bob, who is "homeless by choice" but sleeps on Ivan's expansive stomach every night. And even though you may be surprised, Ivan has a human friend, too - Julia, a 10 or 11-year-old who is the daughter of the night janitor. She sneaks Ivan drawing supplies - he is a proud artist, and loves creating pictures that are framed and sold in the gift shop for $25. But then one night Stella hears a noise. She knows it is the sound of a baby elephant in despair. The mall is going to get a new attraction, and she's going to change everything... ... If you are sensitive to animal cruelty, do NOT read this book unless you want to cry. The book has a (relatively) happy ending, but tons of bad things happen along the way - to gorillas, elephants, and dogs. I liked the book, I think it was well-written and perfect for children. Of course, as an adult you are going to have more of a critical eye - some parts really stretch credibility, the author is blatantly tearjerking you - but none of this will even occur to a child reader. The book is, of course, doing good work by helping children sympathize with animals and raising awareness about animal cruelty and human responsibility to treat animals with compassion. The book is saved from being a total sapfest mainly because Bob the dog is funny sometimes. The book has little illustrations occasionally. This book is very reminiscent of Charlotte's Web in more than one way. That's not a criticism, exactly, but you'd have to be blind not to notice the glaring similarities. That being said, Ivan stands on it's own two feet, I didn't feel like the author was using White as a crutch. Another thing that is good is the book's treatment of "villains." The "villain" in this book (barring the unseen and unheard humans of the past who slaughtered elephants, gorillas, and dogs respectively) would be the mall's owner, Mack. Especially when he takes to (view spoiler)[using a claw stick on Ruby the baby elephant in order to train her and teach her to comply. (hide spoiler)] But the book is careful to even out Mack's personality. He's not some sinister evil man who wakes up every day longing to cause animals pain. Instead, we see that he is tired, poor, depressed, and struggling to keep his mall in business. He even (view spoiler)[looks at some pictures of him and Ivan together when Ivan was a baby and Ivan lived in his house for years. He seems to like Ivan, even though he doesn't always make the best decisions for Ivan's happiness or wellbeing. (hide spoiler)] I feel like this is a very good thing. As much as I can "love to hate" cackling villains like Count Olaf and Jiggy Nye, it's refreshing to see a more human and adult face on a villain once in a while. Appropriate for ages 7-10. Again, I feel people (who tend to say 9-12) are underestimating kids. Obviously 7-year-olds love it. Not only did a seven-year-old recommend this to me, but her school is making this into the school play next year. Just my two cents. I would go as young as seven on this. Or even an advanced six.

  16. 5 out of 5

    *TANYA*

    A re-read and yup it’s still a Wow!!! What a wonderful story!!! I picked this out of the blue I didn't realize it was a "kids" book but it didn't feel like it. I loved it!!! This book is for everyone. A re-read and yup it’s still a Wow!!! What a wonderful story!!! I picked this out of the blue I didn't realize it was a "kids" book but it didn't feel like it. I loved it!!! This book is for everyone.

  17. 4 out of 5

    [Shai] Bibliophage

    I came across this when I was checking out last year about the upcoming Disney movies. Based on the synopsis, it was based on the award-winning children's book written by Katherine Applegate and famous actors will be the voice of the characters in the story. I scheduled to read this on the very first day of 2019 and I was really delighted that I made this my first read of the year. I didn't expect that this was quite good and hopefully the movie adaptation will be as great just like the book. I I came across this when I was checking out last year about the upcoming Disney movies. Based on the synopsis, it was based on the award-winning children's book written by Katherine Applegate and famous actors will be the voice of the characters in the story. I scheduled to read this on the very first day of 2019 and I was really delighted that I made this my first read of the year. I didn't expect that this was quite good and hopefully the movie adaptation will be as great just like the book. I know that Ivan's story will make an impact on anyone who will either read this or those who will go watch the film because of how heartwarming and it is an eye-opener to wildlife animal preservation. This is a light read and I'm pretty excited to see this in the big screen; I'll just need to be prepared once the sad parts are shown because I was teary-eyed when I've read those in the book. I want a lot of people to be aware to take care and be the voice of all animals, either domesticated or wildlife, hence, I highly recommend this to everyone.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Trudi

    I like colorful tales with black beginnings and stormy middles and cloudless blue-sky endings. But any story will do. ~The One and Only Ivan ::sniff:: What's that in my eye, this watery, salty substance? Crying? No. I'm not crying. I'm too old and cynical to cry. My tear ducts have long dried up. Really. ::sniff:: Oh for godsake, will someone hand me a tissue! This is a sweet, adorable story that will tug at your heart-strings in the most uplifting way. It is a beautiful, tender tale of friendship, I like colorful tales with black beginnings and stormy middles and cloudless blue-sky endings. But any story will do. ~The One and Only Ivan ::sniff:: What's that in my eye, this watery, salty substance? Crying? No. I'm not crying. I'm too old and cynical to cry. My tear ducts have long dried up. Really. ::sniff:: Oh for godsake, will someone hand me a tissue! This is a sweet, adorable story that will tug at your heart-strings in the most uplifting way. It is a beautiful, tender tale of friendship, acceptance and hope. The perfect antidote for the overworked, stressed out grinch in all of us. Read it!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Calista

    Touching. This is about possibility and about the will. Having the will to help someone else, going into yourself and letting your intuition and higher self find a way to keep a promise and help someone that is helpless. Such big themes in this story and such big ideas. I think this could be a book a spiritual group does a study on. Great stuff in this book. Ivan is a silverback gorilla that is held in a side show with only a few animals. His best friend is a dog, Bob, and an elephant Stella. A y Touching. This is about possibility and about the will. Having the will to help someone else, going into yourself and letting your intuition and higher self find a way to keep a promise and help someone that is helpless. Such big themes in this story and such big ideas. I think this could be a book a spiritual group does a study on. Great stuff in this book. Ivan is a silverback gorilla that is held in a side show with only a few animals. His best friend is a dog, Bob, and an elephant Stella. A young elephant, Ruby, is brought into the mix. Stella wants to save the pain of captivity for Ruby and wants to send her to the Zoo. Also, Ivan is an artist and he enjoys painting, eating the paint and paper and painting some more. Art is a spiritual connection in this story. Art gives Ivan a voice and he also helps keep the place afloat as the owner sells his paintings. What I love about the story is Ivan's voice. It is totally believable that this is the voice and thought of a gorilla. It's spot on perfection. Stella's voice is great and Bob is hilarious. I love Bob. I thought that someone was actually reading sign language from a gorilla and relating the story for us at first it was so convincing. I have seen a special on TV where they taught a gorilla sign language and the communication was amazing. They would ask the gorilla complex questions that required reasoning and the gorilla gave some great and insightful answer. They told her about global warming and the gorilla was very sad about this and couldn't understand why people would continue to hurt the world. It was great and it reminded me of Ivan's voice. There is pain and the animals tell their stories of being afraid and captured. It's about the lose of freedom and hope. There is death and there is wonder in this story. This is the reason I love middle grade so much. It can stand up to any Young adult or adult work of fiction. It is fantastic and so well done. It is straight forward and simple and it has the strong guiding voice of Katherine Applegate. She is a wonder and I can't wait to read more of her works.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Shannon (kitchandpages)

    My goodness! This book is gorgeous and so inspirational! It's based on a true story and I just got all choked up at the end! Love this sweet story <3 My goodness! This book is gorgeous and so inspirational! It's based on a true story and I just got all choked up at the end! Love this sweet story <3

  21. 5 out of 5

    Stella

    Edit: My friend Matt recently wrote a review for this book and it's shorter and much nicer than mine so you should read his instead of mine. Matt's review is here. So my childhood came for a visit last weekend. By that, I mean this book came into my life last weekend. Big fonts and equally majestic illustrations reminded me of being a kid again. Yet, this book goes beyond a children's book. Everyone should read it because it conveys a story many other books lack. I, of course, expected nothing les Edit: My friend Matt recently wrote a review for this book and it's shorter and much nicer than mine so you should read his instead of mine. Matt's review is here. So my childhood came for a visit last weekend. By that, I mean this book came into my life last weekend. Big fonts and equally majestic illustrations reminded me of being a kid again. Yet, this book goes beyond a children's book. Everyone should read it because it conveys a story many other books lack. I, of course, expected nothing less from K. A. Applegate. She is the co-author of Animorphs and married to author Michael Grant? I think that is a deadly combination. The book is written in poetic "chapters" that reminded me of Ellen Hopkin's works. Here is a sample: "Anger is precious. A silverback uses anger to maintain order and warns his troop of danger. When my father beats his chest, it was to say, Beware, listen, I am in charge. I am angry to protect you, because that is what I was born to do." Here is my domain, there is no one to protect." There were many passages like this throughout the book that made me felt an assortment of emotions. I felt Ivan's sadness and loneliness. His isolation from his kind and the naivety his human caretakers his given him. This book is a MUST READ for the old, young, young-at-heart, happy, sad, emotionless, and everyone in between. I cannot begin to put into words how I feel about this book. The above was an attempt but I think I did a pretty crappy job. Just read it, guys. P.S.: I love how there was a character named Stella in there. :') Bravo, Ms. Applegate.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey Rey

    This was the absolute CUTEST!!!!!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kelli

    This award-winning middle grade story is based in truth. The structure is different with it's very short chapters/thoughts each presented with a heading/title. This fascinating approach lends a believable voice to our wise gorilla narrator, who speaks simply but understands deeply. The structure, however, did not make for a great listening experience. Long pauses between each "chapter" coupled with the many "chapter titles" made for an odd and disjointed listening experience. Though the reader v This award-winning middle grade story is based in truth. The structure is different with it's very short chapters/thoughts each presented with a heading/title. This fascinating approach lends a believable voice to our wise gorilla narrator, who speaks simply but understands deeply. The structure, however, did not make for a great listening experience. Long pauses between each "chapter" coupled with the many "chapter titles" made for an odd and disjointed listening experience. Though the reader voiced all the characters quite well, this is one the seems unsuited for audio. My children enjoyed this. The writing was a little simple for middle grade but mine are elementary, so either could have easily read the text. I found it to be largely depressing for a children's book. Also, I cannot believe anyone would ever use a gorilla's hand for an ashtray...I find that fact deeply distressing. 3.5 stars.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    Absolutely adorable, wise, sad and so many other adjectives all meaning very good. The friendships and inner voices of these animals were amazing. I think that some of the children would not understand but reading this as an adult they show such irony and wisdom. Hoping to read this to my grandchildren when they come in a couple of weeks.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Betsy

    All right, the topic is Famous Ape Books of Children's Literature. And . . . go. Care to name any? Well there's Curious George, of course (often mistakenly called a monkey in spite of his lack of tail). He's the most famous but after that it gets harder. Eva by Peter Dickinson might count (also a chimp). Or a book like Hurt Go Happy by Ginny Rorby (chimp). Gorillas appear to be much rarer, which is funny when you consider it. I would think an animal as big and impressive as a gorilla would be a All right, the topic is Famous Ape Books of Children's Literature. And . . . go. Care to name any? Well there's Curious George, of course (often mistakenly called a monkey in spite of his lack of tail). He's the most famous but after that it gets harder. Eva by Peter Dickinson might count (also a chimp). Or a book like Hurt Go Happy by Ginny Rorby (chimp). Gorillas appear to be much rarer, which is funny when you consider it. I would think an animal as big and impressive as a gorilla would be a no brainer children's book hero. As it happens, Ivan of The One and Only Ivan is a rarity, and not just because his story covers ground that few other books have (with the exception of the odd Good Night Gorilla). Katherine Applegate's title is a cry for animal rights that works on its reader in slow subtle steps. You will find no screeds or speeches or long lengthy lamentations. Instead, it's just a gorilla living what life he can, until the day he can stay silent no longer. Thanks to its restraint the book ends up being a gem. One of the best of the year, no doubt. Basically what we have here is Charlotte's Web if you took that tiny spider and replaced her with a 300-pound gorilla. Which, to be frank, would normally bode badly for said gorilla. And certainly badly is how Ivan, the titular hero of this tale, bodes when you consider that he is trapped in an off-highway mall circus. Ivan's never questioned his fate seriously, considering that he's been there for twenty-seven years. Then one day Mack, the owner of the mall, decides that the only way to drum up more business will be to buy a new resident. There's already Ivan and Stella, the elephant with an injured foot that doesn't seem to be getting better. To this mix comes Ruby, a baby elephant not long captured from her home in the wild. Thanks to Ruby, Ivan sees that this is no place for a baby of any sort and he must use all his brains and intelligence to find a way to save not just her but himself as well. It is the temptation of every author, bad or good, to simplify ethics when they write for kids. Bad guys are bad, good guys are good, and never the twain shall meet. This is particularly true of animal abuse stories. After all, who wants to go about digging up a heart of gold in a character that kicks puppies? Yet the best books for kids are often the ones that allow for at least a glimpse of the human inside the villain. It's the reason Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's Shiloh works as well as it does and it's one of the reasons why The One and Only Ivan distinguishes itself. Mack is the villain here, no question about it. You don't go about hitting baby elephants with sharp objects without it rubbing off on your character, so to speak. But there are depths to Mack as well. He's a man who really did love Ivan on some level when the gorilla was a baby. Then his wife left him and he started hitting the booze to deal with his financial problems. There are a lot of Macks in this world and I think it's worth letting a kid know that they can feel sorry for someone but still hold them accountable for their actions. No matter how bad you feel for the guy, Applegate never lets you forget that he's the reason for Ivan, Thelma, and Ruby's imprisonment. I don't think Applegate could have gotten very far in this novel if she hadn't gotten Ivan's voice right from page one onwards. I got hooked pretty early on when in describing his situation Ivan says simply, "At present, I do not have any gorilla friends." The temptation to anthropomorphize must have been great. We can't ever really know what a gorilla is thinking at a given time, but Applegate plays nicely with the differences between what we think and what he thinks. Ivan isn't stupid by gorilla means but kids might find his thought process a bit slow from the human standpoint. That's okay. He comes to thoughts and ideas in his own time. Plus the pacing of those thoughts and ideas works well. I'm a sucker for a good emotional beat. Ivan has to grow and change in the course of this novel, even if he's physically trapped. So Applegate parcels out his growth incrementally but quickly enough that the child reader doesn't get bored. There are worlds worth of meaning loaded in the way Ivan eventually changes from referring to his home as his "domain" to his "cage". Worlds. Generally speaking, when a book is written as a verse novel I like there to be a reason for it. For example, Thanhha Lai's Inside Out and Back Again uses its verse as a way of considering the transition from one culture and language to another. When I encountered verse in The One and Only Ivan I initially dismissed it as yet another easy authorial trope. Thinking about it, though, I've come to the realization that verse works well here probably because Ivan is not a human. His thoughts are vast and complex but restrained (by choice, to a certain extent, and by nature itself). Applegate also takes great care in how she uses language. Her descriptions can be delicious. A seal has a "voice like the throaty bark of a dog chained outside on a cold night." "Humans always smell odd when change is in the air. Like rotten meat with a hint of papaya." "Human babies are an ugly lot. But their eyes are like our babies' eyes. Too big for their faces, and for the world." And a mop, "moves across the empty food court like a giant brush, painting a picture no one will ever see." The violence when it comes is well done. You're not even entirely certain anything has actually been done to the baby elephant, but the claw-stick is always there like an unspoken threat. Physical violence in this book doesn't really occur. It's the psychological kind that's more common. Keeping wild animals in tiny penned concrete cages is something children can understand. They too are kept in enclosed areas, sometimes against their will. And even they can comprehend what it would do to someone to only know the walls around you. Why doesn't Ivan fight back? He does. He just needs someone to protect first. The illustrations pose a bit of a puzzle, though. They're not bad by any means. Just . . . off. A friend of mine likened them to the cover of The Underneath by Kathi Appelt. To her mind the image of a dog and kittens gives Appelt's novel a misleading sunshine and rainbows feel where instead you find a book of gritty magical realism (new genre). I didn't really see it with Appelt's book but I definitely felt that way about the pictures in Ivan. Though I wouldn't label Applegate's book as bleak or morose, there is a seriousness to it. We're dealing with the subject of abuse, mental and physical to a certain extent. Yet looking at the cover I see a gorilla and an adorable baby elephant hanging out together. Inside it's the same. Artist Patricia Castelao's pictures are well made but they evoke a sweeter simpler novel that what we have in our hands here. I suspect that may have been the point, though. You can counter darker written material with sweet images. I just don't think this is quite the ideal pairing of the two. I had a moment of confusion and doubt early on in the book around page 166 when I wondered if the book was defending zoos. Ivan tells Ruby that zoos are where "humans make amends." It would make for a good book group discussion point: Does the author think zoos are a good thing or a bad thing? Be sure to bring up the fact that Ivan sees the inside of a zoo at one point and comments, "It's not a perfect place . . . A perfect place would not need walls. But it's the place I need." Well this is the book we need. Consider it an animal book for those kids who don't like animal books. There's nothing twee or precious about it. Just good crisp writing, complex characters, and a story that will make animal rights activists out of the most lethargic of readers. Applegate has penned a real doozy of a book that speaks to the best and worst in all of us. For ages 9-12.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship}

    Chicken soup for the soul. The Grinch himself would be hard-pressed not to empathise with Ivan's story. With a gorgeous cover and a heartbreaking memoir of a lonely, caged gorilla living among other mistreated "circus" animals, delivered via emotionally-charged and insightful writing, Ms. Applegate forced tears from this stoic, 25-year-old pessimist. 'hello I am Ivan. I am a gorilla. It's not as easy as it looks. People call me the Freeway Gorilla. The Ape at Exit 8. The One and Only Ivan, Mighty S Chicken soup for the soul. The Grinch himself would be hard-pressed not to empathise with Ivan's story. With a gorgeous cover and a heartbreaking memoir of a lonely, caged gorilla living among other mistreated "circus" animals, delivered via emotionally-charged and insightful writing, Ms. Applegate forced tears from this stoic, 25-year-old pessimist. 'hello I am Ivan. I am a gorilla. It's not as easy as it looks. People call me the Freeway Gorilla. The Ape at Exit 8. The One and Only Ivan, Mighty Silverback. The names are mine, but they're not me. I am Ivan, just Ivan, only Ivan. Humans waste words. They toss them like banana peels and leave them to rot.' By reading The One and Only Ivan we walk a few miles in Ivan's shoes, so to speak. His wistful words touch your heart. His friend, Stella the elephant, twists your soul with her story and sentiments. Ruby, the baby elephant, you're desperate to save from Stella's fate. My arms ached with wanting to hug these (obviously wild and dangerous) creatures. 'Every night, when the stores close and the moon washes the world with milky light, Stella and I talk. We don't have much in common, but we have enough. We are huge and alone, and we both love yogurt raisins. Sometimes Stella tells stories of her childhood, of leafy canopies hidden by mist and the busy songs of flowing water. Unlike me, she recalls every detail of her past.' The graceful language is simple and concise yet colourfully illuminating. No words are wasted. The author implies rather than tells, allowing readers to draw our own conclusions. The lovely illustrations are sparse but functional. I knew early on this would be a five star re-read. Ivan's philisophical observations, his acceptance of his circumstances, his stubborn desire to never remember his wild and free childhood before he was captured, his all-consuming, engrossing characterisation, and the way he changes to become the silverback he's always wanted to be, like his father, when he meets Ruby -make this a page-turner. 'I am never angry. Anger is precious. A silverback uses anger to maintain order and warn his troop of danger. When my father beat his chest, it was to say, Beware, listen, I am in charge. I am angry to protect you, because that is what I was born to do. Here in my domain, there is no one to protect.' At page 72, my heart clenched and my eyes misted over with the introduction of baby Ruby, her distress and Stella's comfort...I'm tearing up just thinking about it. Ruby's a curious innocent you want to protect, and Ivan and Stella do their best. This story is loosely based on a real gorilla called Ivan, and other elements of it are real too. I've come away thinking the human race are scum that should be exterminated to allow all animals to live natural, peaceful lives without fear of human murderers and torturers. Me, the meat-eating non-pacifist. I suddenly feel the need to contribute to an animal welfare charity. That's probably the message working its magic on me. I highly recommend this captivating book to everyone over the age of 12, because the beginning is full of the depressing reality of cruelty to animals despite the sweet and somewhat predictable happy-ever-after ending. Even those with hearts made of ice can't fail to melt whilst reading this. ***A special thank you to Shannon and her status updates which inspired me to read this.***

  27. 5 out of 5

    Connor

    This is a great book about wild animals being forced to live in bad conditions by ignorant humans. Ivan is based on a real Gorilla, and the fictional story Applegate wove pulled a bit on my heartstrings. I love Stella. It's a very, very sweet story. I can definitely see why people love this one so much! I borrowed the audiobook from my library using an app, but then I found out there was illustrastions and felt like I was missing out. There are some prime examples if you google for them though, This is a great book about wild animals being forced to live in bad conditions by ignorant humans. Ivan is based on a real Gorilla, and the fictional story Applegate wove pulled a bit on my heartstrings. I love Stella. It's a very, very sweet story. I can definitely see why people love this one so much! I borrowed the audiobook from my library using an app, but then I found out there was illustrastions and felt like I was missing out. There are some prime examples if you google for them though, so I got to see some of them.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Aditi

    “Human can surprise you sometimes. An unpredictable species, Homo sapiens” ----Katherine Applegate Katherine Applegate, a multiple award-winning American author, has penned a deeply moving tale about an adult gorilla living inside a glass cage in a mall in America, in her book, The One and Only Ivan. Inspired from real-life events, the author pens a heart-breaking yet thoroughly entertaining story about a gorilla and his friends and his mission to find freedom, and mind it, this book is not on “Human can surprise you sometimes. An unpredictable species, Homo sapiens” ----Katherine Applegate Katherine Applegate, a multiple award-winning American author, has penned a deeply moving tale about an adult gorilla living inside a glass cage in a mall in America, in her book, The One and Only Ivan. Inspired from real-life events, the author pens a heart-breaking yet thoroughly entertaining story about a gorilla and his friends and his mission to find freedom, and mind it, this book is not only for the middle-grade children, but can be enjoyed irrespective of any age of the reader, from young to old. Synopsis: Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly ever thinks about it at all. Instead, Ivan thinks about TV shows he’s seen and about his friends Stella, an elderly elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. But mostly Ivan thinks about art and how to capture the taste of a mango or the sound of leaves with color and a well-placed line. Then he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, and she makes Ivan see their home—and his own art—through new eyes. When Ruby arrives, change comes with her, and it’s up to Ivan to make it a change for the better. Ivan was a baby gorilla when he was adopted by Mack, a mall owner. All his life he grew up inside a glass cage and all his needs were taken care of by Mack and the animals-keeper, George. Ivan has no idea about the life outside that mall. He is accompanied by a dig named, Bob, some birds and an elephant named Stella. All these animals have a strong bond of friendship and understanding. Stella is the oldest among the lot and shares stories about the world outside with Ivan. Now Ivan has a lots of qualities of his own, he can paint, which is later sold at the gift store in the mall, he loves watching TV and is a big fan of Western movies and also loves watching humans passing by his glass cage every day. But his life is not all too glorious, he longs to be free and wants to be free among his kind. So when a baby white elephant named Ruby joins the lot, Ivan thinks otherwise and begins a mission on his own to free himself as well as Ruby from that mall. Honestly, I've read anything so touching as well as thoroughly enlightening. The author did a great job in capturing the voice of the animals, especially Ivan, through this story and thus making the readers feel connected with him. The author's writing is emphatic and is layered perfectly with humor and sadness. The plot, though a real-life inspired story, moves with a fast pace as Ivan notes down his observations about his life and that of humans around him. The narrative style is crisp and engaging and is easy for the kids to read with short, clear sentences and especially written with an easy to understand English, meaning there is no flowery words. The characters here are mostly animals and the author has captured their honest voice and thoughts thus bringing them to life. Ivan is the most adorable character of the book and I bet it will be difficult for the readers to let him go after the end of this story. Ivan's opinion about human are bound to make the readers take a pause and think for a while about their attitude towards animals and how we treat them. Ivan is funny, laid-back, and quite intelligent gorilla who is smart enough to chalk out an escape plan for himself as well as for the fellow elephant. Ivan's story is not only an eye-opener, but also thoroughly painful, especially when he narrates about his every day life in that glass cage. Ruby and Bob are two other fascinating whose voice are also captured strikingly by the author. There are also some human characters some who treat these animals with love and care, like Julia and George, and some who only think them as a means to earn more money, like Mack. We rarely give a thought about how the animals around us feel, but this boon is one hell of an uplifting story that will only make us, the humans, aware about their feelings and also will make us ponder about our attitude in general, for example, Ivan says: “Humans waste words. They toss them like banana peels and leave them to rot. Everyone knows the peels are the best part.” That's an honest revelation about human nature. The story of Ivan is a must read for every other human being and this book can be a great learning tool for young kids. In a nutshell, this story is captivating, heart-breaking as well as funny with a lesson to learn. And I return back to this story again and again. The emotions that are depicted through the narration are honest, straight from the core of the heart and are heart-felt with a power to make the readers sync with those emotions. Verdict: The book has already won so many literary awards, so you don't need me telling you that this is a must-read book. Courtesy: I received a copy of the book from Harper Collins India, in return for an honest review.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    Based on a true story, THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN is the tale of a silverback gorilla who's forgotten how to be a gorilla in many ways. Raised in a house with people who fed him ice cream cones and took him to baseball games, Ivan grows rambunctious and ends up creating finger paintings as one of the star attractions in a mall circus. When Ruby, a baby elephant arrives, Ivan promises to save her from a lifetime chained in a tiny cage. To do so, he needs to reclaim his title as silverback, the leader Based on a true story, THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN is the tale of a silverback gorilla who's forgotten how to be a gorilla in many ways. Raised in a house with people who fed him ice cream cones and took him to baseball games, Ivan grows rambunctious and ends up creating finger paintings as one of the star attractions in a mall circus. When Ruby, a baby elephant arrives, Ivan promises to save her from a lifetime chained in a tiny cage. To do so, he needs to reclaim his title as silverback, the leader and protector of his group. While it's so sad in places, this is a story that will ultimately warm the hearts of animal lovers young and old. The narration (by Ivan the gorilla!) could easily have slipped into the melodramatic, but heavy doses of humor and an equal balance of heart keep it from being anything but poignant and perfect. Kids will love this book, and in the classroom, it will pair nicely with articles like this one (http://www.paws.org/ivan-gorilla.html) about the real Ivan that inspired the story. I support independent bookstores. Here's a link to find one near you or to order THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN via IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/978006...

  30. 4 out of 5

    SheLovesThePages

    •Rating• ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ All of us rated The Only and Only Ivan 5 stars! I read this book with my son, Finn (8 years old) and my daughter, Ellie (7 years old). I did most of the reading. Sometimes they would pick a character and read their lines. There was some vocabulary I had to explain. For kids to read this alone, I would say 3rd/4th grade and up. •Reviews• I loved the overall message of this book. It is a book that has you really connect with each of the characters. The characters are well balanced. No on •Rating• ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ All of us rated The Only and Only Ivan 5 stars! I read this book with my son, Finn (8 years old) and my daughter, Ellie (7 years old). I did most of the reading. Sometimes they would pick a character and read their lines. There was some vocabulary I had to explain. For kids to read this alone, I would say 3rd/4th grade and up. •Reviews• I loved the overall message of this book. It is a book that has you really connect with each of the characters. The characters are well balanced. No one is all "good" and no one is all "bad". The connections we made when reading this were fantastic. It was well paced and gave us all time to reflect and make predictions. Ellie's thoughts: I was sad and happy. He had to leave but he was going to miss all his friends. I liked Ruby, the baby elephant. Finn's thoughts: I liked the book because I like gorillas sometimes. I liked Bob because he's a dog and I love dogs.

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