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.
©2012 Katherine Applegate (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers
Retired former magazine editor who is working harder than ever as Mr. Dad to his 14-year-old daughter.
I often listen/read kids' books with my 10-year-old daughter and usually like them. The One and Only Ivan was no exception. It's one of this year's Sunshine State Books for 3rd-5th graders. They (Florida education officials) select 15 books each year and we've yet to come across one that hasn't been excellent. This book teaches about kindness and the importance of "peer" interaction. The chapters in the book were numerous and short. The story snippets were organized and easy to follow. Everything blended together well. Listen (and read along) with your kid. You will both enjoy the experience.
You gorilla like this... (sorry, couldn't resist)
I bought this book on sale to listen to with my kids while driving. My son liked the title and premise, so he and I listened to it on our way to and from twice-weekly summer soccer sessions.
My boy loved it. At first, I did not think I was going to like it, though. I can't remember now what it was I initially objected to. But the story really redeemed itself before it was half over, and I wound up loving it, too. I'll never forget that when the story finished, he and I sat in silence. I don't know if his reason was the same as mine, but I was close to tears.
The One and Only Ivan is a poignant children's story that adults will love, too. It contains wonderful messages about friendship, integrity, empathy, and grit. I highly recommend it to parents. It will appeal to both boys and girls.
The book is fantastic, heartwarming and sad, humorous and joyful, with a cast of supporting characters who are, each in his or her own right, unforgettable.
I need more! I want a book about Stella! And oh how I'd love to know what trouble Bob's gotten into in his life.
Thank you for this beautiful story.
One more note: This is by far and away the finest book narration Ive ever heard. Truly wonderful.
Yes, my daughter and I loved this! Completely different than many books because it is told from Ivan's (the gorilla) point of view. There are SAD parts in the book... So prepare your kids if they are sensitive. But in the end all is happy:) If you have ever wondered what it is like for a gorilla, abused elephants, and a stray dog to live together in a small domain at the mall and see what they really think of it, you need to read this. As a parent I believe there are many underlying themes about animal cruelty. It does not speak negatively about zoos because those are the ones who come and help.
This is one of my top 20 children's chapter books:)
We did listen and follow along with the paper book/kindle because there are great pictures and Katherine Applegate does some cool effects for the pages (like when Ivan is talking). Also pay attention at the end because it explains how this is based on a true story.
Touching tale well-told
None comes to mind
The pace at which he reads works well for the story.
Well told tale of friendship, hope and inspiration.
I have to admit that I was not immediately impressed. It took me a few chapters to "catch up" but once I was immersed I didn't want to let go. This was such a cute, sweet and endearing tail. I may just buy the hard copy to place on my bookshelf.
Been reading AND listening with my 10 year old daughter. She brought the book home from school and I purchased it on audible. We have been laughing, she asks questions. It has been fun and entertaining to spend time with my girl.
"32 chapters of an emotional rollercoaster!"
charming, heartbreaking, heartwarming!
We loved how this story kept us guessing. We couldn't wait to hear the next part. The author is creative, imaginative and sensitive. She touches your heart, breaks it and then glues it back together again. She took a real life situation and made it into an incredible and entertaining story.
Bob added a light-hearted element to the book. Adam Grupper brought Bob to life, we enjoyed Bob's jokes and quips.
We laughed and cried!
This review is written by myself and my Grade 3 students.
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