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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ed
  • Saint Augustine, FL, United States
  • 09-03-13

Very nice story

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.

83 of 85 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • M. Pharr
  • Asheville, NC United States
  • 09-04-18

animal stories get me choked up...

Wanted to cry at points because it was sad. Did cry at the end because it was happy.

18 of 18 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

You gorilla like this... (sorry, couldn't resist)

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.

65 of 69 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fabulous Story for all ages.

Made me laugh, made me cry and couldn't wait to see what happened next. Good read.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant, and certainly not only for kids.

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.

25 of 26 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tess
  • cody, wyoming, United States
  • 06-23-13

Another great read for kids grades 3- on

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

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:)

Any additional comments?

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.

31 of 33 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Based on a Real Story

Such a great story and so wonderfully narrated. I own this book yet have still played the audio version twice already.
The narrator, Adam Grupper, does a great job going in and out of characters and voices. Highly enjoyable.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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The best book 📚

I love this book I listen to it about every night before I go to Sleep 😴
Get this book right now 😎

18 of 20 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nancy
  • San Jose, CA, United States
  • 07-22-13

Excellent for children and adults.

If you could sum up The One and Only Ivan in three words, what would they be?

Touching tale well-told

What other book might you compare The One and Only Ivan to and why?

None comes to mind

What about Adam Grupper’s performance did you like?

The pace at which he reads works well for the story.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Well told tale of friendship, hope and inspiration.

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Appropriate for kids 8 to 12. Heartwarming.

My students loved this. So did I. There is a lot to think about and discuss.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Shanghai Stuart
  • 04-16-18

10 year olds favourite

This is my daughters out and out favourite audio book. She listens to it time and again - most of her books get listened to once or twice, some a few times. This must be 20 plus times all the way through over the last year or more. She loves the story but a key factor is the voice. When I first heard the voice I wasn’t keen - it is a deeper voice, American accent and sounded dull to me. But you realise that this fits the character and to my daughter she finds it a perfect fit before bedtime. The monotone style sets her up for sleep well. She says many other books are too exciting or upbeat for a bedtime story. So both a criticism and a praise...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • TW
  • 02-16-17

32 chapters of an emotional rollercoaster!

If you could sum up The One and Only Ivan in three words, what would they be?

charming, heartbreaking, heartwarming!

What did you like best about this story?

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.

Which character – as performed by Adam Grupper – was your favourite?

Bob added a light-hearted element to the book. Adam Grupper brought Bob to life, we enjoyed Bob's jokes and quips.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

We laughed and cried!

Any additional comments?

This review is written by myself and my Grade 3 students.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • C. Donkin
  • 01-04-16

loved it

Easy listening with Narrator capturing the characters personalities. Wonderful story with a clear message to the next generation. I hope they can do a better job of respecting wildlife than we have. Great audiobook.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful