Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The One and Only Ivan

by Katherine Applegate
Rated: PG

"Come to the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, Home of the One and Only Ivan, Mighty Silverback!"
Although born in the wild, Ivan has lived in a mall for the past twenty-seven years, surrounded by glass walls so shoppers can see him. He is the only gorilla but his good friend Stella - an elephant - is in the neighboring cage and Bob - a stray dog - enjoys sleeping on Ivan's chest at night. And of course, he has his art. When a new baby elephant, Ruby, arrives at the mall, Ivan cannot imagine how she will change his life.

This story, told from Ivan's perspective, is a sweet, heartwarming story of friendship and freedom. There are a couple of spots where the animals discuss their wild childhood including how their parents died and they were captured. I am not really a fan of stories featuring anthropomorphic animals but while not to my personal taste, the story was cute and I think kids would really enjoy it.