Wednesday, March 25, 2015
What Can Ivan Do?
Ivan is a silverback, but he has lived away from his family for most of his life. He lives in what he refers to as his domain, and his domain happens to be a cage at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade off of I-95. Ivan’s best friends are Stella, an elderly elephant, and Bob, a stray dog who shares his domain with him (on the sly). Ivan likes to spend his time drawing and painting. He has been an artist for as long as he can remember, but it feels so good to express himself in colors and textures. Some of his work is available for purchase at the gift shop. The owner of the Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, Mac, is not happy because people don't seem to be coming to the shows that take place three times a day, 365 days a year. He doesn't think Ivan is exciting enough. It doesn't help that people aren't as interested in Stella’s daily shows. Soon a new box arrives and in it is a baby elephant named Ruby. Ruby has never been confined to such a small space and she has a million questions for Stella and Ivan. When Stella gets sick she makes Ivan promise that he will get Ruby out of there so that she won't have the kind of life that they've had. But Ivan is a gorilla. Is there any way for him to communicate to anyone else that Ruby doesn't belong there? Is there anything Ivan can do? Will he be able to keep his promise? Is life outside of a cage better than life inside of one? You won’t want to miss the chance to look at life from Ivan’s point of view.
When I read The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate my heart went out to Ivan. As a young gorilla he was taken from the wild, along with his sister, Tag, and brought in a box to America. Tag couldn't take being out of the wild, but Ivan decided to forget all about the wild. Forgetting helped him enjoy TV shows, yogurt covered raisins, and other human treats. It made me think about how hard it would be to be separated from my family and put in a totally different environment. I loved hearing Ivan’s thoughts and his opinions about what the humans were saying. Stella was so sweet, and I felt sorry for her and the pain she had to go through in or order to perform. Ruby enchanted me with her questions and curiosity. I would recommend this book to anyone in fourth grade and up. It is a book about friendship, risks, and thinking outside the box. This book is for anybody with a love for animals, art, or both. I look forward to reading more books by this author. I heard she recently came out with a picture book version of the story called Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla and I can't wait to read it!
Has anyone else read The One and Only Ivan? Or have you read another book by Katherine Applegate? We would love to hear your thoughts.
Stop by Friday to read our interview with Katherine Applegate!
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Posted by DMS at 5:00:00 AM