The One and Only Ivan
Ivan is a gorilla who lives in a mall with his friends, Stella (an elephant) and Bob (a stray dog). Ivan and Stella are attractions at the failing mall. He spends his day making art (which is later sold), watching TV, and watching the people who watch him. When Ruby, a baby elephant, arrives at the mall, Ivan feels a new urgency and suddenly has a mission. My daughter and I just loved Ivan’s voice and observations about humans.
This post may include affiliate links. That means if you click and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Please see Disclosures for more information.
This unforgettable novel from renowned author Katherine Applegate celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendship. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this illustrated book is told from the point of view of Ivan himself.
Having spent twenty-seven years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes.
In the tradition of timeless stories like Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little, Katherine Applegate blends humor and poignancy to create an unforgettable story of friendship, art, and hope.
The One and Only Ivan features first-person narrative; author’s use of literary devices (personification, imagery); and story elements (plot, character development, perspective).