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Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla Hardcover – Picture Book, October 7, 2014
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From School Library Journal
- Publisher : Clarion Books; First Edition (October 7, 2014)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 40 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0544252306
- ISBN-13 : 978-0544252301
- Reading age : 4 - 7 years
- Lexile measure : AD620L
- Grade level : Preschool - 3
- Item Weight : 14.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 10 x 0.36 x 8.75 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #48,790 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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This picture book is not narrated by Ivan, which is a shame, because Ivan had such a unique voice and a wry sense of humor. Rather, this is a biography about Ivan the gorilla, from his infancy in Africa amongst the other gorillas, his capture by poachers and subsequent arrival in America, his childhood as a "human", his internment at the shopping mall, and finally, his new life at the zoo in Atlanta.
The prose is light and airy, but it also has emotional depth. It conveys information about Ivan's life in an engaging and evocative manner. One part that struck me was that Ivan had been "ordered and paid for, like a couple of pizzas, like a pair of shoes."
The illustrations by G. Brian Karas are phenomenal. I have enjoyed his work in other books, and I love the way he has brought Ivan's world to life.
My daughter had some objections to details in the picture book that differed from those found in the novel. I explained the concept of "artistic license" to her, and she seemed satisfied with that.
I think this picture book is a fine companion to the Ivan novel. It makes Ivan's story accessible to children on a lower reading level than the level of novel.
I would absolutely recommend this book to others.
I knew it was about a gorilla in a shopping mall before I ordered it. I knew that it was a true story.
It starts off as a gentle story about a baby gorilla living in Africa. There are several pages of his original life. But then the humans come. He is abducted and flown to Washington to be a draw for crowds in a shopping mall. The story is told very matter-of-factly, yet very gently. The 27 years Ivan spent locked in a cement box are, of course, horrific. But as awareness of animal intelligence grows, so does peoples' determination to free him. He spent the last 18 years of his life living in a zoo, usually just another horror for animals, but in this case Ivan was free to roam on 1 and 1/2 acres. It was certainly an improvement from his previous caged life.
The book moved me to tears.
I immediately went back to Amazon to buy copies for all of the families I know. Again, it starts off as just another animal story. But the enlightenment it can potentially bring to the children who read this book about the immorality of subjecting an intelligent animal to this kind of abuse is well worth my investment.