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The One and Only Ivan CD Audio CD – Audiobook, April 30, 2013
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From the Back Cover
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.
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This book was written from the gorilla's (Ivan's) point of view. It is a bigger book, but don't be alarmed as there are not many words on a page as the formatting is not as tight as a traditional novel. But don't let that stop you either!
It is now my son's favorite book. Because of that, and what that means, I give it 5 stars.
A copy of the author’s Newbery Medal acceptance speech is at the back of my copy of The One and Only Ivan. In it, the author says,” We live in a world where children are bullied into despair and even suicide; where armed guards in a school hallway are considered desirable; where libraries are padlocked because of budget cuts; where breakfast and backpacks, for too many children are unaffordable luxuries.”
“What makes children better than the rest of us is that they are buoyant, unrepentant optimists.”
As a writer, reader, and lover of words, I make it a habit to ‘stop time’ whenever I come across sparkling phrases that deserve homage. A ‘stop time’ is where we stop whatever we are doing to read out loud and to listen; we listen to both the author’s words and to what made that phrase so meaningful to the reader.
Although my son and I read the same book, our reactions to it were as different as a carefree stroll through the park and being caught in a traffic snarl in the city at rush hour. Where my son delighted in the animal conversations, I sobbed.
Pixar uses humor with double meaning brilliantly in their storytelling. Katherine Applegate uses the same technique, but in a more realistic vein.
I sobbed because the adult world my son will live in doesn’t have easy answers. It isn’t colorful, silly, and happy all the time. The innocence of his childhood is beginning to seep away.
While Ivan and Ruby soothe each other and tell stories to help them sleep, the author communicates the ache of loneliness, coping skills, feeling boxed in, and the power that is found when helping a friend…or your own child.
The first ‘stop time’ that my son called happened when Ivan makes an impossible promise to Ruby, the baby elephant.
I’ve been waiting and watching for this moment. A maturity level that notices deeper concepts. An opportunity to share family ideals and values. An easing into the world of adulthood – or at least into the turbulent teens.
“Children know all about sadness,” comments Applegate in her speech. “We can’t hide it from them. We can only teach them how to cope with its inevitably and to harness their imaginations in search for joy and wonder.”
The book is presumably a children's book and I would agree it is such in the same way that The Little Prince is meant for children. What makes a wonderful book even more wonderful is that it contains a few lovely pictures, some drawn by Ivan, the protagonist Gorilla and some drawn by the daughter of the groundskeeper where Ivan and his fellow animal friends reside. I cannot guarantee that you will love The One and Only Ivan, as I did, but if you do, you will remember it forever,
Top international reviews
His eating of the crayons and pencils is hilarious. Children should get a good idea of what it is like to be captured and imprisoned.
We aren’t not finished it, but I am reading aloud to my children during their art time, because with Covid we have to home school, and they live this book. I have 2 boy 9+10 and 2 girls 5+7 and they all begged me to keep reading.
That never happens. Generally some like a book and others don’t.
It’s a nice book. It’s not going to last long as they are so into it, but a great book. I would recommend for 8 and up as there are some bigger words, but nothing too outlandish.
Wonderful book .
Es un cuento hermoso de un Gorila (Ivan) que vive en una jaula en un centro comercial.
Ivan no recuerda su vida fuera de su jaula y desde ahi acepta su alrededor y trata de entender a los humanos. Pero algo pasa y los cambios llegan.
Ivan es el que cuenta el cuento asi que el vocabulario que usa es muy simple pero al mismo tiempo muy profundo. Es un excelente libro para toda la familia.