Today’s First Line Friday is one Kim introduced me to and I will have to get it! It looks good! There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with an adult reading children’s books… I promise!
Here are the first few lines of The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate:
I am Ivan. I am a gorilla.
It’s not as easy as it looks.
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.
Author: Katherine Applegate
Illustrator: G. Brian Karas
Published: October 7, 2014
Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: June 10, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
In a spare, powerful text and evocative illustrations, the Newbery medalist Katherine Applegate and the artist G. Brian Karas present the extraordinary real story of a special gorilla.
Captured as a baby, Ivan was brought to a Tacoma, Washington, mall to attract shoppers. Gradually, public pressure built until a better way of life for Ivan was found at Zoo Atlanta. From the Congo to America, and from a local business attraction to a national symbol of animal welfare, Ivan the Shopping Mall Gorilla traveled an astonishing distance in miles and in impact.
This is his true story and includes photographs of Ivan.
This is the sad, but true story of Ivan the gorilla. It has a happy ending and is aimed for younger children. Ivan was taken away from his family as a baby in the Congo and grew up in Tacoma, Washington. He became a shopping mall spectacle to attract shoppers. He lived in a cage at the shopping mall for 27 years!
Finally, after protests Ivan was sent to Zoo Atlanta where he lived the rest of his life. He lived to age 50. In the wild gorillas live into their 30s. Ivan passed away in 2012.
I am from Georgia but never really knew Ivan’s story: Now I want to learn more about him. This children’s book is a great introduction to Ivan and his life before going to Zoo Atlanta. The illustrations do a good job of helping to tell Ivan’s story.
There is an ‘About Ivan’ section in the back that gives basic information on his life and includes pictures.
To find out more about Ivan, Zoo Atlanta has a section of their website dedicated to him.