The one and only Ivan by Katherine Applegate ; illustrations by Patricia Castelao

     Review by:  Lisa

Title:  The one and only Ivan

Author:  Katherine Applegate ; illustrations by Patricia Castelao

Collection:  Juvenile Fiction

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.

Bestselling author Applegate presents an unforgettable and uplifting tween animal fantasy that explores the power of friendship, art, and hope with humor and touching poignancy

I found myself smiling and touched at many points when reading this book.   Ivan narrates his story and let’s us in on his thoughts and impressions about what happens in his world. When unexpected changes occur, Ivan rallies to help his friends, but will it be enough to make a difference?  Particularly appealing to animal lovers of all ages, don’t miss this magical story.

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