IVAN: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla
by Katherine Applegate; Illustrated by G. Brian Karas
Clarion Books (October 7, 2014)
Audience: Kindergarten to Third Grade
Biographical * Gorillas * Animal Welfare
We Love Ivan Tumblr
IndieBound | WorldCat
Description from GoodReads:
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 in the back matter.
My thoughts on this book:
I have been waiting on this book since I first heard that Katherine Applegate was writing it. I loved The One and Only Ivan, and I have read it aloud in several classes. Sometimes I think of it as having the same impact on readers as Charlotte's Web. It is a beautiful and powerful book of hope and resilience.
With the release of Ivan the Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla, younger audiences can now experience Ivan's story. Additionally, Middle Grade audiences can learn of the story behind the story with this amazing picture book.
Applegate begins with Ivan as an infant with his family in Central Africa, and shares about his capture and purchase by a man in Washington State. She shares about his time living with a family before he became too large.
A cage in a shopping mall became Ivan's home.
The story goes on to tell of how people protested Ivan's containment in such a small space. Eventually Ivan was transferred to Zoo Atlanta.
G. Brian Karas' illustrations capture the essence of Ivan and provide readers with another layer in understanding the text. The endnotes provide readers with further details of Ivan's story and several photos of the real Ivan. There are also links to websites to learn more about gorillas. The book closes with some memories of Ivan as shared by one of the zoo keepers in Atlanta.
Schools considering an One Book One School celebration can now provide readers from kindergarten to sixth grade with Ivan's story. Look for a copy of Ivan the Remarkable True Story at an indie bookstore or library near you.
The Official Book Trailer:
Katherine Applegate tells the true story of Ivan in her new picture book:
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