The One and Only Ivan
Publication Date: January 2012
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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 hes 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 homeand his own artthrough new eyes. When Ruby arrives, change comes with her, and its up to Ivan to make it a change for the better.
Katherine Applegate blends humor and poignancy to create Ivans unforgettable first-person narration in a story of friendship, art, and hope.
Katherine was inspired to write The One and Only Ivan after reading about the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, the Shopping Mall Gorilla. The real Ivan lived alone in a tiny cage for twenty-seven years in a Washington State shopping mall before being moved to Zoo Atlanta after a public outcry. He was a beloved celebrity at the zoo, which houses the nation's largest collection of western lowland gorillas. Ivan was well-known for his paintings, which he "signed" with a thumbprint.
Katherine lives in California with her husband and two children.
Patricia Castelao was born in the rainy Santiago de Compostela, so she spent lots of time drawing at home as a child. All that drawing led to her work on the Rainbow Street Shelter series and many other wonderful illustration projects.
Katherine Applegate's The One and Only Ivan was inspired by a real-life gorilla who lived in a mall in Tacoma, Wash. The author says humans have "a real obligation" to care responsibly for animals in captivity. More at NPR.org
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