Summary from the inside left flap: 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.
FTC DISCLOSURE: I received a free copy of this book from the Librarything Early Reader’s program in exchange for an honest review.
I won a copy of this book back in March but it didn’t arrive until the summer when I was knee deep in piles and piles of books to be read – both for fun and for review. I almost put it to the bottom of the stack, but decided to move it up since I thought it might be a good fit for my school library. Boy, am I glad I did. This is a wonderful book. If you haven’t read it yet – don’t hesitate. Go out and grab a copy now!
What I liked about the book: This story is told by Ivan – an easy going silver back gorilla. If Ivan were a human I would want him to be my friend. This is a great story about friendship, righting wrongs and perseverance. The rhythm of the story is just perfect, making it a quick entertaining read that both young and old readers will enjoy. The chapters are short, making the book more appealing to reluctant readers. Classroom teachers – this is a good book to use for a lesson on voice or point of view.
What I didn’t like about the book: This has been a good reading summer for me. This is yet another book where I loved it all.
Seriously, whether or not you are an adult or a child, if you are looking for a well written feel good read, this is the book for you. I will certainly be purchasing it for our school library. I’m hoping it is a contender for the Newbery, but that committee never seems to like the books I do. One can hope though.
Mrs. Archer’s rating: 5 of 5
Recommended for 3rd grade and up.
AR Level: 3.6