Tag Archives: Animals

The One and Only Ivan

The One and Only Ivan

The One and Only Ivan

Ivan the gorilla lives at the Exit 8 Bigtop Mall and Video Arcade. Ivan lives in a small glass domain with nothing but a food bowl, a stuffed toy and a television. Humans come and press their faces to the glass and point and stare. The zoo owner sometimes gives Ivan a crayon or paint. Ivan likes to draw pictures.

I am Ivan. I am a gorilla.
It’s not as easy as it looks.
People call me the Freeway Gorilla. The Ape at Exit 8. The One and Only Ivan. Mighty Silverback.
The names are mine, but they’re not me. I am Ivan, just Ivan, only Ivan. (pages 1-2)

Doesn’t that remind you of Harry Potter when he says to Hagrid in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, “But I’m just…just Harry!” Ivan has a couple friends, an old elephant named Stella and a stray dog named Bob. Bob sneaks into Ivan’s cage every night to sleep on his warm belly.

When the Exit 8 Big Top owner realizes attendance is down he buys a baby elephant named Ruby to make more people want to visit. Ruby’s arrival makes Ivan and his friends see their situation in a different way. Stella, in particular, can’t stand the idea of Ruby growing up at the mall. So, in the spirit of Charlotte’s Web, Ivan hatches a plan hoping to save Ruby from a lonely life at the mall. You’ll cry and cheer both! 2013 Newbery Medal Winner.

Ivan’s story is based on a real gorilla that lived for 27 years in a mall zoo. The real Ivan died August 21, 2012.

  • The Real Ivan
  • The Silverback of South Tacoma: Remembering Ivan the Gorilla
  • NPR: Ivan Dies at 50 – a Gorilla Life Remembered Best Quote “Ivan’s story has touched thousands of people. He reminded us that even as we must face the “big” conservation and environmental problems with an ecosystem approach, we can’t forget the individuals, each of whom has a story, a personality and a history. Now Katherine Applegate’s book will help Ivan’s story touch thousands more.” ~Barbara J. King

If you like Ivan here are some more stories that imagine what life would be like from the animal’s point of view. We can never really know of course, but it IS interesting to imagine. You also might like to read about the gorilla Koko. Koko learned sign language, which makes you wonder if we CAN learn a little about what animals think. The last four books are about scientists who study gorillas in the wild or in captivity. Really, really fascinating. And I’m warnin’ ya…the animal stories will make you cry, just like Ivan. If you have a pet you’ll go hug it and think more about your responsibility and what it means to have an animal friend.

Charlotte's WebA Dog's LifeBlack BeautyWhittingtonKoko: Conversations with a Signing GorillaGorilla DoctorsDian Fossey Friend to Africa's GorillasI am Jane GoodallLight Shinging Through the MistRickie and HenriThe Watcher Jane Goodall's Life with Chimps
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This is the fascinating story of one bird. He is a rufa red knot and his name is B95. His name is the number on the band scientists put on his leg. B95 is about the size of a robin, a bird we see a lot here in Indiana. B95 and the other red knots are migratory. That means they move in the Spring and Fall in search of food and nesting grounds. Red knots are AMAZING because they migrate from the South Pole…to the North Pole, and back again. That’s a long way!

B95 was banded as a young bird in 1995 when he was thought to be at least three years old. Each year scientists try to capture and band red knots to study their habiits. Amazingly, B95 has been re-caught in 2001, 2003, 2007 & 2009. He is thought to be around 20 years old. Scientists think has has flown more than 325,000 miles in his life…the distance from the moon and almost halfway back. And he weights 4 ounces!

This book is a really fascinating look at the scientists who study the red knots and also B95 himself. Each year, the scientists hope, hope, hope to see B95 again. He is a superbird – a true survivor! Author: Phillip Hoose

The Race to Save the Lord God Bird North the Amazing Story of Arctic Migration The Amazing Animal Journeys Incredible Journeys
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