Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla

by Katherine Applegate and G. Brian Karas

“In leafy calm, in gentle arms, a gorilla’s life begins.” The baby... read more

“In leafy calm, in gentle arms, a gorilla’s life begins.” The baby gorilla learned as he played in the tropical forest of central Africa. He learned, too, by watching and listening to his mother and his father and other gorillas. But he didn’t learn about humans until he was captured by poachers and shipped in a crate with another baby gorilla to the United States. “A man who owned a shopping mall had ordered and paid for them, like a couple of pizzas, like a pair of shoes.” They were given names in a contest: Burma and Ivan. Then Burma died and Ivan was alone. He learned how to do things humans do — hold babies, sleep in a bed — but not the things that gorillas do. Eventually, he was moved to a cage at the mall, with a TV, some art supplies, and a tire. After many years, people began to get angry on Ivan’s behalf. After twenty-seven years in a cage, he was finally moved, to Zoo Atlanta, a safe haven where he was released into the open air again. “In leafy calm, in gentle arms, a gorilla’s life begins again.” Katherine Applegate tells the story of the gorilla that inspired her Newbery Award-winning The One and Only Ivan (HarperCollins, 2012) in this lyrical and moving picture book tenderly illustrated by G. Brian Karas. A two-page photo essay at story’s end tells more about Ivan. Honor Book, 2015 Charlotte Zolotow Award (Ages 5–9)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2015

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