I had to pull myself together to write this. I started and finished this book in one day because I really could not put the book down.
A quick and easy read, The One and Only Ivan tells the story of a gorilla who has been kept in captivity at a mall circus. He is not harshly treated but the reader’s heart goes out to him as the story unfolds. Ivan has his friends, Bob, a stray dog, and Stella, and older elephant to keep him company in their small “domains” known to us as cages. A artist and television aficionado, Ivan enjoys the company of a fellow young artist, Julia who has quite an understanding of the ape. Their humdrum life gets interrupted when baby elephant, Ruby joins the group and Ivan makes a promise that he must keep.
This is an absolutely lovely story of friendship, loyalty and overcoming fears. The strength of these characters (even though they are animals) shows true friendship and the importance of keeping promises. I will definitely, read this to my students and hope that they get all of the warm fuzzies that I did.