Customer Reviews for

The One and Only Ivan

Average Rating 4.5
( 305 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(253)

4 Star

(23)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(8)

1 Star

(14)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

79 out of 83 people found this review helpful.

What does a gorilla artist think about?

This is a wonderful book. It is told from the viewpoint of Ivan, a silverback gorilla who is an artist. The language is beautiful. I read it to my 4th grade class and they LOVED it! The students wanted to learn more about poaching and how zoos work. I would HIGHLY recom...
This is a wonderful book. It is told from the viewpoint of Ivan, a silverback gorilla who is an artist. The language is beautiful. I read it to my 4th grade class and they LOVED it! The students wanted to learn more about poaching and how zoos work. I would HIGHLY recommend this book. Adults will love it also!

posted by Mnloonsong on February 11, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

7 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

Stella

My teacher read it to my class and the entire fith grade in willamsburg elementry in the world read it and it was preaty sad

posted by 16920995 on December 29, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2013

    One wonderful book!

    I have recommended this book to several people and everyone that read it enjoyed it as much as I did. Thanks for a great read! A true winner in so many ways!

    6 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 2, 2014

    It appears that I will be adding The One and Only Ivan to an eve

    It appears that I will be adding The One and Only Ivan to an ever growing list in which I am in the minority of not liking a well-loved book.

    It's a heartbreaking tale of a gorilla in a mall who is not openly mistreated, but certainly not very well treated. He has a kind heart and only wants what is best for the newest member of his mall menagerie. Though, like many well-intended people (or apes?), Ivan doesn't foresee all of the ramifications of his plan.

    Almost immediately, this book resonated as a modern Black Beauty, just using an ape rather than a horse. It is a story that, based on what I thought I'd be reading via the blurb, I was tricked into reading. I wanted a happy, feel-good book and instead wound up with animal cruelty.

    I suppose that I should have mentioned at the beginning of this review, that I grew up in the real city where the real Ivan was. I remember going to to see him as a child, watching him play on his tire swing. Unlike in this story, the real Ivan was not sent to a local zoo, he was sent across the country. It broke my heart when he went away. I understand that he shouldn't have been kept in a mall, but the child in me didn't understand why we would never be able to see him again. And unlike in this story, the real Ivan never really acclimated to his life in the zoo. In my heart I believe that he died sad and lonely. I know this is not how Ms Applegate wrote her story, but it does influence my opinion of it, and thus, this review.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 27, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    This is probably one of the hardest reviews I have written yet.

    This is probably one of the hardest reviews I have written yet.  On one hand I did like it.  On the other I really did not.

    I am not sure who wrote the overview above but they obviously did not read the same book I did.  I found very little humor in this book.  The funniest part was when Ivan painted with chocolate frosting on the fridge.  The use of the poignancy however is very accurate.

    This book won the Newbery Award.  This is awarded to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. 

    I can’t say that I agree.  I personally found 80% of this book depressing and cried through parts of it.  Normally, I would say that is the sign of a great book but in this case I disagree.  This has a reading level of 3.6 (3rd grade 6 month).  I am not sure I would let my 6th grader read this.  Ok, I would but I would warn her beforehand.  Actually, she walked in while I was reading at one point and asked why I was crying. I would not want my children crying themselves to sleep at night over a book. This book is like a Hemingway novel for children.  I am certainly not saying that books need to always be happy.  I understand life is not always sunny.  But this story went overboard trying to make the reader feel empathy for not only the animals but the people in the book.  EVERYONE had a sad back story.  Divorce, sickness, death, lack of money, being kidnapped, homelessness and abuse are just a few examples.

    This book did have a nice happy ending but the arrival to that point was just too emotionally exhausting for me.  I felt it was bit unrealistic (and that is coming from a person who loves unrealistic books).  That part just didn't fit with the rest of the story in my opinion.

    This book is based off of an actual real gorilla named Ivan.  The story itself is made up but the story of Ivan and how he came to be is based on facts.

    What I liked about the book.  I did like how the animals talked to each other and kind of had their own little family.  You really could feel the love between all the animals. I enjoyed the little girl in this book and how much she loved art and would encourage Ivan to draw and paint.  The ending was satisfying.

    If you are looking for a feel good book I would not recommend this one.  It’s well written, easy to understand and I had no problem picturing things in my mind.  Maybe that is why I didn't like it.  It seemed too real for me. 

    I’d love to hear what your thoughts are if you read this book and totally disagree with me.  

    I know there are some out there that loved this book but unfortunately I am not one of them.

    (p.s... I was even depressed writing this review.)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2014

    Highly Recommended Book based on a true story. @nd grade reading level.

    This is an amazing story that teaches compassion. It can be read by a child to themselves, however, I would recommend reading it as a family! Everyone will enjoy this incredible story and it provides for a lot of stimulating conversation.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2013

    Made me,

    Cry!!!!!!!!!!

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2012

    G t

    Ct

    0 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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