Review: The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

5 stars

The One and Only Ivan cover (link to Goodreads)

This would be such a great book to read aloud to younger kids (I’m thinking 5-7 years old). It follows a silverback gorilla in a seedy animal show off the highway. He understands human speech and loves to make art but can’t communicate. His friends are a stray dog, an old, wise elephant who does tricks for the show, and a little girl whose dad works as a janitor there. One day, the show acquires a baby elephant, and the old elephant makes Ivan promise to help the baby elephant have a better life than she had. Ivan begins to remember more about his history and begins to do something extraordinary. Heartwarming, sad, joyous. I loved the audiobook narrator as well, if that interests you.

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