Read for: Middle Grade March/ Audio Book
Synopsis: "Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly ever thinks about it at all.
Instead, Ivan thinks about TV shows he’s seen and about his friends Stella, an elderly elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. But mostly Ivan thinks about art and how to capture the taste of a mango or the sound of leaves with color and a well-placed line.
Then he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, and she makes Ivan see their home—and his own art—through new eyes. When Ruby arrives, change comes with her, and it’s up to Ivan to make it a change for the better.
Katherine Applegate blends humor and poignancy to create Ivan’s unforgettable first-person narration in a story of friendship, art, and hope."
My Review: I have slowly been working my way through Applegate's backlist titles, and finally got this one from the library on Audio book. I kind of wish I had picked up a print copy because I have a feeling there might have been some illustrations involved. I adored Ivan and his take on the world around him. The interaction between the animals was touching as well. I found it interesting the way the relationship between Mack (I think that was his name) and Ivan, and all the other animals, was altered throughout the book as more and more hardships and stresses are piled up and how the animals became less of family and more as objects. This is a very touching story told from the perspective of the animals, and based on a true story and gorilla.
My Rating: I love when books are told from animal's perspectives and when they keep animal characteristics as well (don't start acting and understanding like humans) and Katherine Applegate did a great job of that in this one. I really enjoyed it and give it a rating of Four Paws.