Ivan, a silver backed gorilla, tells his own story. How he grew up, where he lives now, everything about his neighbors and his keepers. He loves drawing and eating the pencil or crayon afterward. This isn’t your typical cartoon version of animal life. Since it is told in the first person, you can imagine that the animals are sometimes critical of humans and how they are treated. I didn’t find the story to be a “people bad/animals good” kind of thing but more along the lines of some animals are bad, and some humans are bad. I think has great insight into what animals in captivity experience and will make kids think while they are at the zoo and that is always a good thing.
This paperback edition includes an author’s note highlighting the differences between the fictional story and actual events, a version of the author’s Newbery Medal acceptance speech, Ivan’s “signature,” discussion questions, and more.
As Kathleen Kelly would say, ” Read it with a tissue.”
We purchased this book as a read aloud for our “Summer at the Zoo” program.
Paperback – January 6, 2015