Ivan: The True Story of a Shopping Mall Gorilla

1 CD w/tr book. 18 min. illus. by G. Brian Karas. Weston Woods. $17.99. ISBN 9780544252301.
K-Gr 2—Ivan was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1962. When he was about six months old, he and another baby gorilla were kidnapped by poachers. They were sold to a mall in Tacoma, WA, that also had other animals. The other baby gorilla, however, died shortly after they arrived in the United States. This is the story of how Ivan went from a lonely existence in a shopping mall to living with other gorillas once more. Narrator Xe Sands complements Applegate's masterfully crafted picture book. Although her narration is a little slow, younger readers will appreciate the extra time to fully take in the captivating, colorful illustrations. The chimes for page turning are timed correctly and do not distract listeners.
VERDICT Young children who are interested in gorillas or enjoy the read-along experience will love this. ["Convey[s] the sense of loneliness and isolation that marked the gorilla's existence": SLJ 7/14 review of the Clarion book.]

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


Community matters. Stay up to date on breaking news, trends, reviews, and more.

Get access to 6000+ annual reviews of books, databases, and more

As low as $12/month