Crazy Critter Adventures

Lessons from the world around us

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The One and Only Ivan – Review

My dad and I read the book The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. Ivan, a Silverback Gorilla at the Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, was brought there as a baby.

My dad asked me to analyze each character in the story and learn more about it. For example, I found Stella to be a patient elephant. So, I did a research project on patience and how marmoset monkeys are more patient than tamarin monkeys.

Ivan FInal


We also found 4 themes in the book.

Theme 1 – Ivan’s loneliness.

I thought that Ivan longed for a family.

  1. That Ivan wanted his friends and family back
  2. Ivan was so sad that he let his emotions control him
  3. Ivan was so scared that he would not have any more friends

Theme 2 – Ivan’s Care for Ruby

I thought Ivan loved Ruby and was patient with her

  1. Ivan missed Stella, the elephant, so he had to take care of the new arrival, the baby elephant, Ruby
  2. Ivan promised Stella something so he has to keep his promise
  3. Ivan was so responsible for Ruby

Theme 3 – Bob, the dog, was a good friend to Ivan

I thought of my friends and how important it is to have good friends

  1. The story tells that Bob likes Ivan and they are best friends
  2. They used to watch TV together
  3. Bob likes to cuddle up and warm up next to Ivan

Theme 4 – Freedom

Ivan wanted to be free in the forest and I wanted him to get out of the glass box and live his dream

  1. Ivan liked it when he was free and could play with his sister
  2. Then he went to Mack’s house and liked it a bit. He had more freedom than at the mall.
  3. In the end, he didn’t have full freedom cause he was caged for so long. But he liked Kinyani and liked running in the fields.

I liked the story because it had a lot of interesting things about a gorilla. My favorite part of the story was when Julia and Bob went to meet Ivan at the new place. It was a good book to read because the story slowly introduces the each character, and builds on how they interacted as friends.