Newberry Award winner 2012-2013
Book description from Amazon.com:
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.
My 25 cents: I heard this was the Newberry winner and thought the cover was cute. Seriously, that is why I decided to read it. It is a great story, told by Ivan the gorilla. It definitely made me think about animals in captivity. It is easy to read as there are some "chapters" that are only a page long. The text is spread out to make it easy on the eyes as well. Ivan is a lovable gorilla that has a hear the size of the Empire State building! Read this-you won't be sorry!! Here are just two examples of the humor in this story:
(Ivan has just told the reader that Mack, the owner, discovered people will pay money for a picture drawn by a gorilla, even if they don't know what it is.....(Ivan is speaking remember....)
"Now I draw every day. My works sell for twenty dollars a piece, twenty-five with a frame, at the gift shop near my domain.
If I get tired and need a break, I eat my crayons."
The chapter called "Three Visitors":
Three visitors are here; a woman, a boy and a girl.
I strut across my domain for them. I dangle from the tire swing. I eat three banana peels in a row.
The boy spits at the window. The girl throws a handful of pebbles.
Sometimes I am glad there is glass there.