Elementary and Middle School
Biology, Creatures and Their Habitats, Ecology, Primatology
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.
Elephants in Malls?!
In The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate, an elephant and a gorilla are forced to live inside a mall. Cindy Khatri, director of the Midwest Museum of Natural History in Sycamore, IL, talks about why that’s a bad idea.
Five Fun Facts About Elephants!
Cindy Khatri, director of the Midwest Museum of Natural History in Sycamore, IL, gives us five fun facts about elephants, like the one featured in The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate.
Keeping Animals Happy: Tortoise Edition
Meet Hercules the resident tortoise at the Midwest Museum of Natural History in Sycamore, IL. Cindy Khatri, director of the museum, talks about Herc, and why animals should be treated well.
Helping Animals at Cosley Zoo
Ashley Hicks is a zookeeper at Cosley Zoo in Wheaton, IL. Here, she talks about all the things a zoo does to keep animals happy and healthy, unlike the ways the animals were treated in The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate.
Enriching Animals’ Lives
Ashley Hicks is a zookeeper at Cosley Zoo in Wheaton, IL. Here, she talks about enrichment, which is important to keeping animals engaged and happy.
Katherine was inspired to write The One and Only Ivan after reading about the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, the Shopping Mall Gorilla. The real Ivan lived alone in a tiny cage for twenty-seven years at a shopping mall before being moved to Zoo Atlanta after a public outcry. He was a beloved celebrity at the zoo, which houses the nation’s largest collection of western lowland gorillas. Ivan was well known for his paintings, which he “signed” with a thumbprint.
Katherine lives in California with her husband and two children.
Other books by the same author:
The Buffalo Storm
Roscoe Riley Rules