Another read aloud favorite – the One and Only Ivan

with the fast of term fast approaching, I was in a hurry to get the latest class read aloud finished, the One and Only Ivan.

I read this book to my class last year as part of a Sharing the Planet unit and he made another appearance this term.

Ivan is a gorilla whose home is a dilapidated mall off a highway. The book is told entirely from Ivan’s perspective and chronicles his life at the zoo. The children got quite attached to Ivan and his animal friends Bob the dog as well as elephants Stella and Ruby. 

The book’s theme of friendship and cruelty provoked great discussions. There is also a nuanced view of good and evil in the book. We find our characters are neither saints nor sinners.

Overall this book is great for any units that look at social change and action. Some children may find descriptions of animal cruelty hard tans their are sections where you might need to have some tissues handy,

Nevertheless a great read aloud to round out Wonder and the adventures of Edward Tulane.

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