Age – 9+
Ivan is a gorilla who lives in a small animal park/mall complex. Other animals include Stella the elephant, monkeys, parrots and a stray dog called Bob who sneaks into Ivan’s cage at night for company. Although bored, Ivan is relatively happy until a baby elephant (Ruby) arrives in the hope of drawing more visitors. Stella becomes ill and before she dies she makes Ivan promise that Ruby doesn’t end up the same way. Ivan soon has a plan. He has always been an artist (his owners selling his pictures in the gift shop), and he uses this to bring attention to Ruby – eventually giving her, himself and the rest of the animals a better life.
A must for animal lovers. Written in a way that doesn’t lose the real nature of a gorilla. Ivan’s intelligence isn’t humanised – it’s a gradual process, bringing the story alive.
(Zoo, Gorilla, Art, Friendship, Animals)