The One and Only Ivan: Unglued in the Big Red Barn with Petunia

I've done some more reading over the week.  My favorite thus far is The One and Only Ivan (winner of the 2013 Newberry Award).

Ivan is amazing to say the least! I was taken in by the first few pages.  How did Katherine Applegate come through with such vivid thoughts to portray the mind of a gorilla? The story is fictional, of course, but is based on a true story.  There is a real gorilla named Ivan (living at Zoo Atlanta).  Ivan really did live for twenty-seven years alone in a cage. And there really was a public outcry from children that gave Ivan the opportunity to live more contentedly at Zoo Atlanta.  The majority of the rest of the story is imaginative fiction but an absolutely spellbinding tale.   The recommended ages for this book are 8-12  but I think there are lots of 6-7 year olds who would love the tale being read aloud to them and plenty of animal loving kids and adults older than twelve who would thoroughly enjoy the tale.  I certainly did!

In picture books, my favorite was everything I read by Margaret Wise Brown (Big Red Barn was adorable and my son leaned in intently to see that baby mouse and count the chicken eggs!) and A Pet For Petunia by Paul Schmid.  I could really imagine a real child going through the same experience and I wonder to myself...what fantastically funny incident led Paul to write this book?! It left me eager to read his other books as well. I believe there is one featuring a porcupine...

I've also finished Unglued (great timing, by the way, as I was truly challenged at every corner this past Monday or so it seemed..and I kept muttering this mantra in my head, "I will not become unglued... I DO have a choice... coming unglued will not change anything... I Do have a choice.... help me here God.. don't let me come undone."  It worked.  At least for that day.  And that's a BIG step in the right direction.  That book will go on the READ AGAIN pile!

So since it is still the month of PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month) my mind constantly races for ideas.... whether it be a title or a concept of a picture book I may write one day... and sometimes messing with titles is fun.  So what do you think?  Maybe someone should write The One and Only Ivan: Unglued in the Big Red Barn with Petunia.  I think it would make a smashing hit!  🙂  But I have other tales to tell so I'll leave that one to someone else and get back to working on my own....

Have an amazing day and, if  you have time, pick up a cute picture book to read and put a smile on your face  🙂

5 thoughts on “The One and Only Ivan: Unglued in the Big Red Barn with Petunia

  1. mirkabreen

    All great books.
    When posing how an author managed to get the gorilla's voice, I remind myself that this is, of course, not the gorilla's voice. This is a literary voice with the gorilla as a stand-in for a distinct human voice. I whole heartedly agree that it is a great one, and deserving of the Newbery.

  2. Christina George

    My son adores Goodnight Moon and anytime I see Margaret Wise Brown's name I am sure to pick it up! I just found an early reader book by her (which my son is too young for, but still!). The Ivan book looks good - I had forgotten about that true story and would love to share something based on truth with my darling. Thanks for this!

  3. Pingback: Unglued with Raw Emotions | orthodoxmom3

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