Children’s Book Review: The One and Only Ivan

Children’s Book Review: The One and Only Ivan

This post contains Amazon affiliate links, meaning that if you make a purchase using one of these links, at no additional cost to you, I will receive a small commission to help support this blog.

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate was such a fun and memorable read-aloud! Watch the video for the full children’s book review. See the cute illustrations inside the book, how the short chapters make it great for bedtime reading, and decide if this book would be a good pick for your family’s next read-aloud. If you don’t want to watch, keep reading and skip the video. 

The One and Only Ivan Video Book Review

The One and Only Ivan

The One and Only Ivan, is about a gorilla (named Ivan) who lives in a cage in a mall, and it is based on a true story. The story is told from Ivan’s perspective. He’s a silly, easy-going gorilla who will make you laugh. When a baby elephant named Ruby comes to live there, Ivan decides to try something bold in order to give Ruby a better life.

Chapter Length

This book is divided up into tiny chapters, that are 1-3 pages in length. This set-up makes it perfect for bedtime reading. You can read for just a few minutes and stop at anytime, or keep going if you and the kids are up for it. We had fun just reading “one more chapter” then “one more chapter!” (This is much better than trying to get through a chapter that is 30 minutes long, when you are exhausted and ready to be done for the day!)

Illustrations

I love that there are also illustrations every few pages in the book. My kids love seeing a picture now and then when they are being read to, and these illustrations are very endearing.

Recommended ages

The One and Only Ivan appeals to children of all ages. The book jacket says it’s for ages 8-12, but if you are reading this aloud, children as young as 4 could listen along and follow the story line. I read it to my two girls (ages 6 and 9) but I think it would appeal equally to boys.
Does this sound like a book your children would enjoy? Let me know in the comments if your family has read this one, and what you thought about it.


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