Monday, January 30, 2012

The One and Only Ivan

"I am Ivan. I am a gorilla.

It's not as easy as it looks."

And so begins the story of Ivan, a silverback gorilla living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade.

"Ivan 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.

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."

The One and Only Ivan is a book that young readers will want on their bookshelves so they can visit Ivan as often as they wish. Yes, Katherine Applegate hooks readers with the lovable and unforgettable Ivan. However, this book will also lure readers with its short chapters. I know readers who will be tempted by the 'white space' in this book. There might not be room for Ivan to breathe in his Exit 8 Big Top Mall domain, but Katherine Applegate breathes life into her words and uses the space on each page to add a sense of poetry to her prose.

I cried when reading this book, but I also laughed out loud. It's a story told from a gorilla's point of view that will stay with me for a long time. It is likely that this book will stay in my Top Twelve Favorites of 2012!

Be sure to read the author's note at the end of the book which shares the story of Ivan, the real gorilla who now lives at Zoo Atlanta. The real Ivan spent twenty-seven years alone in a cage at a circus-themed mall in the state of Washington.

Click HERE to watch the book trailer.

Happy Reading!
Mrs. Tyo

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Binky the Space Cat

I am so thrilled to have discovered Binky!


Binky has never been out of the HOUSE before. This makes Binky's plan to go into outer space even more humorous.

Binky may be a stay-at-home cat, but he is out-of-this-world when it comes to protecting his humans from 'alien invaders'...bugs! And when Binky is notified by F.U.R.S.T. (Felines of the Universe Ready for Space Travel) that he has become Space Cat qualified, there is no looking back for Binky.

With Binky the Space Cat, author Ashley Spires has me hooked! I can't wait to find and read the second and third adventures, Binky to the Rescue and Binky Under Pressure.

Fantastic feline protagonist + Humorous story + Wonderful illustrations = One sure fire hit of a graphic novel that kids will want to read again and again.

I will be adding these graphic novels to my classroom as soon as possible.

Happy Reading!
Mrs. T :)

P.S. Reading is like breathing chocolate air!