During the past two days, the "stuffed" Ivan has accompanied my friend Donna and I to independent bookshops, libraries, offbeat attractions, restaurants, rest areas, and hotels. Later today, we are visiting the REAL Ivan, a resident of Zoo Atlanta. We feel as though we are meeting an old friend, thanks to these memorable experiences and, of course, Katherine Applegate's exquisite and touching novel, The One and Only Ivan.
Take a look at what Ivan's been up to during Let's Go South '12.
Ivan explored Fair Oaks Farm. He looked quite confused when I started bouncing on a large contraption.
Neil Armstrong made "one small step for mankind." Ivan made one small step for gorillakind.
Ivan was happy to see The One and Only Ivan at the Indianapolis Public Library. He hopes that everyone reads his story and is inspired to be change agents.
Ivan posed with one of the Indianapolis Public Library's work stations.
Katherine Applegate shows Ivan's deep thinking and stellar problem-solving skills. Ivan does not waste words.
Ivan loves visiting independent bookshops. They are huge supporters of his story.
Ivan enjoys the great outdoors. We think Ivan smiles whenever we place him near a tree or visit a park.
We introduced Ivan to our past road trip buddies. We have a feeling they spent some time chatting about our interesting rituals.
Lindsay Patrick Wesson, the children's division manager at the Nashville Public Library, chatted with me about Katherine Applegate's masterpiece.
Ivan doesn't understand why Donna and I didn't have yogurt raisins and bananas for him.
Borrow The One and Only Ivan from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops.