It is time for the June Family Dinner Book Club. This month we are featuring Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla.
We invite you to get a copy of the book and begin reading it with your family.
Then, use the great ideas below to plan your menu, make table decoration crafts, talk about the book and complete a family service project. We have everything you need!
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Just to review a bit… Family Dinner Book Club is a monthly book club for your family. On the 15th of each month, we share the title of the book that is being featured. Then, on the 1st of each month we provide all the details for your special club dinner. Sarah from Daisy at Home shares a special menu to compliment the book. And, I will share conversation starters and a service project for your family. Sarah and I will take turns showcasing table decoration crafts to make with the kids.
We invite you to share a picture from your dinner with us anytime during the month on our Family Dinner Book Club Facebook page.
Now, on to preparing for book club this month!
Ivan The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla
Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla by Katherine Applegate takes us on the sad journey of a gorilla from Africa to Washington. Ivan spent 27 years in a small cage inside a shopping mall. Finally, people including children worked hard to get him released.
Check out an interview with Ms. Applegate about the book.
If you would prefer a chapter book this month or have older readers, you can read The One and Only Ivanalso by Applegate. It is a fictional story about the same gorilla.
Here are six conversation starters to get your dinner book club rolling. Just click on this link (Ivan Conversation Starters) for a one page PDF file that you can print and then cut apart. Use the cards on your chosen dinner night. You, of course, don’t have to use all of them or you may even have some other discussion points that developed while you were reading. These are just meant to be a guide. Happy talking!
- Do you think that people should be able to purchase wild animals? Why?
- Why was the shopping mall not a good home for Ivan?
- How do you think Ivan felt when he went to Atlanta?
- The last line of the book says, “In leafy calm, in gentle arms, a gorilla’s life began again.” What do you think this means?
- What would you have done if you knew Ivan?
- How is this book different from other books you have read about animals?
Family Service Project
Applegate says this book is, “empowering because it talks about the capacity for humans to do something important and meaningful.”
As a family talk about a project that you can become involved in that could make a difference. Is there a local issue that is important to your community? Maybe you prefer to address a more global issue.
Teach your kids how to write a letter voicing their concerns about the problem and determining who to send the mail.
Ivan’s favorite color was red. Use a red tablecloth for this month’s family dinner.
Create a jungle centerpiece. Make trees from paper towel rolls and green construction paper. Group the trees in the middle of the table for a jungle theme.
Ivan loved to finger paint. He would sign each piece of his art with a fingerprint. Have the kids create fingerprint art place cards for the table. Get inspired with Ed Emberly’s Funprint Drawing Book for inspiration.
Head over to Daisy at Home to get your Ivan The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla Dinner Menu.
We hope you are inspired to create a fun and meaningful Family Dinner Book Club with your own family. Remember that we want to see pictures of your dinner. Please share them our special Family Dinner Book Club Facebook page.
Join us again next month for another Family Dinner Book Club!