Tag Archives: furry fiction

Recommended Book: THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN by Katherine Applegate


THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN
Katherine Applegate

Some middle grade stories are the sort that just grab you and turn you inside out, all the feelings layered deeply within every page. The One and Only Ivan is one such story, with a depth of emotion that catches you, yet mitigated with a humor in the very words that inspire those heart-felt responses.

Ivan is a gorilla on display at a small carnival off a main route. He lives there in his domain alongside an older elephant named Stella, a scrappy dog dubbed Bob and a ton of other small animals. He has also made friends with the little girl who comes and sits by his enclosure each night while her father cleans. He is content, or at least numb, to his life. But all that changes when baby elephant Ruby is brought in to replace Stella.

Armed with a promise to Stella that he will change Ruby’s lot in life, Ivan sets about putting his artistic talents to use in order to communicate with his human friends. But he’s just a gorilla. A gorilla who has been in this cage for so long, his memories of a time before shuttered away, leaving him wondering if he’ll ever be capable of fulfilling his promise, of ever seeing anything but the inside of the cage that has been his domain for so long.

This one is easy to read, with laugh-out-loud commentary from Ivan (and Bob!) that breaks up the serious issues of captivity and animal abuse, leaving this book sweet and wonderful rather than heavy. Highly recommend for all ages, but in particular for artists, because there are many touchstones for young artists (and old!) that will bolster anyone creative.


“Dance of Wood and Grace” Published in Zooscape Magazine!

Dance of Wood and Grace has been published in the March 2021 issue of Zooscape Magazine! This is my second publication of the year and my first appearance in this adorable furry magazine.

Dance of Wood and Grace is about a sauropod-like creature named Dirt of CrystalSleep who is born into a city where the caste-system is stringent and specific. Yet, that doesn’t stop him from harboring a whisper-want for something different.

The inspiration for this story came from body mutilation and how in many western cultures and religions those mutilations are frowned upon, to the point where career paths and job security is put at risk because of them. I wanted to explore the idea that many of us don’t settle for the “pure” body we’d been born to, for the image we have, the delight we gain, the feeling of belonging in our own skin, is worth facing off against cultural stigma.

I hope that this story speaks to anyone with piercings, with tattoos, with surgeries of any types or desires for those surgeries, for anyone who has felt looked down upon for their choice in expression of their very selves.

In a metaphorical sense, this story also represents going after that which your are most passionate about, regardless of your level of skill. I know so many people who are miserable in jobs they’re well-suited for, who ache for something different. But again, cultural stigma strikes here as well, pushing us all into shapes and places we would rather not live in.

So I hope dearly that this story speaks to everyone who has ever had a passion and yet was told that they weren’t good enough at it, that they were too old to start a new career or a new hobby or a new anything simply because it’s something you’ve always wanted, something where you find satisfaction and contentment.

I say go after your loves and passions regardless that you may not be the best or that the learning curve may be steep. Because it’s better to love what you do/who you are, than be the best at what you do/who you are.

Dance of Wood and Grace can be read for free here!

<3 Marie C.