The Very Last Castle

The Very Last Castle

Picture Book - 2018
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Ibb, curious about the lone castle in her town, forms a long-distant friendship with the guard and, despite warnings there is something fearful inside, accepts his invitation to enter.
Publisher: New York : Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2018.
ISBN: 9781419725746
Branch Call Number: XXF JONKER, TRAVIS
Characteristics: 1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Additional Contributors: Pett, Mark - Illustrator


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Jul 01, 2019

This book is so sweet and encouraging. A brave little girl shows her community how to come together and not be afraid. This would be a great team building read aloud.

What, exactly, is behind the walls of the castle? Ibb's curiosity and courage lead her to take a step none of the adults around her dares to do. I love the use of onomatopoeia breaks up the read-aloud experience, and even better the mystery surrounding each of those sounds is revealed at the end. Curiosity coupled with compassion can lead to a better community for all of us.

IndyPL_JennyM May 04, 2019

A curious girl knocks on the castle door to discover who and what is within. She has to overcome assumptions and apprehensions, and thus becomes a bridge for her community.

Mar 11, 2019

I enjoyed the impersonal watercolor washes to denote distance or disengagement. The first to arrive on the scene of the story with any differentiation in color, and full of texture and detail is Ibb, “then there was Ibb.” That Ibb dresses in princess gowns, tutus and wings, suggests she is like most children interested imaginative play: but she is also the one in dress-up who is interested in what is really going on—and not content with the local “lore.”

In that lovely Edenic ending, she reveals a few misunderstandings, and removes the barriers that isolate and distance the city folk and the castle guard. It’s a positive and timely message. I like that the solution is “be curious…,’ whether you are a child (like Ibb) or an adult (like the guard). I appreciate that stopping at the worst interpretation may not be the cleverest choice we can make.

Recommended for the younger mystery readers who like to be rewarded for minding the details; for those who like a good castle story; for those looking for more protagonists of color: Ibb and Alex; and an intergenerational book: there is also a grandfather (hers, and white).


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