The Very Last Castle by Travis Jonker, pictures by Mark Pett

The Very Last Castle 
words by Travis Jonker
pictures by Mark Pett
Review Copy from Abrams Kids

At a time when talk of building walls dominates, a book like The Very Last Castle about the power and joy of connections and community is more than welcome.
A castle still stands in the middle of a small town where once there were many. The other castles had all been, "taken down, or fallen apart, or been destroyed. All but one. For reasons no one could remember, no one ever came out. And no one was allowed in."

Then there was Ibb. A curious girl and an independent thinker, Ibb considers the wild theories about what might be hiding inside the castle (monsters, giants, snakes) and wonders about the lone guard still stationed there. Ibb walks up to the drawbridge and gives a brave knock, only to be frightened off. However, her act does not go unnoticed and she is in invited into the castle where she finds topiary monsters and giant fruits and vegetables growing in a beautiful garden along with William, the kind guard.  When Ibb asks William why he finally invited someone in, he tells her that he knows he can't do his job forever and he wants someone, "brave to take my place. Someone curious." Ibb offers to help but, being Ibb, she has her own ideas.

The Very Last Castle has a lovely ending that finds William leaving the castle to share his harvest with new friends, and new friends visiting the castle to enjoy William's green thumb.



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