Title: The Very Last Castle
Author: Travis Jonker
Illustrator: Mark Pett
Published: October 9, 2018
Theme: Bravery and Community
Character Origin: Human
Book Type: Picture Book | Pages: 40
Ages: 4-8 | Book Level: — | Lexile Measure: —
Synopsis: A curious little girl watches the man who guards the last castle in town. Every time she passes by him, she tries to catch his eye. While the other townspeople fear what may be locked up inside the mysterious castle, the girl finally gets up the courage to knock on the door and find out what’s really behind the gate. A story about overcoming fear of the unknown, trying new things, and reaching out to make new friends, The Very Last Castle shows that bravery comes in packages both big and small.
This is a charming story of a town that had the last remaining castle. No one had ever been inside or even knew who or what lived inside. The townspeople had their own ideas and speculated about who resided inside but no one “knew” anything for sure. It took one brave little girl’s lingering curiosity to finally find out.
Pett’s illustrations were muted and restrained. His use of various hues of browns, greens, and blues made the illustrations go flat for me. I was in LOVE with Ibb’s boots though. They were simply adorable. I really love seeing more diverse characters in the newer picture books. That is more representative of the classroom that our kids are in each day. This can be a tool to encourage kids to be brave and meet new people. One act of bravery can be all it takes to bring people together.