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The Very Last Castle

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  542 ratings  ·  118 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published October 9th 2018 by Harry N. Abrams
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3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  542 ratings  ·  118 reviews

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Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
DAAAAAWWWWW!!!!! I love the gentle colors, the sweet story and the artwork. 5, sweet, yet also slightly sad, stars. A good story about reaching out and in.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cybils
What is making all those spooky sounds coming out of the Very Last Castle? Who will be brave enough to find out?

A little story about a girl who dares to find out what's going on, despite the worries of her neighbors. Lovely illustrations and a gentle story.
Wendy Garland
Dec 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book will get you thinking about what a little curiosity & kindness can do.
Benji Martin
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So what do you do when someone you're kinda friends with writes a terrible book, and you don't know how to tell them? You just smile and say "FIVE STARS!"

I'm just kidding. This one really is terrific. It's a great read aloud, and would pair really well with The Wall in the Middle of the Book.

ps. I really liked the ginormous apples!

Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018

5 stars for the art, 4 stars for the story. Recommended.
Colby Sharp
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-nerdy, 2018
One of my favorite 2018 picture books to read aloud to kids!

Check out my video book talk.
Jun 24, 2019 added it
Shelves: picture
Give the unknown a chance. That’s the lesson Ibb and the guard teach us.
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read this book to a grade one class who were very intrigued. They couldn't wait to find out what was in the castle.
Predictable but pleasant. Nice to have a POC protagonist.
Christina Carter
Aug 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-excursion
Book Excursion ARC Review| Book Releases October 9th, 2018

There are instances when curiosity requires bravery. Considering that the townspeople thought the lone castle in the center of town held monsters, giants, and snakes, Ibb should have been incredibly frightened. While everyone else thought there was something terrible inside, Ibb thought, "maybe it's something else." When she is summoned to the castle, she gets the chance to find out just who or what is inside. Until that very moment, no o
Niki (Daydream Reader)
I can't wait to share this book in the fall with my students!
Beth Rodgers
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
'The Very Last Castle' by Travis Jonker, pictures by Mark Pett, has a Willy Wonka feel to it. The book centers on the very last castle that stands in the middle of a small town. No one ever comes out of it, and no one ever goes in, yet a man stands guard, bringing a decent amount of curiosity to interested passersby. Yet one little girl named Ibb is the only one who truly begins to question the castle and the mystery that surrounds its walls. Everybody speculates as to what is inside, as people ...more
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There is a castle in the middle of the town that no one has ever been in! Everyone has a different idea of what might be inside, but no one has ever bothered to investigate the mystery. Until Ibb that is! Ibb wants to know what lies within. Courageously she rows across the mote and knocks on the door, only to hear intimidating hisses. Is her grandfather right? Are there snakes inside the castle? The very next day she receives an invitation to visit the castle and come inside. She meets the castl ...more
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
The very last castle stands in the middle of a small town. No one ever goes into the castle and no one ever comes out. A single guard looks out from the tower. The townspeople can hear noises coming from the castle. Some think it might be monsters, others think it could be giants or snakes. Ibb is a girl who lives in the town and thinks about the castle a lot. One day, she gathers her courage and knocks on the huge castle door, but no one answers and she hears a terrible hiss. Soon afterward, Ib ...more
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
The Very Last Castle by Travis Jonker. PICTURE BOOK. Abrams, 2018. $17.00. 9781419725746



Everyone in town is a bit afraid of the very last castle which despite being closed up- emits a variety of creepy sounds. Ibb is little girl who is curious about what could be going on in there. One day, she knocks, and soon finds herself invited inside. What she discovers surprises her and changes the town.

This is a large book with great illustrations
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever noticed when there is only one of anything left, the value, real or imagined, increases? When you think you will never enjoy the sensory experience of tasting, touching, smelling, seeing or hearing it again, it's as if there is nothing quite as important as tasting, touching, smelling, seeing or hearing that one thing as much as possible. Without a doubt you find yourself wondering why you waited until there was only one remaining before you gave it the attention it so richly deser ...more
Sep 28, 2018 rated it really liked it

Ibb is an adventurous and kind girl. She often walks past the only castle left in her small town. One day her curiosity gets the best of her and she knocks on the door! She is greeted by an unfriendly surprise and she runs away, not speaking about it. Then not long after her visit she receives an envelope requesting her presence to the castle. Ibb accepts and begins to uncover and learn the truth about the castle.

This story is sweet and our protagonist, Ibb is a girl who has a big heart, one wi
Thumbnail That
Apr 30, 2019 rated it liked it
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 thoug
Laura Mossa
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
A young girl, Ibb, lives in a town where there is only one castle still standing, and a lone knight guards it. The knight never comes out and no one from town ever goes in. While most townspeople think terrible things are in the castle, Ibb thinks differently. After boldly knocking on the castle door (and then running away), she receives an invitation to visit. Ibb’s willingness to think differently and take a chance is a lesson to herself, the entire town and most importantly, us as readers. Tr ...more
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've read a number of children's books lately, books replete with pictures, but only this one and the next truly piqued my interest. I liked this story and the pictures because they created a highly accessible combination.

The people in the small town were drawn as a diverse group and the scenery drawings were friendly, colorful and filled with a bit of whimsy. The combination made for a story that pulled me in to its simple message of the importance of making the effort to get to know someone i
Ro Menendez
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Happy #BookBirthday to The Very Last Castle by @100scopenotes ! A story to explore giving the unknown a chance, getting to know something before we judge. Ibb is a brave&kind girl who won’t let other people’s opinions get in the way of making new friends & having new experiences.

Ibb repeatedly thinks“Maybe it’s something terrible. Could it be something else?”May we all be as open minded as Ibb when faced with the unknown & give it a chance! I love her backpack covered with patches &a
Becky B
In a town that was once full of castles, there remains just one castle left. No one has been in or out of the castle in years and everyone has theories about what is inside. Ibb walks past the castle every day and one day she gets the courage to do some crazy. She knocks at the castle gate. Will she find monsters or giants or snakes like everyone said?

This is a sweet and simple story about a little girl brave enough to meet that next door neighbor everyone has rumors about but no one's actually
Amber Webb
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In the middle of a village stands the very last castle in existence. No one goes in and no one comes out meaning there are a LOT of questions that surround what is going on behind those walls. A young girl, Ibb listens to everyone's theories and even has a few of her own. She suddenly receives an invitation to the castle and in faith, responds to the request. What she finds and how she responds is an incredible lesson to all.
In this story you will find the power of one child, the power of one a
Oct 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
After seeing several tweets about the book (and having met Travis Jonker at nerdcamp), I was pleased to see that our public library already had this as an eBook, and was able to check it out immediately the day after its release. I really enjoyed what Travis wrote about the evolution of the book, the background tweets from the illustrator, Mark Pett, and the review from Margie-Myers Culver on her blog. I had already read it twice, but had still missed several details.

I wonder if any students wil
Oct 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
One last castle stands in the middle of town. Everyone makes guesses about what's inside but no one goes near it. One little girl, Ibb, sees the guard up on the turret. She decides to find out who is inside. She knocks but no one answers. Later, she receives an invitation to visit. She meets the guard and tours the grounds. The guard is getting old and needs someone to take his place. She agrees with a couple conditions - he comes out to visit in the town and invites the town people to come insi ...more
Stefanie Burns
Apr 16, 2019 rated it liked it
I was a little disappointed by this book. The reviews had me thinking it would be fantastic. I liked the large size; it makes viewing as a real aloud a better experience. I felt, on a first reading, that it was a little hard to tell which lines to read first, or why you would read the sounds before the words. Once I read the story in full and reviewed it, it made sense. I think kids would have to read this book at least twice to fully understand it. It was a brief book, with simple text, and a w ...more
McKenzie Richardson
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

This is an adorable book. I really enjoyed the story. From the very first page, I wanted to know what was in the castle. This book really pulls you in.

I also enjoyed the artwork. Loved the muted, watery coloring.

Ibb is a character that you immediately like. She is kind, curious, brave, and thoughtful. The plot is simple, but her personality really drives the story. Plus, it is always great to see a POC as the main character in children's books, es
Dec 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is about a castle in a town that is still standing and nobody knows why or who lived there. A great what if theme. Everyone speculates what is inside but only one character is willing to find out. Follow Ibb as she tries to find out amid warnings from her teacher, grandfather, and others to leave it alone. Read aloud to a child who is fearful of new things as this has a worthwhile ending.
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Young curious Ibb, with her adorable puff buns atop her head and huge rainboots, puzzles over what or who is inside the lone medieval castle, nestled amongst a town full of contemporary buildings. Her family and friends warn her to stay away, but when an invitation arrives, she can't resist. This lovely tale is a celebration of diversity in many forms, with a rewarding message about brave from adorable Ibb.
I was so excited to see that librarian and THE YARN creator, Travis Jonker had written a book. I was even more excited to see how wonderful it turned out. Illustrated by Mark Pett, we are taken to the last standing castle and meet a little girl named Ibb whose curiosity about what lies behind those walls leads to surprises for everyone. A great book for predicting and inferring that will invite readers to go back and read again.
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