Reviews /

The Very Last Castle

Authored by Travis Jonker
Illustrated by Mark Pett
Published by Abrams

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The very last castle has a lone guard, standing stone-still on the battlements and although no-one has been inside, the townspeople all have their own ideas based on the noises which come from the castle. Some think there are monsters inside, some giants and others snakes. Ibb becomes very interested in the castle and although she thinks ‘maybe it’s something terrible,’ she also wonders ‘but maybe it’s something else.’

In the middle of a small town stands the very last castle. No one ever comes out, and no one ever tries to go in; until one day, a curious girl called Ibb decides to find out more.

Follow the adventures of Ibb as she seeks to overcome her fears of the unknown, to try and be brave and find out what is really behind the castle gate.

I enjoyed The Very Last Castle, and for me, it had echoes of the Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde, and this would be interesting to explore with the children. It would be a great resource for PSHE, exploring bravery and overcoming fears and a welcome addition to Philosophy for Children resources. The illustrations by Mark Pett allow lots of discussion, and the themes are developed in a very child-centred way; I also loved the female main character! It would be a great class reader for KS1 and into Year 3.