A young girl named Ibb transforms her town when she dares to enter its very last castle, which no one has entered since anyone can remember.
Ibb wears stripes and polka dots, princess dresses, tutus and butterfly wings, and big yellow boots. She walks by the castle every day. It is the last castle, and it stands in the middle of her town, with a guard who watches passers-by from the tower. The townspeople, never having entered the castle, speculate about what is inside. “Monsters.” “Giants.” “Snakes.” Ibb wonders if it’s something else. One day, she floats across the moat and knocks on the big door. She is scared away. But soon, an envelope arrives in the mail, inviting her to the castle. Everyone tells her to stay away, but even though she is scared, Ibb wants to know what is inside. The guard welcomes her and shows her around. What he wants is for someone “brave” and “curious” to take his place. Ibb thinks and decides that she’ll help him if he lets the townspeople into the castle too. It turns out to be a win-win for everyone. The illustrations, in pen and ink and watercolor, render Ibb, a young brown girl with afro puffs who shows her fellow townspeople about bravery and kindness, and her story truly memorable. The guard and most of the other adults in Ibb’s life are white; a friend named Alex also presents black.
A lovely story about courage and community with a darling protagonist. (Picture book. 3-8)