The Earl of Daftwood is bored, so he calls for some merriment by having everyone in the castle plan for a tournament. Each of his servants as well as his wife, daughter and knights relate their part in the preparation, celebration, and aftermath while the Earl lazily enjoys himself.
As a lover of medieval history, I just had to pick up Come to the Castle when I saw it on the featured children's book rack at the library. It turned out to be a cute little read. What I really liked about it was that the author managed to impart quite a few facts in the midst of a fictional story that is written in fun rhyming prose. I've always been a fan of Dr. Seuss, so whenever I run across other authors who employ rhymes in their writing style, it's usually a winner for me. I will warn squeamish kids and parents that Ms. Ashman doesn't gloss over the lack of proper cleanliness and hygiene in that era, so parts of the book may provoke some, "Ewwwwww!" responses. However, those who enjoy gross-out humor are probably equally as likely to be amused. Come to the Castle is a picture book that has a great read-aloud quality which makes it accessible to younger kids, but the more advanced vocabulary and factual information would probably appeal to kids as old as ten or so. The author also includes notes at the end with more extensive descriptions of the lives and jobs of the inhabitants of the castle. The illustrations were delightful as well, embodying an authentic medieval flair. Overall, this was a fun read that I would recommend to parents and children who are interested in or would like to learn more about life in a medieval castle.
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