Harry Potter fan or not, when J.K Rowling announces a new work of fiction for children, it’s exciting news. On Tuesday, the British author took to her website to announce she will serialise an online fairy tale “about truth and the abuse of power” in thirty-four daily, free instalments.
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We are pleased to announce J.K Rowling’s story The Ickabog is now available to read online for free on your website. E Each weekday, over the next seven weeks, a new instalment will be published. We hope you and your children will enjoy this original fairy tale! . . . #TheIckabog #jkrowling
The book will be published in its entirety in November, with the author’s royalties going to projects assisting groups impacted by the pandemic.
“The idea for The Ickabog came to me while I was still writing Harry Potter,” Rowling began on her website. “I wrote most of a first draft in fits and starts between Potter books, intending to publish it after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.”
“The Ickabog went up into the attic, where it’s remained for nearly a decade. Over time I came to think of it as a story that belonged to my two younger children, because I’d read it to them in the evenings when they were little, which has always been a happy family memory.”
Rowling insisted that the story “isn’t intended to be read as a response to anything that’s happening in the world right now.”
“The themes are timeless and could apply to any era or any country,” she wrote.
“I think The Ickabog lends itself well to serialisation because it was written as a read-aloud book (unconsciously shaped, I think, by the way I read it to my own children), but it’s suitable for 7-9 year olds to read to themselves.”
Her website post also included news of an illustration competition for children between ages 7 – 12.
“I thought how wonderful it would be if children in lockdown, or otherwise needing distraction during the strange and difficult time we’re passing through, illustrated the story for me,” she wrote.
“There will be suggestions about the illustrations we might need for each chapter on The Ickabog website, but nobody should feel constrained by these ideas. I want to see imaginations run wild! Creativity, inventiveness and effort are the most important things: we aren’t necessarily looking for the most technical skill!”
You can start reading the first two chapters of the book here.