The Ickabog – JK Rowling
JK Rowling has surprised fans with the announcement of a brand new children’s book, which she is publishing in daily instalments on her website for free.
The Ickabog is her first children’s story not to be linked to Harry Potter. She wrote it over a decade ago for her own children and has now dusted it off.
It’s for “children on lockdown, or even those back at school during these strange, unsettling times”, she said.
She had previously referred to it only as an unnamed “political fairytale”.
Chapters of The Ickabog are being published daily until 10 July on The Ickabog website.
The first two chapters, which went online on Tuesday, introduced King Fred the Fearless, ruler of Cornucopia, and five-year-old Bert Beamish.
Readers also learned about the myth of a fearsome monster called The Ickabog, which is “said to eat children and sheep”.
It will be published as an actual book in English in November, with all author royalties going “to help groups who’ve been particularly impacted by the pandemic”.
She has also asked young readers to draw their own illustrations, with the best pictures to be included in the published books.
“I want to see imaginations run wild!” she wrote. “Creativity, inventiveness and effort are the most important things: we aren’t necessarily looking for the most technical skill!”
The story is about truth and the abuse of power, Rowling explained.
“To forestall one obvious question: the idea came to me well over a decade ago, so it 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.”
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