Harry Potter Author Has a Magical New Surprise For Kids!

J.K Rowling’s “The Ickabog” is enchanting children everywhere.

Jun 9, 2020

Trust J.K. Rowling, the genius behind the globally-popular series all about child wizard, Harry Potter, to whip up something magical. She’s reaching out to kids sheltering at home around the world and enchanting them with The Ickabog. This is her new fairy tale about a tiny country called Cornucopia, that can be downloaded in installments for free!

But there’s more! The creator of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is inviting kids aged 7-12 to illustrate the book as their imaginations are inspired by the unfolding story, and to share their creations with the world: “The most exciting part, for me, at least, is that I’d like you to illustrate The Ickabog for me. Every day, I’ll be making suggestions for what you might like to draw,”  she says on the book’s new website.

Budding young artists in the US and UK can submit their artwork to The Ickabog Illustration Competition, which also displays inspiring drawings sent in so far. But kids [and their parents] from everywhere are already posting their artwork on Twitter via #theIckabog. And Rowling herself is sharing her appreciation. “The best drawings in each territory will be included in the finished books,” she promises on her personal website.

Rowling broke the news about the new book on Twitter in a style befitting the creator of a series about a young wizard beloved the world over. She announced the imminent serialized release of this story about truth and power next to pictures of the unpublished manuscript.

Already-published installments and new installments rolling out every weekday until July 10, can all be found on the Read the Story section of The Ickabog website.

Rowling wrote most of The Ickabog over a decade ago, when she was still working on the Harry Potter series. It was actually a bedtime story that she read to her two youngest children each night,  and she came to think of it as a story that belonged to them. But like so many other unfinished projects, the story has been revived during the pandemic period.

She explains how this happened: “A few weeks ago at dinner, I tentatively mooted the idea of getting The Ickabog down from the attic and publishing it for free, for children in lockdown. My now teenagers were touchingly enthusiastic, so downstairs came the very dusty box, and for the last few weeks I’ve been immersed in a fictional world I thought I’d never enter again.”

This writer knows that the lockdown has been particularly hard on kids, which has motivated her to  bring this story to them fast. After rewriting parts of the tale, she reread it to her children: “They told me to put back in some bits they’d liked when they were little, and here we are!”

The Ickabog’s website has just announced that the online serialization is now available for a larger, international audience. The installments have been translated into French, Italian, German, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese.  

And Rowling will continue to work her magic long after the serialization ends on July 10. As she explains on The Ickabog website: “When the book is published in November [as a book, ebook and audiobook], I’m going to donate all my royalties to help people who have been affected by the coronavirus.”

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DAPHNE KASRIEL ALEXANDER, EDITOR IN CHIEF
Daphne has a background in editing, writing and global trends. She is inspired by trends seeing more people care about sharing and protecting resources, enjoying experiences over products and celebrating their unique selves. Making the world a better place has been a constant motivation in her work.