On May 26th J.K. Rowling announced on Twitter that she would be releasing a stand-alone fairy tale The Ickabog free online, chapter by chapter, “so children on lockdown, or even those back at school during these strange, unsettling times, can read it or have it read to them.” All 64 chapters are now available on the Ickabog website for all to enjoy.
Rowling wrote The Ickabog over ten years ago, but until now it’s only been shared with her immediate family & most recently the draft and notes were being stored in her attic. While she originally wrote The Ickabog with the intent to publish it, the success of the Harry Potter stories took her down a very different path, after which she wrote four novels for adults instead.
However, with so many families stuck at home during the pandemic Rowling realised May 2020 was the right time to share The Ickabog with children – a wonderfully simple way to give the younger generations around the world, stuck indoors with added stresses to their family life, something magical to look forward to each week.
As well as making the book available online Rowling also invited children to submit illustrations of the book to a competition with “the best pictures in each publishing territory will be included in (the printed version of) the book we intend to publish in November 2020.” J.K. Rowling’s royalties from The Ickabog will be going to charities assisting vulnerable groups affected by the pandemic.
While Rowling stated she wouldn’t be personally judging the competition she invited the parents or guardians of children to post their children’s artwork on Twitter with the hashtag #TheIckabog for her to retweet and comment on.
True to her word as the images came flooding in on Twitter Rowling has generously taken the time to retweet and provide uplifting and detailed feedback on countless The Ickabog illustrations posted by proud parents on Twitter. No doubt transforming the way any of the children whose illustrations mentioned by the author will remember 2020. No longer being the year a global pandemic halted life as they knew it, but instead the year J.K. Rowling tweeted about their artistic talent!
To read the book & details of how to enter the competition head to The Ickabog.
J.K. Rowlings was one of the contributing authors for Kids’ Night In 3