If you’re like me, you don’t really care if a book is meant for kids, you just read it anyway. And sometimes you end up liking it. Cause why can’t you read a kids book, right?
Well, if you like to read kids books in addition to adult ones, then here’s one that might interest you, especially if you love JK Rowling’s work. The famous Harry Potter author will be releasing a 34-chapter children’s fairytale online for free for any kids (or adults!) still under lockdown from COVID-19.
The title of the book is The Ickabog, which was written by Rowling over ten years ago! She describes the story as this:
The Ickabog is a story about truth and the abuse of power. 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.
The full story will be available at theickabog.com for you all to read. So far, only Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 have been published.
The main page talks about Rowling’s backstory for this book, and it’s pretty interesting to know that she read this story to her kids before shelving the uncompleted version and starting a book for adults! She intended to publish this book following the release of Deathly Hallows, as she was writing this alongside the Harry Potter series, but decided to take a break from publishing to work on The Casual Vacancy and her Cormoran Strikes series (under the Robert Galbraith pseudonym). In an article by Forbes, JK Rowling said this about her new book:
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. As I worked to finish the book, I started reading chapters nightly to the family again. This was one of the most extraordinary experiences of my writing life, as The Ickabog’s first two readers told me what they remember from when they were tiny, and demanded the reinstatement of bits they’d particularly liked (I obeyed).
image via wikimedia commons
The story will be published on www.theickabog.com in installments of one to three chapters every weekday for the next seven weeks (starting from this week). The full story will publish traditionally in November via print, eBook, and audiobook formats. After the publication, Rowling says that all royalties will go to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
And for those of you who have kids, Rowling is holding an illustration competition for children to get involved in the published edition of the story. Each day, as new chapters are released, children will have the opportunity to illustrate their vision of the characters, sceneries, and many more things that exist in the book. There is a UK competition and a US competition. Rowling says that parents can also share their child’s artwork via Twitter using the hashtag #TheIckabog for her to take a look at.
image via jk rowling/Wizarding World
The announcement comes after Rowling shared news of her first book of the Harry Potter series would be free in eBook and audiobook formats via wizardingworld.com as well as free readings of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by Daniel Radcliffe! Take a look at her new story if you’re interested, as well as the readings if you weren’t aware of that.