Famed British writer J. K Rowling surprised her fans recently when she released ‘The Ickabog,’ her brand new, first non-Harry Potter children’s book. Interestingly, the book is available free to read online – she is publishing it in daily installments on her website.
The chapters will be published on the website of The Ickabog till 10th July 2020.
The first two chapters of this fairytale, which went online on Tuesday, 26th May 2020, introduced King Fred the Fearless, ruler of Cornucopia, and five-year-old Bert Beamish. The book is set in an imaginary land.
She said that the book was first written a decade back as a bedtime story for her young children. However, Rowling got busy with writing book for adults and the book ended up in the attic. And while she intended to release the story after the seventh book of Harry Potter – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – came out in 2007, it never happened.
But, because this lockdown has proved to be particularly taxing to children, she decided to begin back work on the book and publish it for free online.
She says that the book is being published “to help entertain children, parents and carers confined at home during the coronavirus lockdown.”
Unrelated to other books written by the author, this book was originally written to be read out aloud. However, it can be read alone by children in the age group of seven and nine, she said.
The book will be published in print later in the year in November, and she confirmed that all the royalties will be donated “to help people who have been affected by the coronavirus.”
But this is not all!
Rowling has also announced an illustration competition, where she has encouraged her readers to draw their illustrations. The best pictures would be included in printed version of the books. And while she has confirmed that she would be giving suggestions to her readers on what to draw, she has also asked them to let their “imagination run wild.”
We can’t wait to keep reading the online version of the book! How about you?