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Jk Rowling fans, rejoice! The brilliant author has surprised fans with the announcement of a new children’s book, The Ickabog which she’ll be revealing in instalments on her website for free.
And if you’re expecting a certain wizard and his pals to make an appearance, think again. The Ickabog is the 54-year-old’s first Harry Potter-free children’s story.
The mum of three first wrote The Ickabog for her own children over a decade ago, but has decided now is the time to share the story with the world and thirsty fans who’ve been waiting for more of her magic words are thrilled.
Jk Rowling is releasing her first children’s book since the Harry Potter series.
It’s not the first times fans have heard of the book, JK Rowling has previously referred to it only as an unnamed “political fairytale”, but it is the first time fans will get to know the story themselves.
Chapters of The Ickabog are being published daily until 10 July on The Ickabog website .
If you’re more keen on a paper copy, fear not, The Ickabog will be published as an actual book in English in November, and in typical JK Rowling style, all author royalties will be going “to help groups who’ve been particularly impacted by the pandemic“.
So where has the book been all this time? Jk Rowling says she originally intended to release the story after the seventh and final Harry Potter novel came out in 2007, but once she decided to take a break from publishing instead she popped The Ickabog manuscript in her attic.
“Over time I came to think of it as a story that belonged to my two younger children, because I’d read it to them in the evenings when they were little, which has always been a happy family memory,” said the author on her website.
However when she suggested to the children, now older of course, that it might be time to dust off the story they were all for it!
“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).”
WATCH: Harry Potter At Home | Sneak Peek. Continues after video …
When can you read it? Now, actually.The first two chapters went online on Tuesday!
While the story was originally written with the intention that it be read to youngsters aloud, Jk Rowling has since said that The Ickabog is suitable to be read alone by children between seven and nine.
In the first chapters we meet King Fred the Fearless, ruler of Cornucopia, and five-year-old Bert Beamish and of course, the mysterious Ickabog which is “said to eat children and sheep”.
Like the Harry Potter series, fairy tale themes of inequality are the basis of life in Cornucopia.
While mostly a “magically rich land” where residents prosper, there are some dwellers for whom life is a little tougher.
The Marshlanders of Cornucopia have “rough voices, which the other Cornucopians imitated” and are often mocked for “their manners and their simplicity”.
Fans can begin reading The Ickabog online now, or wait until November to get their hands on a hard copy.
Fans also get a chance to be a part of the published works, with JK Rowling asking them to come up with their best illustrations for inclusion in the finished product.
“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!”
She also wants readers to remember that the tale was written over a decade ago, and while some of the themes might feel relevant to what is going on today, it’s pure fairy tale.
“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.”