27 May 2020
Standalone The Ickabog is serialised daily online
Lockdown parents, and likely a fair swathe of the rest of us, will be heading to a new JK Rowling website to read an unpublished children’s story by the Harry Potter author.
The standalone fairytale, The Ickabog, is not related to Harry Potter and aimed at 7-9 year olds, and will be published in daily instalments at 3pm each weekday until 10 July.
A print edition will follow in November from Little, Brown Young Readers, to be illustrated with pictures Rowling is inviting young readers to provide during the serialisation.
She originally wrote The Ickabog as a bedtime story for her own children and never intended it for publication.
‘Over the last few weeks I’ve done a bit of rewriting and I’ve decided to publish The Ickabog for free online, so children on lockdown, or even those back at school during these strange, unsettling times, can read it or have it read to them.
‘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.’
Her royalties from the print edition are going to projects assisting those affected by Covid-19.