When the world was expecting the least, our favorite JK Rowling has dropped a sweet treat for the young readers across the globe. She has released a new children’s fiction named The Ickabog on Tuesday on her website named after the book.
The chapters from the book will be released over the next months until July. Yesterday two chapters were made available from the book online.
Rowling had taken a break from children’s fiction after the HarryPotter franchise. She ventured towards adult fiction through the release of Casual Vacancy (2012) after which she treated the world to The Cuckoo’s Callling (2013), The Silk Worm (2014) and finally Lethal White (2018) under the pseudonym of Robert Gilbraith to explore the genre of crime fiction.
In her latest thread of tweets, Rowling had gone on to explain the background of her latest children’s fiction. Interestingly the manuscript of Ickabog was lying dusty in the attic which she started reworking on thinking about all the children stuck at home due to the quarantine.
This explanation was enough for the fans to drool over the warmth exuded by their favorite author.
Rowling said in her blog:
“I think The Ickabog lends itself well to serialisation because it was written as a read-aloud book (unconsciously shaped, I think, by the way I read it to my own children), but it’s suitable for 7-9-year-olds to read to themselves.”
She also stated that she has kept some original parts of the book on the request of her children, in her final draft.
Mild spoilers of Ickabog
If you read the first two chapters, you will be relocated to the land of Cornucopia, with a fairy tale description of the ruler of the same- Fred the fearless. The story opens through the use of subtle humor.
And the main highlights of the two chapters are the delicious description of food for which Cornucopia was famous for. Gradually we are introduced to a child of five, Bert Beamish and the titular character Ichabog who is a ……well why don’t you find out from the chapters available. It will lot more fun to read it yourself!
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Cornucopia literally means the ‘horn of plenty’ (originating from a Latin phrase) which is a symbol from the Greek legends and refers to anything that is plentiful, just like the land of Cornucopia in our story is a land of plenty foods.
Fun Competition declared by Rowling:
Another interesting news that was revealed by Rowling is the announcement of a ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’ for winning an illustration competition for the printed version of the book which will be hitting bookshelves in the month of November. Just imagine, children are getting a chance to have their illustration printed in the books. Below is a gist of things you might need to know for the competition:
- Only children from the age group of 7-12 can participate in the competition
- Children from the UK, Ireland, Australia, India, New Zealand, US, Canada can take part currently. But not to worry as more countries will be added to the list soon.
- The parents or guardians of the children willing to take part in the competition will have to post the illustration on their behalf.
- You can enter the completion only through the publisher’s website (for the US, for the UK) mentioned in the Ichabog’s website. Check for further details.
So finally it seems children can find a respite in the newest addition of fiction from Rowling. The author has already released a disclaimer that this story is not related to magic or Harry Potter in any way. The first two chapters are already very interesting and well written. Young and old alike are waiting for the rest to come.
Illustration entries are already pouring in; some adorable Tweets
It is so overwhelming to see, that only a few hours after the illustration competition was announced, and the two chapters taken out/ released, how entries for the competition has already started pouring in. Take a look into the adorable entries:
Enjoy your reading until then…
Share this post with your friends and family, and make sure you take part in the competition, given the age permits.
(Cover image via Ickabog.com)