JK Rowling announced in a tweet on Tuesday that she will be releasing a new book, titled The Ickabog, online starting May 26. The author said she’ll be posting a chapter every weekday up until June 10 on The Ickabog website for free.
The new children’s fairytale isn’t part of the Harry Potter series, Rowling said, and will take place in its own imaginary land.
“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,” Rowling said in a blog post on Tuesday.
The idea for the new fairytale came to her while writing Harry Potter, said Rowling. But instead of publishing it, Rowling shared the story with her children and it later lived in her attic for a decade.
Now the author hopes to share the story with children around the globe in lockdown.
According to CNET, the book lends itself well to being read aloud, but The Ickabog is suitable for 7- to 9-year-olds to read to themselves, said Rowling. The Ickabog will be released online in English, but the author plans on making it available in other languages soon.
Along with the book, Rowling will be hosting a children’s illustration contest for The Ickabog. There will be drawing suggestions on the author’s website, but contestants are encouraged to let their creativity “run wild.” The winners will be featured in the published eBook in November.
To enter, parents and guardians can post their children’s drawings on Twitter using the hashtag #TheIckabog. The Ickabog will be published as a book, ebook and audiobook in November. Rowling said royalties from The Ickabog will help communities impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. More details about the author’s donation are expected to be available later this year.