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JK Rowling to release her latest children’s book ‘The Ickabog’ online for free

Mumbai | Updated on May 27, 2020 Published on May 27, 2020

File photo of British writer JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series of books   -  REUTERS

Author JK Rowling will release her latest children’s book, The Ickabog, online for free.

The Harry Potter author said on Tuesday she would release a couple of chapters at a time, so that children could read it online during Covid-19.

“The first two chapters of The Ickabog are available for free here: We are pleased to announce @JK_Rowling's story #TheIckabog is now available to read online for free at http://theickabog.com/read-the-story. Each weekday, over the next seven weeks, a new instalment will be published. We hope you and your children will enjoy this original fairy tale!” the Ickabog team tweeted from their account.

The book that was to be released after the last instalment of Harry Potter, was delayed owing to the author’s new novels for adults. She detailed the journey of her book in a Twitter thread.

“I always meant to publish it, but after the last Potter was released, I wrote two novels for adults and, after some dithering, decided to put those out next,” Rowling wrote.

“Until very recently, the only people who’d heard the story of The Ickabog were my two younger children. Over time, I came to think of The Ickabog as just for my family. The manuscript went up into the attic, where it remained until a few weeks ago,” she said.

The author tweaked her book over the last few weeks to release it for children who are unable to go to school, so that they can read the book for free amid the pandemic.

“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,” she explained.

Children can access the book on the Ickabog’s website. Furthermore, Rowling has also announced a new contest for children who are reading the book. She has called for illustrations of various characters in the book from children. The best illustrations will be published as the entire e-book is released in November, along with the hard copy books.

“I’d like children to illustrate the book for me! I’ll be suggesting ideas for pictures as we go, but nobody should feel constrained by my ideas. Let your imaginations run wild!” Rowling said.

“The best pictures in each publishing territory will be included in the books we intend to publish in November 2020,” she announced.

“As individual publishers will know best which illustrations work in their editions, I won’t be personally judging this competition,” the author added.

Rowling will be donating her author royalties from this book to projects and organisations helping the groups most impacted by Covid-19. The details for these donations will be disclosed later in the year, the author said.

Published on May 27, 2020
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