JK Rowling Unveils First Non-Harry Potter Children’s Book
JK Rowling has surprised fans with the announcement of a brand new children’s book, which she is publishing on her website in daily instalments.
The Ickabog is a fairytale, and is Rowling’s first children’s story not to be connected to Harry Potter.
She wrote it more than a decade ago for her own children, and has decided to dust it off during the pandemic.
It’s for “children on lockdown, or even those back at school during these strange, unsettling times”, she wrote.
The author said she said she originally intended to publish The Ickabog after the seventh and final Harry Potter novel came out in 2007.
But she decided to take a break from publishing, and put the 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,” she wrote on her website.
A few weeks ago, she suggested to her children that she might retrieve it from her loft.
“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).”
She added that The Ickabog will be published in daily instalments between now and 10 July, and that it 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,” she explained.
“The themes are timeless and could apply to any era or any country.”