The author of one of the most popular children's book series ever, JK Rowling, has released the first two chapters of her latest children's book 'Ickabog' for free.
The author, who is known world over for her 'Harry Potter' series, made the announcement on her social media pages and website, making it clear that the new story has got nothing to do with the series that shot her to fame.
The first draft has been lying in her attic for decades
Rowling wrote the story long ago, expecting to publish it after the last 'Harry Potter' book but decided against it at that point.
According to her posts, 'Ickabog' became a story just for her family, and the first draft of it went up to the attic at her home until recently.
"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.
"A few weeks ago at dinner, I tentatively mooted the idea of getting 'The Ickabog' down from the attic and publishing it for free, for children in lockdown.
"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," she wrote on her website.
The book is now ready and the chapters are being released between now and 10 June here.
For those who prefer the more traditional ways of reading, a hardcover copy of the book as well as e-book will be available in November 2020.
The fun part is, there's an illustration competition going on right now that your kids can participate in, and the ones that wins over the publishers will be used in the book when the hard copies are released!
The competition is not yet open to those living outside of the United States or the United Kingdom, but the website indicates that it might be soon, so stay tuned.
'Ickabog' is a fairytale about Ickabog, a monster said to eat children and sheep. The first chapter also introduced the kingdom of Cornucopia, ruled by King Fred the Fearless and five-year-old Bert Beamish.
As for the rest of the story, we'll just have to wait and see what happens!
In her posts, Rowling had also said that all author royalty from the sale of 'Ickabog' will go to those most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
So, even if you've read the free version, you might want to pay for a book when it's available too!