The cover for J K Rowling's The Ickabog has been revealed, with the fairytale to be published on 10th November by Hachette Children's Group.
Its UK edition will be released in hardback and as an e-book and will be available in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and India. The English language audio edition will be available exclusively from Audible with international editions to follow.
Originally written as a bedtime story for her own children, the story has been serialised online over the summer. Rowling will donate royalties from the book to the Volant Charitable Trust, to assist groups who have been particularly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK and internationally.
Ruth Alltimes, group senior publisher, commented: “Hachette Children’s Group is absolutely thrilled to be publishing J K Rowling’s The Ickabog, a brilliantly original fairytale from one of the world’s greatest storytellers. The kingdom of Cornucopia is the perfect setting for an extraordinary adventure that will test two children’s bravery to the limit, as they try to uncover the truth behind the legend of The Ickabog. This is a story as imaginative and creative as the thousands of pictures drawn by young readers in response to it. It’s also a story about the power of hope and friendship – one that readers of all ages will want to return to, again and again”
Following an online competition the book has been brought to life with full-colour illustrations by youngsters aged seven to 12.
Alltimes added: “We have seen a phenomenal response to our illustration competition, with over 18,000 entries from the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and India. As a result, our gorgeous hardback edition will be filled with 34 fabulous full-colour illustrations by the competition winners. The winners will be announced in August.”
First revealed in May, The Ickabog is billed as “a warm, fast-paced, funny fairytale of a fearsome monster, thrilling adventure, and hope against all odds.”
Its synopsis explains: “The kingdom of Cornucopia was once the happiest in the world. It had plenty of gold, a king with the finest moustaches you could imagine, and butchers, bakers and cheesemongers whose exquisite foods made a person dance with delight when they ate them.
“Everything was perfect – except for the misty Marshlands to the north which, according to legend, were home to the monstrous Ickabog. Anyone sensible knew that the Ickabog was just a myth, to scare children into behaving. But the funny thing about myths is that sometimes they take on a life of their own.
“Could a myth unseat a beloved king? Could a myth bring a once happy country to its knees? Could a myth thrust two brave children into an adventure they didn’t ask for and never expected?”