Thirty-four pictures drawn by children have been picked to illustrate J K Rowling's fairytale The Ickabog.
The winners, revealed by Hachette Children's Group and whittled down from 18,000 entries, come from across the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and India and range in age from seven to 12.
The competition ran alongside the free online serialisation of the standalone story, published as an illustrated printed edition on 10th November.
A gallery of the winning illustrations has now been unveiled on The Ickabog website. The winners will each be awarded a copy of the published book, signed by J K Rowling, and receive £500-worth of Hachette Children’s Group books for a school or public library of their choice. Shortlisted entrants will receive a copy of the finished book and a certificate.
Hilary Murray Hill, c.e.o. of Hachette Children’s Group and chair of the judging panel, said: “The quality, diversity and sheer imagination of the children’s art has been a privilege to see, and a tremendous task to judge. The panel has debated between detailed illustrations and expansive, bold paintings, between exotic peacocks, lavishly dressed kings and delicious cakes, and reviewed work which has clearly taken many hours to create from the youngest of the entrants.
“It has been wonderful to see children excited and inspired by J K Rowling’s story to create distinctive works of art. The winners truly deserve their unique prize, but all the entrants should be praised for their skill, thought, creativity and effort. I have no doubt there are some great artists of the future among them.”
Rowling added: “Looking through the artwork online has been a joy and I know I’m far from alone in marvelling at the talent on display. I’d love to think The Ickabog gave some future artists and illustrators their first public exposure. For me, the most exciting part of publishing The Ickabog has been seeing all the wonderful illustrations coming in—although I didn’t judge the illustration competition. I’d probably have put them all in the book if I could.”