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The Ickabog Reviews

The Ickabog by J.K. Rowling

The Ickabog

J.K. Rowling

3.89 out of 5

4 reviews

Category: Children's
Imprint: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publisher: Hachette Children's Group
Publication date: 27 Oct 2020
ISBN: 9781510202252

The Ickabog is coming... A mythical monster, a kingdom in peril, an adventure that will test two children's bravery to the limit. Discover a brilliantly original fairy tale about the power of hope and friendship to triumph against all odds, from one of the world's best storytellers.

1 Prize for The Ickabog

The British Book Awards
2021 Shortlist: Children's Fiction Book of the Year

It was a strong year in children’s fiction, with both brand-name authors and newcomers making up this shortlist. Stories range from wartime Britain to rural China and follow friendships, superheroes and dragons. What they did all have in common was beautiful illustration and design, backed by impressive campaigns and retail support.


4 stars out of 5
13 Nov 2020

"The Ickabog won’t just be put under every lucky child’s Christmas tree: it is a monster hit that deserves to be."

Thanks to COVID-19, JK Rowling rediscovered an unfinished tale that she had written for her own children ten years ago “in fits and starts” between the seven Harry Potter books. During lockdown she put it online for free, inviting the millions of children stuck at home around the world to contribute illustrations. Now, and in our darkest hour, it is published; and just like Harry Potter, it is a light for when other lights go out.

4 stars out of 5
Alex O’Connell
12 Nov 2020

"This fairytale is magic, in words and pictures"

She asked readers to send in illustrations for an eventual publication. The winners, as chosen by her team, have been included in this beautiful hardback edition published this week (with a slightly less beautiful price tag to match).The Ickabog sits somewhere between fairytale, fable and political allegory. Harry Potter fans should not expect hidden references to that world. The only crossover is Rowling’s continued ability to tell a story. Her imagination is a marvel and her plotting ever-sophisticated in what could otherwise be deemed a simple tale.


3 stars out of 5
Jake Kerridge
9 Nov 2020

"a lightweight fairy tale that lacks Harry Potter’s magic"

The Ickabog is, in the end, a bit exposition-heavy, without the immersive pull of the opening chapters of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. But it’s more than worth being given a chance.

4 stars out of 5
Nicolette Jones
8 Nov 2020

"this is zinging storytelling with bite and a twist"

A shallow, blond king, controlled by wicked advisers who pile lies upon lies and spread fear of a monster, destroys his happy kingdom. It is left to suffering children and families to dislodge the tyrants. The tale gets dark, but this is zinging storytelling with bite and a twist. It also has extraordinarily skilled and apt illustrations, some a little enhanced with a fine line, chosen from 18,000 pictures submitted by young artists from around the world.