J“Ickabog” is a children’s original by J.K. Rowling written more than ten years ago and published online in May to help entertain children, parents and caregivers confined at home during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Editorial Presença, which edits the author’s work in Portugal, announced on 18 August that the printed version arrives at Portuguese bookstores in November and is “a great novelty”.

This is “an unprecedented challenge launched by JK Rowling, worldwide”: an invitation to children to participate in an illustration contest, by sending a drawing, to gain the opportunity to have their illustration in the print edition of respective countries.

In Portugal, the illustration contest “O Ickabog”, opened as of 18 August, is promoted by Editorial Presença and can be read about on the official Portuguese website, at www.presenca.pt/ickabogconcurso.

“Ickabog” is a fairy tale that J.K. Rowling wrote more than ten years ago to read to her youngest children when they went to bed.

Written to be read aloud, the story of “The Ickabog” takes place in an imaginary land and is an autonomous story, unrelated to other works by the author, thus not being related to the Harry Potter universe, but containing frequently explored themes in the writing of JK Rowling.

It tells the story of the kingdom of Cornucopia, ruled by King Fred the Fearless, who takes advantage of Petition Day to please all the subjects who came to him with his requests.

The last to arrive, a pastor from the Marshlands, complains about the fearsome monster Ickabog, a character in children’s stories used to terrify the children of the kingdom if they did not behave well, but the king decides to take the pastor’s story seriously and leave with the army to the Marshlands, at the northern end of the kingdom, in order to hunt the monster.

“Ickabog” will be published for free on the Portuguese website, in instalments, over the next seven weeks.

When new chapters are launched, Presença will also publish suggestions for themes that children can draw from reading the chapters.

The new chapters of the story will be available on the publisher’s website every working day from 18 August until 2 October, 2020, when the story ends.

The contest, aimed at children aged 7 to 12, ends on 9 October and 34 winners will be selected, whose drawings will be published in the printed edition of the book.

Each winner of the illustration contest will also receive a prize.

The copyright for the sale of this book will go to projects to help groups particularly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, in the UK and internationally, the writer announced.