Title: The Ickabog
Author: J.K Rowling
Illustrator: Kids across the U.S and Canada
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
What's it about?
Cornucopia is a wonderful and amazing place filled with riches of gold and food so exceptional that one taste will bring tears to your eyes. But not everyone is enjoying such luxuries. Those on the outer edges of the kingdom aren't known for their phenomenal food, but for their marsh monster of mythic proportions. But with a king too willing to succumb to peer pressure and the desire to be loved by the people he rules, things can get out of hand quickly when those around him start a string of lies that effect, not just those closest to the castle, but the entire kingdom.
Now, with a kingdom scared of the legendary Ickabog monster, the people running the country scared of getting caught and a handful of people desperate to get even more money and power, no one feels safe. No one knows who to trust and everyone wants answers. Soon, it will be the job of a select few unlikely children to find the answers and spread the truth about what is really going on.
Favorite Characters: There are three characters that stand out when I think about my favorites, Eslanda, Mrs. Beamish and Daisy. Lady Eslanda and Mrs. Beamish stand out for the same reasons. They were both clever, sassy, determined and independent. They refused to sit back and allow someone else to tell them what to think and force them into doing anything they didn't want to do.
Daisy, however stands out for a longer list of reasons. All of the reasons Eslanda and Mrs. Beamish stand out apply to Daisy as well, my reasons for loving Daisy go beyond that. She has a heart unlike anyone else in Cornucopia. It's a heart of gold, hope and love and it radiates hope and sincerity in everything that she does. She's tough but in her own way.
Least favorite Character: There are two that made this list. King Fred and Lord Spittleworth. I know, you didn't expect me to say King Fred, did you? I can't help it. I wanted to shake him! I hated the way he sat back and let his kingdom fall apart without asking any questions. I was absolutely annoyed by his method of ruling by giving into peer pressure and chasing after this desire to be liked by everyone, as if that's what determines if you're a good ruler or not.
Lord Spittleworth, however made the list for all of the obvious reasons. He just a bad dude. He's selfish, manipulative, greedy and has a severe lack of value for other's lives. All of which get him a easy seat on my least favorite character list.
Favorite Part: This one is a going to be a little different. My favorite part wasn't a "favorite part" per say, but an aspect of the story telling itself. See, long story short, J.K Rowling posted this book online and asked kids to illustrate the story and, when the book was published in a physical form, some of the super cool pictures kids from the U.S and Canada submitted in the appropriate spots of the story. It was so much fun to go through the story and experience the story through kids' eyes and how they express that through amazing talents!
Here's the thing. You know that saying, "Don't judge a book by it's cover"? Well I need to listen to that sentiment more because every time I pick up a book and think I know what it's about, I'm wrong. This was no exception. I thought I knew what I was getting myself into, a story about magic in a fantastical world where Ichabod Crane lives. Yea. Not even a little bit. There's nothing Harry Potter about this book and, as a huge Harry Potter fan, I was okay with that. Because the story is so different then Harry Potter. Plus, I realized, guy from the Sleepy Hollow is Ichabod, not Ickabog. Big difference.
Instead what I found was a charming fairy tale that didn't feel too babyish for those difficult tweens. The story was just complicated enough, full of heart, colorful characters and a valuable lesson, one I think even many adults could benefit from learning. And don't even get me started on the ickabogian vocabulary! After finishing the books, I promptly informed my husbaband that our three kids will henceforth be our Ickaboggers and, while I haven't referred to the as such to their faces, yet, it will happen in the near future!
And then there was the writing style. Not only was the style very different then the voice of the narrator in Harry Potter, the narrator is talking right to you! It's like she just came in, plopped down next to you and said, "Let me me tell you the story of a town called Cornucopia and a little being called an Ickabog!" It was personal and humorous and the way she maneuvered from one person's story to another's' and back again was done so impressively smoothly without breaking the feel of the story. I was impressed.
In the end, I really enjoyed this book and will happily recommend it to my own little Ickabogger (aged 12) and have hours of talk about the characters, how much she hates Lord Spittleworth (I mean, even his name sounds gross!) and more! I think this treasure was severely underrated and should be read by any fairy tale, fantastical creature loving being!
What do I rate it?
I give this a
But that's just me. What did you think? Did you love the writing style? Were you disappointed in the story? Let us know below!