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J.K. Rowling Announces “The Ickabog” to be Released Online in Installments

May 26th, 2020 at 9:31 am | Posted by Megs

J.K. Rowling has announced via Twitter and her website that she will finally be publishing a fairy tale she wrote ten years ago. The book will first be published online (for free) in installments so fans can enjoy while dealing with coronavirus. It will then be published in November with illustrations by fans! She has also announced that all author royalties from The Ickabog will go to help groups who’ve been particularly impacted by the pandemic.

UPDATE: The website for The Ickabog is now live! Find the first two chapters on this page of the website.

From her website:

I think The Ickabog lends itself well to serialisation because it was written as a read-aloud book (unconsciously shaped, I think, by the way I read it to my own children), but it’s suitable for 7-9 year olds to read to themselves.

I’ll be posting a chapter (or two, or three) every weekday between 26th May and 10th July on The Ickabog website. We plan to publish some translations soon and will post further details on that website when they’re available.

The Ickabog is a story about truth and the abuse of power.  To forestall one obvious question: the idea came to me well over a decade ago, so it isn’t intended to be read as a response to anything that’s happening in the world right now. The themes are timeless and could apply to any era or any country.

Jo then goes on to announce that she will be asking fans to illustrate the book for her!

Having decided to publish, I thought how wonderful it would be if children in lockdown, or otherwise needing distraction during the strange and difficult time we’re passing through, illustrated the story for me. There will be suggestions about the illustrations we might need for each chapter on The Ickabog website, but nobody should feel constrained by these ideas. I want to see imaginations run wild! Creativity, inventiveness and effort are the most important things: we aren’t necessarily looking for the most technical skill!

In November 2020, The Ickabog will be published in English in print, eBook and audiobook formats, shortly followed by other languages. The best drawings in each territory will be included in the finished books. As publishers in each territory will need to decide which pictures work best for their own editions, I won’t be personally judging the entries. However, if parents and guardians post their children’s drawing on Twitter using the hashtag #TheIckabog, I’ll be able to share and comment!  To find out more about the Illustration Competition, go to The Ickabog website when it launches.

Filed Under JK Rowling, The Ickabog

Trailer for “Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells” Game Released

May 15th, 2020 at 10:43 am | Posted by Megs

The trailer for the new Harry Potter mobile game Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells has been released by Portkey Games! The description of the game is as follows:

It’s time to represent your Hogwarts house and celebrate the magic and enchantment of Harry Potter like never before! Prepare to master spells, outsmart challenges, and explore the wonders of the Wizarding World while becoming enchanted by the most marvelous matching puzzles ever found on your mobile device!

With magic at your disposal, you will bravely encounter thrilling challenges! Swish-and-flick your way through unique puzzles as you levitate and dispel obstacles in your way. Earn points to level up your spells to help you plunge deeper into more challenging moments!

Help Chocolate Frogs hop and Winged Keys fly across hundreds of match-3 puzzles! Utilise boosts and power ups to clear hazards themed to iconic Harry Potter elements. Participate in spell upgrade events featuring Hogwarts professors, as you solve puzzles themed around Defense Against the Dark Arts, Potions, and other Hogwarts lessons on your way to earning fantastic rewards!

Team up with other players to prove you possess the intelligence of Ravenclaw, the ambition of Slytherin, the dedication of Hufflepuff, or the daring of Gryffindor! Join a club to collaborate on the best matching strategies, share lives, build your club, and earn prizes in exclusive Club Events!

Filed Under Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells, Portkey Games

Celebrities, Including Daniel Radcliffe, Read Philosopher’s Stone for Harry Potter at Home

May 5th, 2020 at 1:55 pm | Posted by Megs

Harry Potter at Home has launched a read-along for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Celebrities including Daniel Radcliffe will be reading chapters of the first Potter book for fans to enjoy. Daniel reads the first chapter; The Boy Who Lived. Watch it here!

Harry Potter At Home is the Wizarding World’s way of bringing Hogwarts closer to you, as we all continue to stay at home and keep safe. For parents looking for new magical ways to entertain their children during this time, we launched the Harry Potter At Home hub full of quizzes, puzzles, fun videos and features, along with contributions from our friends, UK and US Harry Potter publishers, Bloomsbury and Scholastic, alongside assistance from Warner Bros., Audible and our many library partners. To learn more about everything Harry Potter At Home has to offer, our handy round-up should help!

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Surprise! We've got a treat for you… From today, amazing friends of the Wizarding World are going to take turns reading Harry Potter book one. And to start us off with Chapter One: ‘The Boy Who Lived’ we think you’ll agree we have the perfect narrator… ?? That's not all! Over the coming weeks, we’re going to be joined by other familiar faces reading all 17 chapters of Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone. To watch all of ‘The Boy Who Lived’ head to the link in our bio.

A post shared by Wizarding World (@wizardingworld) on

Also seen in the clip above are Eddie Redmayne (Newt Scamander,) Stephen Fry (UK audiobook reader,) Noma Dumezweni (Hermione in Cursed Child,) and more from the Harry Potter world! Look out for more famous faces and friends of the Wizarding World (and beyond!) to read through all seventeen chapters of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone/Sorcerer’s Stone over the coming weeks.

We look forward to new narrators every week as they take turns to read different sections of the Philosopher’s Stone/Sorcerer’s Stone, until we reach the end with Chapter Seventeen. Keep an eye out for some very special surprise cameos along the way too.

As you watch Daniel read through ‘The Boy Who Lived’, you’ll notice some amazing artwork interspersed in the experience, thanks to some talented fans. Brilliantly, you yourself can get involved in future chapters, from Chapter Two onwards, so your own pieces can feature alongside our special guest narrators. According to our incredible mathematics skills, you have sixteen chapters remaining of Philosopher’s Stone/Sorcerer’s Stone to work with – so please do send in your artistic interpretations of key scenes. Read all about how to get involved here.

Filed Under Books, Daniel Radcliffe, Eddie Redmayne

LEGO Announces SIX New Harry Potter™ Sets!

April 28th, 2020 at 10:26 am | Posted by Megs

LEGO have announced the expansion of their Harry Potter line. Six new playsets will be released on August 1st and will be available to pre-order starting April 30th from LEGO.com and selected retailers globally! You’ll be able to collect minifigures like Harry, Ron and Hermione as well as Neville, Luna, Draco, Professor Slugnorn, the Dursleys and more!

  • LEGO® Harry Potter™ Hogwarts™ Room of Requirement ($19.99) – 193 pieces including 3 minifigures: Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Luna Lovegood. 
  • LEGO® Harry Potter™ Hogwarts™ Astronomy Tower ($29.99) – 253 pieces including 3 minifigures: Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Dolores Umbridge.
  • LEGO® Harry Potter™ Hedwig™ ($39.99) – 630 pieces, with a wingspan of over 13” and a beak-to-tail measurement of over 7” 
  • LEGO® Harry Potter™ 4 Privet Drive ($69.99) – 797 pieces including 6 minifigures: Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Dudley Dursley, Vernon Dursley, Petunia Dursley and Dobby.
  • LEGO® Harry Potter™ Forbidden Forest ($99.99) – 971 pieces including 8 minifigures: Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Horace Slughorn, Luna Lovegood, Neville Longbottom, Ron Weasley, Lavender Brown and Draco Malfoy.
  • LEGO® Harry Potter™ Attack on The Burrow ($99.99) – 1,047 pieces including 8 minifigures: Ron, Ginny, Arthur and Molly Weasley, Nymphadora Tonks, Bellatrix Lestrange, Fenrir Greyback and Harry Potter




From the press release:

Today, the LEGO Group and Warner Bros. Consumer Products have revealed a new range of enchanting playsets for fans of the Wizarding World. Packed to the brim with delight and mystery, these captivating playsets will help bring the Wizarding World to life in a way that only LEGO play can do.

Featuring well-known characters, creatures and locations familiar to every would-be Hogwarts student in waiting, the new LEGO sets help young builders create adventures of their own. The sets provide opportunities for endless fun as fans help Harry, Ron, Hermione and their faithful friends reenact beloved moments from the films.

These new LEGO sets will enable fans of the Wizarding World to explore Hogwarts in a new and exciting way. They can discover the entrance to The Room of Requirement, lure Professor Umbridge to the Forbidden Forest, gatecrash the Ravenclaw dormitory and explore the Hogwarts Astronomy Tower.

And the adventures extend beyond the Hogwarts theme…for the first time, through their play, fans will be able to release Harry from the cupboard under the stairs at 4 Privet Drive, send Hedwig off to deliver an important message or explore the enchanted nooks and crannies of The Burrow.

Spanning adventures from across the seven Harry Potter films, the new sets will go on sale from August 1st and will be available to pre-order from April 30th from LEGO.com and selected retailers globally.

Filed Under LEGO Harry Potter, Products

Pre-Order Tom Felton’s New Film “Braking For Whales”

April 22nd, 2020 at 9:37 am | Posted by Megs

Tom Felton’s new film, Braking for Whales, will be released on 4/29 for download and streaming but you can pre-order it now on iTunes for a special pre-order price of $6.99!

Star and Brandon, estranged brother and sister, are brought together after their mother’s recent death and her absurd final request to dispose of her ashes in the body of a whale. With no choice or face losing their much-needed inheritance – they embark on a road trip to San Antonio, Texas where they not only encounter adventure, but also encounter each other. Braking For Whales stars Tom Felton, Tammin Sursok, Wendi Mclendon-Covey, David Koechner, and Austin Swift.

The film is unrated but would not be suitable for younger viewers based on the trailer.

Filed Under Tom Felton

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite Announce the Knight Bus is Arriving Soon!

April 20th, 2020 at 12:37 pm | Posted by Megs

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, the mobile game, has announced that the Knight Bus is coming to gameplay soon! Players who are level 7 and above will be able to utilize this new feature to be able to play the game safely from home!

In a note to players, Niantic and WB Games say:

Witches and wizards,

Have you been itching to get back into Wizarding Challenges but fin d yourself without a means of magical conveyance to faraway Fortresses? Then look no further, as a timely new way to bring the magic closer to you is here. Introducing the Knight Bus! 

Rather than extending your wand hand and waiting at the curb, simply tap on the new Knight Bus button from the Map view. Hang on tight, as the Knight Bus will instantly whisk you away to a Fortress at Hogwarts Castle where you can use Runestones to take on a variety of Foes, just like in a standard Fortress.

The Knight Bus will be available to players level 7 and above and will begin rolling out soon, so keep an eye out for the latest game update. For those ambitious players already thinking about their future Fortress forays, fear not, as the Knight Bus is here to stay. 

Just like the iconic Knight Bus itself, we hope this new feature will come to the aid of players and help them get back into one of their favourite aspects of the game from the safety of their homes.

-The Harry Potter: Wizards Unite team

Filed Under Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, Portkey Games

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