Thoughts on The Ickabog: Week One (Chapters 1-10)

Transfiguring Adoption’s Overview:
I’m a huge, life-long Harry Potter fan, so when The Ickabog was announced I was excited to see what J.K. Rowling’s new story would be like. So far, it’s has been a lot of fun! It reminds me of old folk/fairy tales like The Emperor’s New Clothes- it takes place in a fanciful land with somewhat over-the-top characters and teaches a lesson in the end. The plot is fast paced which is great for a children’s story, especially one meant to be read out loud. Rowling also does a great job of leaving things up to the imagination which lends itself to being great inspiration for drawings. A great example of this is the way that the Ickabog itself (which we haven’t met yet). Every character has a different of idea of what it looks like, which gives kids the opportunity to come up with their own ideas of how it might look. In these chapter we get introduced to the major characters and the world the story takes place in. There isn’t a lot of action yet, but there are several inciting incidents that seem to be setting the plot in motion and the final weekly chapter has King Fred setting off into the Marshlands on what is sure to be quite an adventure! It looks like next week we might finally meet The Ickabog!

** Spoilers Could Be Ahead **

A few Cautionary Points to watch out for in these chapters:

  • Daisy’s mother dies– the actual death is brushed over very quickly, but it remains a fairly large plot point as we see how Daisy, her father, and the other members of the kingdom are affected by the death.
  • Mention of a pet death– Patch, the shepherd’s dog is said to have been eaten by the Ickabog.
  • Mild Bullying- Several instances of name-calling and fighting among children.

Possible Discussion Points:

  • Friend relationships– we see King Fred and his two close friends who don’t seem to be great influences, as well as Daisy and Bert’s friendship and how that changes as the plot moves along.
  • King Fred’s personality– he is not a very likable person and yet the Kingdom seems to like him anyway. In the later chapters Fred appears to improve, but it is so far only on the surface.
  • Guilt– King Fred may have contributed to the death of Daisy’s mother and he struggles with how he feels about this both physically and emotionally.
  • Parent Loss– After Daisy loses her mother both her behavior and living situation changes
Written by
Jenn is a central Virginia native who received her BA in Psychology from the University of Virginia in 2012. Since then she has worked for a local mental health agency and the Department of Social Services in various capacities and has been involved in her community’s efforts to create a Trauma Informed Network. Currently Jenn works in vocational rehab and mentors youth in foster care. When she isn’t working, Jenn enjoys writing stories, anything and everything Harry Potter, and spending time with her niece and nephew.

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