Parents, rejoice: JK Rowling is publishing a free children's book and Dublin Zoo launches Eco Explorers Club

Are you finding it hard to keep the kids entertained? Well, JK Rowling and Dublin Zoo are here to take the boredom away 


There is a battle that people across the country are currently fighting in.

No, it's not the coronavirus.

It's the battle of boredom.

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Usually, kids are off for two months in the summer and during that time there are camps and various other activities for them to indulge in. This year is different. They have been out of school since March and this will continue until September.

While schoolwork has continued, the days and evenings are long. With extra-curricular classes and outings also put on hold, parents are finding it difficult to keep them entertained.

Thankfully, author JK Rowling and Dublin Zoo are here to help.

JK Rowling's The Ickabog

The author of the classic Harry Potter books has announced she will publish a new children's book called The Ickabog for free online so that all children can have access to it.

The Ickabog is a fairytale about "truth and the abuse of power" that she says she kept in her attic for years. The story will be set in an imaginary land that is not related to any of her previous works. The story is to be serialised with the first being released this afternoon. Chapters will be released each day until July 10.

The story will then be made available as a book, ebook and audiobook in November, with all proceeds going to projects and charities assisting those affected by the pandemic.

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In a Twitter thread announcing the release she said: "I always meant to publish it, but after the last Potter was released I wrote two novels for adults and, after some dithering, decided to put those out next. Until very recently, the only people who’d heard the story of The Ickabog were my two younger children.

"Anyway, over the last few weeks I’ve done a bit of rewriting and I’ve decided to publish The Ickabog for free online, so children on lockdown, or even those back at school during these strange, unsettling times, can read it or have it read to them."

The story will is available to read on www.theickabog.com

SSE Airtricity and Dublin Zoo launch Eco Explorers Club for kids

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SSE Airtricity and Dublin Zoo have launched the Eco Explorers Club for kids which is a digital resource platform "to inspire, entertain, and educate primary school children on the wonders of the natural world".

The Eco Explorers Club is a 10-week course created by the Dublin Zoo Discovery and Learning Team that will cover five educational topics related to sustainability and the natural world including biodiversity, climate change and pollution.

There will be a series of animated educational videos alongside videos and lessons created by The Eco Explorers Club ambassadors, including much-loved artist and environmentalist Don Conroy.

Not only this but well-known children’s entertainer Reuben the Entertainer will be joined by SSE Airtricity’s Head of Sustainability Mia Fahey-McCarthy for storytelling sessions. Children’s yoga instructor Caragh Egan will deliver yoga exploration classes, enabling children to explore yoga poses related to nature and animals, as well as some relaxation and imagination time.

Virtual tours of Dublin Zoo will also be available, so kids can go behind the scenes at Dublin Zoo, home to more than 400 rare, exotic, and endangered animals from around the world.

The resource is available on The Eco Explorers Club hub at sseairtricity.com/ecoexplorersclub


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