Edmonton

Edmonton girl's drawing featured in new J.K. Rowling book

An 11-year-old Edmonton girl was elated after finding out her drawing had been selected out of a group of thousands to be in J.K. Rowling's new book, The Ickabog.

Sarah Kaptchouang's picture one of 34 picked from more than 42,000 entries

Sarah Kaptchouang holds up her copy of The Ickabog by J.K. Rowling. (Submitted by Flore Kenmegne)

An 11-year-old Edmonton girl says she was elated after finding out her drawing had been selected out of a group of thousands to be in J.K. Rowling's new book, The Ickabog.

Thirty-four illustrations were chosen from more than 42,000 entries from across the U.S. and Canada. The contest was put on by Scholastic, the book's publisher.

"I was really excited about the whole thing," Sarah Kaptchouang said. 

Sarah's mom, Flore Kenmegne, echoed that statement.

"I was like, 'Wow.' I couldn't believe it," Kenmegne said.

Kenmegne heard about the competition through a WhatsApp group for Cameroonians in Edmonton. A writer had sent along a link and she thought it would be fun for Sarah to do.

"We took a little photo of the picture and then we submitted [it] and then I forgot about it because we were just doing it for fun," Kenmegne said.

Sarah said her mom missed the initial email telling her she had won, and then thought maybe it was spam. But eventually, Scholastic connected with her and everyone heard the news.

The Ickabog, by the world-famous British author behind the Harry Potter series, is a fairy tale about a tiny happy kingdom called Cornucopia, famous for its fancy foods but also home to a legend about a terrible monster.

Sarah's picture is of excited children of the fictional kingdom gazing up at a portrait of King Fred, a character in the book.

Sarah's drawing, selected for the book after a contest run by the publisher, Scholastic. (Courtesy of Scholastic)

As for how it felt to see her drawing in a hardcover book by a famous author, Sarah had one word: "Awesome." 

"I want to be an author when I grow up, but I do want to illustrate my books," she said. 

The winners all received a signed copy of the published book that contains their artwork. Scholastic will donate $650 worth of children's books to a public library or school of the winners' choice as well. 

Bari Horn, an 11-year-old girl from St. Albert, also has artwork featured in the book. 

With files from Emily Senger

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