Leila, a Karachi-born nine-year-old, enjoyed reading the Boy Who Lived and He Who Must Not be Named. She decided to send something in when she found that her favorite author, JK Rowling, had penned another book by the name of The Ickabog and had invited readers to help illustrate it.
Once the illustration was made, Leila’s mother shared it on Twitter. She asked her friend, Khizra to tag the author and retweet Leila’s illustration.
Rowling responded to the tweet within an hour and said that she immensely adored it. “You’ve put so much of the story into the illustration: it’s clearly a carpenter’s house, with all those wooden accents, and I love the garden and flowers (but the sign to the graveyard adds a sad note).”
Leila has been awestruck ever since. “I was so surprised and so happy. She [Rowling] even got my name right! Everybody spells my name with an A. I was so happy. I could barely sit down for a minute. I went around telling all my friends online,” she told a local news agency, SAMAA Digital.
Speaking about her illustration, Leila said that the moment she began reading the chapter from The Ickabog, it wasn’t very difficult for her to visualize the house, garden and graveyard.“It was very easy to picture it all in my head,” she said. “I also love Harry Potter. It is a good book…also, it’s about magic and I love magical fairy tale books.”