I am really excited to share my review of The Christmas Pig by J. K. Rowling. I was so excited when I learned about this book because I love everything I read from Rowling. From her Harry Potter series that defines my childhood reading experience to The Ickabog and this story, I believe Rowling is one of the great storytellers of our time.
It has been a treat for me to read these newly published stories from Rowling. I love Harry Potter and will always consider it a favorite series. So there is something special reading a new book from a favorite author. I loved experience a new world and new characters from her.
This novel is a perfect read around Christmastime. I read this by the Christmas tree before New Year’s, and it was a perfect ending to my reading for the year. A great end to the year!
Book Summary: “A heartwarming, page-turning adventure about one child’s love for his most treasured thing, and how far he will go to find it. A tale for the whole family to fall in love with, from one of the world’s greatest storytellers.
One boy and his toy are about to change everything…
Jack loves his childhood toy, Dur Pig. DP has always been there for him, through good and bad. Until one Christmas Eve something terrible happens — DP is lost. But Christmas Eve is a night for miracles and lost causes, a night when all things can come to life… even toys. And Jack’s newest toy — the Christmas Pig (DP’s replacement) — has a daring plan: Together they’ll embark on a magical journey to seek something lost, and to save the best friend Jack has ever known…”
This story has such a clever setting in the land of lost things. The world building is amazing! From the different towns and the different sorts of lost things in each place, I was really impressed by it all. Intriguing details with the three different towns and how you get in each one. I also liked the descriptions of things that are lost like the lunch pail with a retainer, an address book, an old stuffed bunny, a half eaten Christmas angel, a poem fragment, a compass, Hope, Power, Ambition, and Happiness. So clever how they are described and how they interact with each other.
Jack’s journey through this story is important as he learns a lot about himself and about others through his adventures. His relationships with his toys are central to the story. I loved Jack’s relationship with DP and later with CP. It was such a beautiful tribute to the love children have for favorite toys. It was heartbreaking when DP is lost in such a tortuous way. And Jacks determination to find him was so inspiring. But he doesn’t clearly understand how his love for DP can hinder his relationships with others. And he learns how to love more than just DP including his step sister, his other toys, and even himself. I love the ending with how much Jack learns and the peace he is able to gain.
No one tells stories like JK Rowling and this story is no exception. I was drawn into the story from the first page and found myself very invested in this adventure of a young boy and his stuffed pig. The action with Jack and CP going from town to town, encounters with the Loser (which is just a really clever name) and ultimate escape from the land of the lost were so clever and engaging. The Loser especially is a fantastic character. It seems to be a flat, static creation that is simply the bully and enemy of our heroes. But I loved the complexities that are added to it and the things that end up in the Loser’s lair. The story moved at a great pace — exciting and suspenseful at the same time. There was enough suspense to keep you on the edge of your seat but everything resolved in satisfying and surprising ways.
Overall, I loved this new story from J. K. Rowling. The characters and storytelling are fantastic! And I love the illustrations throughout the book. This would be a fun book to read with my kids when they are a bit older. A celebration of childhood, make believe, and love. Loved it!
Which are your favorite Christmastime reads?
Have you read J. K. Rowling’s non-Harry Potter books? What did you think?