Title: The Christmas Pig
Author: J.K Rowling
Publication: October 12, 2021
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Genre: Children, Fantasy
SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)
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…
Confession: I’ve never read any of J.K. Rowling’s books. *insert gasp* I know, I know. I teach English, and I’ve never opened myself up to the magical world of Harry Potter. Shameful. Maybe someday I should or else some of my friends might start disowning me 😉
But nevermind that, let’s talk about The Christmas Pig. I first saw The Christmas Pig on shelves in mid-October, and I thought that it would be a fantastic book to read leading up to Christmas. The result? Meh. I’ve definitely read better books than this one, and even though I have zero experience reading J.K. Rowling’s work, I expected something…different. I don’t really know what, but this story kind of threw me for a loop, and I’ll tell you why.
My biggest gripe with this book is that I couldn’t tell what audience it was written for. It seems like it is marketed toward younger readers because the protagonist is a young boy named Jack who goes in search of a lost toy named DP; however, there are so many characters, so many settings, and so many events going on, I don’t know how a young reader would keep track or make sense of it. I feel like this book is geared toward fans of Harry Potter who have now grown up and want to voraciously consume more J.K. Rowling books. But me? Having no prior obsessions on record, I found this book simply average.
The second half of the book was more exciting than the first, and once everything wrapped up in the end, I was satisfied, but I don’t think I would recommend it to a friend or family member. I have several students who love Harry Potter, so I think it’s going to be a belated Christmas present to one of them. So all in all, approach with caution. It might not be what you are imagining J.K. Rowling is capable of.