The Christmas Pig By J.K. Rowling
Little Brown, HB, £11.99
Reviewed by Minna Nizam
J.K. Rowling is a multi-award-winning author, known widely for her beloved Harry Potter series, which continues to enchant readers to this day!
Her recent release, the Christmas Pig, is a heartwarming tale about a boy and one of his magic toys, just in time for the holidays. The story, inspired by the author’s son and his stuffed pig, revolves around seven-year-old Jack.
Early on, Jack deals with trauma related to the divorce of his parents. Although the story is a children’s novel, this aspect showcases J.K. Rowling’s ability to capture adult themes while weaving a world designed for children. His toy companion, Dur Pig, held a sort of comfort for the young lad as he transitioned from witnessing both parents divorce, moving houses, and struggling in a new school environment. His stepsister, Holly, bullies him and throws Dur Pig out of the car window, which causes Jack to experience another form of childhood trauma.
He is given a new toy, the Christmas Pig, as a way to supplement this loss. Jack is not happy with this. As any child dealing with the loss of a toy, he initially rejects the gift and pines for his beloved Dur Pig. This showcases the author’s ability to capture a child’s perspective perfectly. Rowling is well adept at expressing the emotions, tantrums, and experiences of a seven-year-old boy. Any child losing a toy they are attached to will pine for its return.
The excellent aspect of the Christmas Pig is the element of fantasy within the novel. All of Jack’s toys, come Christmas Eve, are brought to life in a style similar to the Velvetine Rabbit. Jack and the Christmas Pig embark on a mission to find Dur Pig.
The story overall is imaginative and captures the Christmas spirit through the eyes of a seven-year-old boy. The interesting aspect of the story is Jack’s characterization. He is shy, the victim of bullying, yet the protagonist of a sweet adventure, created to reunite a boy with his lost toy.