Lost toys are part of childhood but how far would you go for the lost thing that meant the most to you? Whilst most children are settling into bed on Christmas Eve with hopes and dreams of the toys that Santa will leave, one boy is wide awake and is heading off to find the one that means more than anything in the world to him.
Dur Pig (DP) has been with Jack his whole life and is the one that has always been there for him. DP has been lost and found, faded and mended, loved and loved some more. Through the highs and lows of life, Jack could always depend on DP to comfort him and to listen. When the unthinkable happens on Christmas Eve and DP is lost, possibly forever, Jack’s world is torn apart. But Christmas is the time for miracles and strange things are happening in Jack’s bedroom… toys and objects are coming alive and one in particular is here to help.
At first, Jack has no interest in DP’s identical replacement, Christmas Pig. But CP has a daring plan and knows how to get DP back. Together they must head to the Land of the Lost, where all lost things end up going, in the hope of saving Jack’s best friend…
J.K. Rowling knows how to write a children’s book and her latest title is a fabulous festive feel-good read that lots of children would be thrilled to find in their stocking on Christmas morning. Full of Christmas miracles, magic and sparkle, The Christmas Pig is a heart-warming, poignant and exciting race-against-time fantasy adventure as one boy and his new talking accomplice go in search of a beloved toy. Any child who has lost something dear to them will feel Jack’s heartache and desperation as he journey’s through a richly imagined world of fascinating places and meets a wonderfully quirky, funny and frightening assortment of characters.
Like the best of presents, there is more to this story than perhaps what first appears. Rowling sensitively addresses themes of divorce, bullying and the challenges of new family dynamics, wrapping them all into the perfect Christmas gift that ultimately shines with messages of love, hope, accepting change and the understanding that many things that are lost are never truly lost, those special things, like Dur Pig, capture a piece of our hearts forever and always.
Short chapters, a pacy plot and the need to be back before the clock strikes midnight add an urgency to Jack and CP’s rescue mission and with close calls and near misses there is plenty of action to set pulses racing. Moments of peril and danger are perfectly balanced with moments of tenderness and warmth keeping things the right side of scary, just watch out for the Loss Adjustors and the terrifying Loser, who will happily devour any lost Thing that it determines to be worthless and unloved.
Beautifully presented in a red hardback complete with gold embossed Christmas decorations, trees and reindeer, and an eye-catching dust-jacket, this is a book to treasure, to snuggle up with and to share with the ones you love at Christmastime. Jim Field’s fabulous black and white illustrations add another sprinkling of Christmas magic, the nine double-page spreads at the beginning of each part are particularly special.
Jack and the Christmas Pig are sure to bring festive joy to many a child’s life!
With huge thanks to Hachette for the copy I received in exchange for an honest review.
Recommended for 8+.