The Christmas Pig

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The Christmas Pig
Author(s)
Age Range
8+
Release Date
October 12, 2021
ISBN
978-1338790238
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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...

Editor review

1 review
Magical Stuffed Animal Tale
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Jack is dealing with divorce and his parents. His father is very distant, and it isn't long before his mother is dating someone who has a daughter, Holly. Jack's okay with this, and even knows Holly from school, but she is struggling with the change in relationships and is mean to Jack. Jack's comfort through all of this is a very dilapidated lovey, a stuffed pig called Dur Pig. When Holly throws him out of the car in a fit of pique, Jack is devastated. His mother tries to remedy the situation by getting him a new stuffed pig, but it's not the same. Soon, however, Jack finds out that his new stuffed animal is magic, and the Christmas Pig takes him into the Land of the Lost, filled with new adventures and is peopled by strange characters like talking diamond earrings. Will Jack be able to evade the Loss Adjusters and go undetected long enough to find Dur Pig?
Good Points
This is a bit longer than many US books for readers young enough to be emotionally invested in stuffed animals, but would be excellent for a read aloud during the Christmas season. The beginning is very much like a Jacqueline Wilson novel (Candyfloss, The Suitcase Kid, The Lottie Project), rife with suspect British parenting, mean family members, and a child who just wants to be loved and cared for properly. We are then sucked into a fantasy world a bit like Bell's Crooked Sixpence or Hannibal's The Lost Property Office, and get to proceed on an exciting quest. US readers who haven't read too many British books will find the story innovative.

Jim Field's occasional illustrations are pleasant, but there could have been many more of them. I wish that chapter heading decorations would make a much bigger comeback so that the talents of illustrators could be better showcased!

Fans of Harry Potter, especially ones who now have children of their own, will definitely want to investigate this new title as an extension of Rowling's magical imagination. Part Velveteen Rabbit, part Polar Express, The Christmas Pig will resonate with anyone who has ever felt a deep and unexplainable love for a stuffed bit of fake fur. Merry Christmas, Teddy.
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