J K Rowling has written a "sparkling" new book for children, The Christmas Pig, to be released by Hachette Children's Group imprint Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.
The new title will be published in hardback and e-book on 12th October 2021 simultaneously in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and India by Hachette. Scholastic will release it on the same day in the US and Canada with Scholastic, while Audible will publish the audiobook. It will also be released in more than 20 other languages by other global publishers.
The Christmas Pig is billed as a “a heartwarming, page-turning adventure" about one child’s love for his most treasured toy, and how far he will go to find it. It is a standalone story, unrelated to any of Rowling's previous work, and suitable for children aged eight and over.
Its synopsis explains: “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 annoying 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…”
The 50,000-word book follows Rowling's return to publishing for children with last year’s fairytale The Ickabog, which was serialised online for free in lockdown and then published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers with all her royalties donated to her charitable trust Volant. Through Nielsen BookScan The Ickabog has sold 90,023 copies to date in the UK, excluding lockdown sales.
The new book will be published as a “gorgeously gifty hardback”, with full-colour jacket and featuring nine black and white spreads and decorative inside art from illustrator Jim Field. The jacket design will be revealed in the coming months.
Ruth Alltimes, senior publisher at Hachette Children’s Group, said: “The Christmas Pig is a sparkling gem of a story that is destined to find its way into the hearts of children and families across the world this Christmas, and forever after. Not only is it packed with loveable characters, humour, imagination and breathtaking adventure, but it is also a story layered with universal messages of love, loss and hope, beautifully crafted and delivering an unforgettable emotional punch. We can’t wait to introduce the world to this captivating future classic – and the Christmas Pig himself!”