On October 12, 2021 Scholastic will publish The Christmas Pig, an original standalone story by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, simultaneously in the U.S. and Canada in both hardcover and e-book formats. On the same day, the book will be published in the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and India by Hachette Children’s Group, and released by various publishers around the world in more than 20 additional languages. An English-language audiobook adaptation of the title produced by Audible is also part of the global publication. The jacketed hardcover features black-and-white illustrations by Jim Field (Cats Ahoy!) and will retail here for $24.99.
Intended for readers ages 8 and up, the tale follows a boy named Jack and the Christmas Pig—a new toy come to life—as they embark on a Christmas Eve journey to find Jack’s long beloved childhood toy Dur Pig, who has been lost.
“Timeless, thrilling, and heartwarming, with masterful storytelling: The Christmas Pig is all of these and more,” Ellie Berger, president of Scholastic Trade, said in a statement about the new project. “A gift for children and families alike, this story about the enduring power of love can be read together as a holiday tradition, and as a classic tale to be savored, any day of the year.”
The Christmas Pig follows in the footsteps of Rowling’s most recent children’s title, The Ickabog, an original fairy tale she initially serialized online for free last spring to entertain kids during the pandemic lockdown. The story was then published as a hardcover—containing artwork by the winners of a children’s illustration competition—last November and was one of 2020’s bestselling children’s books.
In addition to the Potter books, which have sold more than 500 million copies worldwide and spawned blockbuster films and merchandise, Rowling has written three companion volumes to the series, including Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them also adapted for film, with proceeds from those books going to charity. She also writes a bestselling detective series for adults under the name Robert Galbraith.
Recently, many of Rowling’s fans have been angered by transphobic comments she has made on social media. The author has been embroiled in controversy, stemming from transphobic remarks tweeted in December 2019 and a June 2020 statement explaining her personal views on gender issues.
This story has been updated with further information.