A Book Review
The Christmas Pig
By JK Rowling
Illustrated by Jim Field
When I was a child, I had a steadfast friend in the stuffed chimpanzee which once graced my mom’s college bedroom. I renamed it Judy after the chimpanzee in a tv show called Daktari, and soon I could not be separated from my friend. I played with her and cried with her and when nothing else could help, her hugs always did.
My parents quickly became expert at the game of hide and seek required to discover the many places our adventures deposited my Judy. I never remembered by bedtime where she had been snuggled last, but I knew I’d be eaten by the monster in the closet if she wasn’t holding my hand as I slept. Our milk was delivered to an insulated silver box on the front porch and Judy thought it was the perfect place to catch a nap.
“Der Pig, DP,” is so much like my old friend. And my friend, Judy now wears her Harry Potter Gryffindor robes quite proudly in spite of controversy surrounding JK Rowling. I have to say, I love Hogwarts and the world of magic as much as I loved Judy. I don’t agree with Rowling’s stand on the issues of gender identity, but I still love the world she created and where I spent so many hours with my two sons as we read all the books and saw all the movies together. Now my granddaughter is starting to find her way to identifying with the book loving Hermione and I will be happy to watch that journey wether or not she later decides that she isn’t as feminine as the winter ball version, but perhaps finds herself in one of the other shades of the gender rainbow. I have so many friends who felt hurt and betrayed byJK Rowling’s words that I have to acknowledge that here. The more they loved Harry Potter and found themselves in Hogwarts, the more her failure to defend them hurt. I see them, and have tried separating that betrayal from the stories and movies she created.
From the moment I finished reading a Harry Potter story, I longed for the next, and once there were no nexts arriving, I tried the other books written by this author, but while they were well written, they were not magic. I never wanted to reread one. I liked the characters but forgot them once I closed the book.
But in the Christmas Pig I found it again; The magical stuffie that could be so filled with love and tears and secrets that it was alive, The characters who stayed with me and had to be shared with my sons and the grandkids, and the book that begs to be reread again - out loud, with friends and family.
Jack and Der Pig share so much love that it is heartbreaking tragedy when they are separated and only a night of miracles, and sacrifice and hope can turn that tragedy into something that makes everything better.
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