'The Christmas Pig': JK Rowling to release new children's book in October

The tale follows a young boy and a beloved toy that goes missing

FILE - Author J.K. Rowling appears at the world premiere of the film "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" in Paris on Nov. 8, 2018.  Scholastic announced Tuesday that Rowling's “The Christmas Pig,” the story of a boy named Jack and a beloved toy (Dur Pig) which goes missing, will be released worldwide Oct. 12. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)
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JK Rowling has a new book coming this autumn, a festive children's story with all new characters.

Publisher Scholastic announced on Tuesday that The Christmas Pig, the story of a boy named Jack and his beloved toy that goes missing, will be released worldwide on October 12.

The Scottish author's latest book will be released simultaneously in 20 different countries and several languages, French publisher Gallimard added.

“Christmas Eve is a night for miracles and lost causes, a night when all things can come to life ... even toys,” Scholastic revealed in a statement. “And Jack’s newest toy — the Christmas Pig — 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.”

Her new book will be illustrated by Jim Field.

"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 savoured, any day of the year."

Rowling is best known for her Harry Potter fantasy series, but has also published detective novels under the pen name Robert Galbraith and such children's works as The Ickabog.

The author released the latter as a free fairy tale last year for children to enjoy during global lockdowns amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Last year, Rowling also became the target of an online campaign for her views on transgender issues. As part of the ongoing row, Harry Potter actors including Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint have spoken out against the writer's views.