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The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

The Polar Express (original 1985; edition 2009)

by Chris Van Allsburg

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5,039308895 (4.34)44
Title:The Polar Express
Authors:Chris Van Allsburg
Info:Houghton Mifflin (2009), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 32 pages
Collections:Picture Books

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The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg (1985)


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English (307)  Japanese (1)  All languages (308)
Showing 1-5 of 307 (next | show all)
The Polar Express is a fantasy book about Christmas eve. The boy is telling a story of himself when he was young and his special memory of boarding the Polar Express to the North Pole. He boards the train and goes on an adventure with other children his age. They arrive at the North Pole and are in awe of all the elves waiting for Santa to give the first gift of Christmas. They boy is chosen and he asks for a bell from Santa’s sleigh. He puts it in his pocket and then all the children hop back onto the train to head back home. The boy reaches into his pocket and finds only as hole and no bell. The next morning he opens a tiny box, from under the Christmas tree. with the bell in it. He rings it but his parents cannot hear the glorious sound it makes because they have stopped believing. He continues to hear the bell as he gets older but his sister and friends slowly begin to not hear it.

I love this story. I remember reading it when I was younger and I had seen the movie too. I enjoyed the illustrations, they have a dreamy vivid look, with the use of watercolors. The dark and light shades enhance the text and relate to its mysteriousness. The author uses many similes and adjectives that keep the reader engaged. The book takes us back to when we were children and makes our memories of Christmas alive for a little while.

Classroom extensions:
1. Read the story before Christmas break with hot chocolate and cookies.
2. Ask the children what they would want for Christmas.
3. Have a lesson about hope and believing and how powerful it is. ( )
  Robyn7 | Jul 19, 2016 |
The Polar Express Written and Illustrated By: Chris Van Allsburg

The boy is telling the story from the point of view of his older self as a man remembering his experience many Christmas Eves ago during his childhood. The book tells of one boy’s journey aboard the Polar Express to the North Pole. It has vivid descriptions of the exterior and interior of the train. The author describes vividly the sights and sounds of the North Pole. The illustrations correspond to the descriptions perfectly. The book goes on to describe the boy receiving the first gift of Christmas. It describes the scene as Santa and his reindeer flew away. It tells of him losing the bell and then getting it as a present Christmas morning. It tells of the bell losing its ring to all those who do not believe in Santa Clause but remaining for those who truly believe.

The book is a perfect book to read to children around Christmas time. The book uses many similes to describe the train, the chocolates, and the lights of the north pole. The book uses onomatopoeias to describe the sounds of the reindeer with jingle bells. The book also uses adjectives to describe scenes so that they become realistic to the reader. The illustrations in the book are just as descriptive as the narration.

1. Have children watch movie and compare it to book
2. Have children research trains and their uses today
3. Have children identify figures of speech used in book
4. Give students bells and allow them to shake them every time they here the term jingle bells
5. Have children write what they would have asked Santa for and draw a picture of it.
6. Ask children to bring in mugs from home and serve hot chocolate after you read book from a recipe children make.
7. Have children make their own train using graham crackers, cookies, candy canes, jelly beans, and icing. ( )
  RebekahBowers | Jun 30, 2016 |
One of my childhood favorites! A great bed-time story. ( )
  Shadow494 | Jun 20, 2016 |
A boy takes a magical ride on the Polar express on Christmas and it takes him into the magical world of the North Pole.
  mbrandel | May 4, 2016 |
The polar express is a classic. It has great mental message that kids can relate too. Its a nice holiday story. I really like the illustrations. they look so real. Van Allsburg takes the reader on a journey. The boy loses all hope and finally he regains this. I would love to teach a lesson comparing the movie to the book after reading this to my students one day. The adventure that Van Allsburg takes the reader on is one that you will never forget. there is just enough magic in this book to make it fun. I would recommend this book to any one. ( )
  lsavar3 | Apr 21, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 307 (next | show all)
Mr. Van Allsburg works effectively combining the sinister and the sentimental, but it would take a poet-sociologist to explain precisely why these dark, moody sculptural pastels somehow evoke feelings of glad tidings and joy.
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On Christmas Eve, many years ago, I lay quietly in my bed.
"Soon there were no more lights to be seen. We traveled through cold, dark forests, where lean wolves roamed and white-tailed rabbits hid from our train as it thundered through the quiet wilderness."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0395389496, Hardcover)

One couldn't select a more delightful and exciting premise for a children's book than the tale of a young boy lying awake on Christmas Eve only to have Santa Claus sweep by and take him on a trip with other children to the North Pole. And one couldn't ask for a more talented artist and writer to tell the story than Chris Van Allsburg. Allsburg, a sculptor who entered the genre nonchalantly when he created a children's book as a diversion from his sculpting, won the 1986 Caldecott Medal for this book, one of several award winners he's produced. The Polar Express rings with vitality and wonder.

25th Anniversary Edition Includes
To commemorate this special anniversary, a lavish gift edition has been created. The set includes a silver foil border, a CD audio recording read by Liam Neeson, a note from Chris Van Allsburg, and a silvery keepsake "All Aboard" ornament.

Amazon Exclusive: A Letter from Chris Van Allsburg

Dear Amazon Readers,

Over the past twenty-five years, many people have shared stories with me about the effect that reading The Polar Express has had on their families and on their celebration of Christmas.

One of the most poignant was told to me five or six years ago at a book signing in the Midwest, on a snowy December evening. As I inscribed a book to a woman in her sixties, she told me that it was the second copy she had owned, and wanted to know if she could she tell me what had happened to the first. "Of course," I answered.

A dozen years earlier the woman, who had no children of her own, befriended a neighbor, a boy of about seven, named Eddie. He would often cross his driveway to visit her.

She had a collection of picture books, which she read to him, but around the holidays, the only story he ever wanted to hear, over and over, was The Polar Express. One year she offered to give him the book, but Eddie declined because he wanted to hear her read it aloud to him, which she continued to do every year until the boy and his family moved away.

Years later the woman learned from a mutual acquaintance that Eddie had grown up and become a soldier. He was stationed in Iraq. Since Christmas was approaching, the woman decided to send him a gift box. She included candy, cookies, socks, and her old copy of The Polar Express. She wasn't sure what a nineteen-year-old battle-weary soldier would do with the book in an army barracks in the Middle East, but she wanted him to have it. A month later, after the holidays had passed, she received a letter from Eddie.

He told her he was very happy to have heard from her and to get the box of gifts. He had opened it in his barracks, just before curfew, with some of his fellow GIs already in their bunks. A soldier in the next bunk spotted the book. He knew it well from his own childhood and asked Eddie to read it. "Out loud?" he asked. "Yeah," his buddy told him.

Eddie, quietly and a little self-consciously, read The Polar Express. When he'd finished and closed the book, a moment of silence passed. Then from behind him a voice called out, "Read it again," and another joined in, "Yeah, read it again," and a third added, "This time, louder." So Eddie did.

He wrote to the woman that he'd stood up and read it to his comrades just the way he remembered she had read it to him.

All aboard,

Chris Van Allsburg

Recipes and Activities to Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of The Polar Express
(Click on Images for the Recipe or Activity [PDF])

Snacks for Santa
Candy Cane Sugar Cookies
Polar Chocolate Nougat Caramel Squares

Christmas Snowball Cookies
Hot Chocolate

Fun and Games
A Polar Express Word Search
A Polar Express Crossword
A Polar Express Maze
A Polar Express Drawing Sheet

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:24 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

A magical train ride on Christmas Eve takes a boy to the North Pole to receive a special gift from Santa Claus.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

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