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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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5,099326878 (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 (325)  Japanese (1)  All languages (326)
Showing 1-5 of 325 (next | show all)
A beautiful Christmas story that warms you up, even in the coldest nights.

Chris Van Allsburg has created a wonderful and beloved story. Although, it is no more than 32 pages and mostly filled with illustrations, the story stands strong in itself and in our memories after reading it.

A boy is awakened on Christmas Eve by a train that is on its way to the North Pole. Every child’s dream, right? The story is beautifully illustrated, while reading it you can almost see the snow fall, feel the heat from the thousands of lights and hear the sound of the bells from Santa’s sleigh.

I knew that I could have any gift I could imagine. But the thing I wanted most for Christmas was not inside Santa’s giant bag. What I wanted more than anything was one silver bell from Santa’s sleigh.

The main character, the young boy, only has one wish. It’s not a present, but a silver bell from Santa’s sleigh, so he was sure to remember the sound of it and the enchanted memory of what he had just experienced. One of those situations where you have to pinch your own arm and everything seems as magic instead of reality.

It’s definitely a must on your Christmas-reading-list. It’s a beautiful Christmas story about not losing your childish faith and keeping the eternal hope of something bigger. ( )
  evalucia | Sep 25, 2016 |
A young boy starts to believe that Santa does not exist anymore. He lay in bed on Christmas Eve night listening for the sound of bell's ringing on Santa's sleigh. He hears different sounds later in the evening as a train, the Polar Express, pulls up outside his house to take him to the North pole. The child begins an adventure as he travels on the train to meet Santa. Once inside the city, Santa choose someone to receive the first gift of Christmas. The young boy is chosen and ask for a sleigh bell for the gift. He can now hear the sleigh bells ringing. On the trip home, the boy ends up losing the bell, but Santa leaves it for him under the tree. As time goes on, all his family and friends could no longer hear the bell ring. Though he hears the ringing sound even in old age, because he will always believe. This story is such a wonderful and happy story to read. It brings back the magic of Christmas to a reader. The illustrations take the reader on the adventure to meet Santa. This book would be good to use during the Holidays, but could also be used during a multi-cultural lesson where other culture holidays are introduced. Especially the holidays that a classroom make-up makes. On page 3, I would ask the students if they would get on a train that pulled up outside their house one night. On page 19, we would discuss why the boy chose the bell as a gift and give examples of what we might have asked for. On the last page, I would get the students to critically think about why the boy was the only one out of his family and friends to hear the bell ringing.
  LaurenBrow | Sep 21, 2016 |
This book is a wonderfully illustrated and written book for readers of all ages. The language that is used within the book would be easy for an elementary student to comprehend (some vocabulary may need explaining for younger elementary grades), and the illustrations are in such great detail that the students are able to fully comprehend what is happening in the book. The events that happen throughout this book leave the reader wanting to read more and more. This book is a great book to help bring out the Christmas spirit during Christmas time! ( )
  AshleyJarrard | Sep 20, 2016 |
The Polar Express is a beautifully written book that brings the kid out in us all. A book that has been enjoyed by many children and even adults throughout the years. The Polar Express is the perfect book to share during the holiday season. This book gives the reader a sense of adventure, courage, and belief in small miracles. The illustrations are perfectly paired for each individual page and truly give you a good sense of setting for the book. ( )
  clp055 | Sep 13, 2016 |
The Polar Express is an amazing book that will bring Christmas joy to all who read it. It is a wonderfully written book that will evoke many emotions in the reader. This book will be a student favorite around the holidays, as it will prepare them for the Christmas season. I highly recommend this book to any teacher of any grade level. ( )
  KatieDinsmore | Sep 11, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 325 (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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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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