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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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4,4112541,112 (4.36)39
Title:The Polar Express
Authors:Chris Van Allsburg
Info:Houghton Mifflin (2009), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 32 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg (1985)


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English (253)  Japanese (1)  All languages (254)
Showing 1-5 of 253 (next | show all)
Genre: fantasy

Ages: 5-8

Themes: Believing
  cteets93 | Dec 9, 2014 |
Having watched the movie and knowing the story didn't make this children's book any less enjoyable. Seeing the little boy and his desire to believe that Santa is real makes this story touch even the heart of those older.

The love of Christmas and belief in Santa will always make this story a classic. ( )
  cyderry | Dec 8, 2014 |
This book will forever be my favorite! I read it every year to my little cousins on christmas and they look forward to me reading it. This is a story about a boy who is told that Santa is not real, however the little boy still has hope that he is real. The boy is surprised to hear the sound of a train outside since there are no train tracks outside of his house. to his luck, he is taken to the north pole along with other kids on the train. Once he gets to the north pole he is chosen to pick one present from Santa, the first present of christmas. He chooses a silver bell from Santas sleigh so that he can show his friends that Santa is real. Only those who truly believe in Santa can hear the bell ring. This is a beautifully told story about believing in yourself and your beliefs. The illustrations were made to look realistic which makes the story all the better. Overall, this story is to show children that everyone must have faith in something and to stand firm so that you and your beliefs do not change because someone tells you you are wrong.
  lfasce1 | Dec 2, 2014 |
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allburg is a holiday classic. I loved this book because I used to be THE Christmas kid. I think that I still am. I believed in everything Christmas related. I would read this book to elementary students right before the holiday season because it is fun, the illustrations are beautiful, and it gives you such warm feelings. I feel that I am being kind of one-sided because I like this book so much. ( )
  Nijania | Nov 28, 2014 |
I absolutely loved reading “The Polar Express.” The first reason why I enjoyed this book was because of the plot. The plot was about a young boy that woke up on Christmas Eve night. He suddenly sees a train outside of his bedroom window. The story was suspenseful because the boy boards the train without knowing where it’s going. It’s a wonderful children's book about a little boy who is starting to lose faith in believing in Santa Claus. One night, he gets picked up to ride on the Polar Express that takes him to the North Pole where he sees Santa Claus. When he gets there, Santa chooses him out of a whole crowd of people to accept the first gift of Christmas. The little boy chooses a bell from Santa's sleigh. When he gets back on the train, he unfortunately realizes he lost the bell and is sad when the train heads home to leave. The next morning, underneath the tree is a small box, addressed to him with a note from Santa and the bell inside. His sister and the boy can hear the bell, but the parents cannot hear the ring. The bell continues to ring for the boy because he continues to believe in Santa. Another reason why I liked the book was because of the illustrations. Throughout the book the illustrations went over the book’s gutter. I felt like this truly enhanced the story because I felt like I was a part of the story and I was taking the adventure with the characters. I also liked how the illustrations were shown sparingly. I think this book is a great book for children. It awakens the spirit of Christmas for children in the classroom who no longer “believe”. It is a classic story that all children can relate to, even if they do not believe in Santa anymore. Another reason, I like this book is the descriptive and figurative language that helps the reader picture the image in their mind and better connect to the meaning of the story. For example, it says, "They looked like the lights of a strange ocean liner sailing on a frozen sea”. I also enjoyed how the illustrations of the story really contributed to the text and made it easier to understanding the reading. On one of the pages the text is describing how sad the boy is that he lost his bell and the illustration shows his emotion and sunken posture on the train seat. The theme of this book is that all children always have the spirit of Christmas inside of them, but it may not be visible. It touches on the idea of the innocence of childhood and the ability of children to believe in the make-believe. Yet, I believe the main message of the story is that having belief in Christmas will keep us all young at heart. ( )
  kflach1 | Nov 9, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 253 (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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:24:36 -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 4 descriptions

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