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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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5,138335870 (4.35)44
Title:The Polar Express
Authors:Chris Van Allsburg
Info:Houghton Mifflin (2009), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 32 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Christmas, Caldecott, picture book, adventure

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The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg (1985)


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English (334)  Japanese (1)  All languages (335)
Showing 1-5 of 334 (next | show all)
I love this book! Polar Express had always been my favorite Christmas movie/book since I was little. I love the concept of an adventure to the North Pole on a train. The story just gives a warm feeling when you read it. The illustrations are very detailed. ( )
  eel74 | Oct 20, 2016 |
Allspurg brings Christmas to life in The Polar Express. It makes for a well written book about friendship and believing, a great book for any age group. This story truly touches the heart as the main character (never given a name) must decide whether or not he even believes in the Polar Express and all that it has to offer. He must then make moral decisions throughout the book that lead him to new friends and a priceless Christmas gift. ( )
  EmilyWillers | Oct 20, 2016 |
This book is one of my favorite books to read. It engages readers of all ages. It encourages students to have an imaginative mind and inspires them to be creative. ( )
  SarahA5752 | Oct 17, 2016 |
This is a beautiful picture book. It is one of my holiday favorites. It is an inspiring "feel-good" story that brings the magic of Christmas alive in a school appropriate way. ( )
  AmberHester | Oct 16, 2016 |
The Polar Express is definitely a book that should be read by children. The author does a great job with the theme of the book and really makes you want to believe. This is a great Christmas book and is read by many teachers/families around the winter holidays. We see a young boy wanting so badly to believe that Santa is real. We as readers see the adventure that he goes through and really understand that every child does go through a stage in their life where they don't know whether or not they should believe; especially when it comes to Santa. This could be a tricky subject in younger grades. Children might ask why people don’t believe and that could create controversy.
  Jaymand | Oct 12, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 334 (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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