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The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
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The Polar Express (original 1985; edition 2009)

by Chris Van Allsburg

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,163None1,195 (4.37)34
Member:Erin330
Title:The Polar Express
Authors:Chris Van Allsburg
Info:Houghton Mifflin (2009), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 32 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:Christmas, Caldecott, picture book, adventure

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The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg (1985)

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English (235)  Japanese (1)  All languages (236)
Showing 1-5 of 235 (next | show all)
This is a fabulous holiday book. It is filled with amazing and detailed illustrations, as well as, a relatable and great plot story. While the children are on the train, the illustrations bring you through many different wintery scenes, on their way to the North Pole. The pictures are vivid and engaging. I really enjoy that the book explains the North Pole through a child’s perspective. Every child dreams of visiting the Polar Express at some point and the book takes the readers on a magical journey on the Polar Express. I think this is a great book for children who believe in Santa Clause and Christmas. The main message of the book is believing in Christmas. ( )
  jtaylo41 | Apr 10, 2014 |
This book is an absolute classic. Every year around Christmas time, my parents always used to read this story to my sisters and me. It tells a wonderful tale about the magic and wonder of Christmas and Santa Claus. I love how this book shows children the adventures your imagination can take you on. I also love the text in this book and how well it is written. The descriptions in the book are amazing and detailed and make you feel like you are also character in the story riding on the train. The pictures are beautiful and the underlying message not only is touching to children but adults as well. It is that if you believe, anything is possible. I feel like our generation has sucked creativity out of almost everything, and this book should be incorporated into a lesson to help bring the creativity into your classroom to inspire your students. ( )
  jjones58 | Apr 10, 2014 |
This is one of my favorite books! The main message is to have faith in what you believe in no matter who tries to tell you differently. One reason I liked this book is because the pictures take up almost both pages, with the text in a short paragraph on the side. I think the pictures are a very important part of a children's book because this is what the children are looking at while the adult is reading. For example, on the page where it talks about the main character losing the bell, it shows him sitting in a seat looking very sad, with the other children comforting him. The images in the book really capture what the text is saying and can make the children feel like they are actually in the story. The second reason I like this book is because it is written in first person. For example, he says "I sat on Santa's knee". I think this lets the children imagine as if they are really speaking with someone who experienced that first hand, and that would be very exciting for them. ( )
  jperro2 | Mar 24, 2014 |
My favorite picture book of all time! I know I should be reading new books but I couldn't pass this up! I find the illustrations to be mystifying. I often wonder if when an illustrator does his/her thing with an authors book if it went the direction that the author intended. In this case, since it is illustrated by the author there is no doubt. This is a great example of a children's book that is timeless - I believe the first time I read this book was after I began teaching....maybe 2001....I ran right out and bought two copies. One for my classroom and one for my personal bookshelf at home. ( )
  JenWinans | Mar 12, 2014 |
A holiday favorite, who can pass up a reading of the Polar Express? Beautifully illustrated by the author, the pictures tell as much of the story as the text itself. A fun example of being the author AND the illustrator and on believing in childhood stories and growing up. This book could easily fit into the holiday schema of the year or within a long term theme of Chris Van Allsburg books! ( )
  emerloflores13 | Mar 5, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 235 (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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To Karen
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On Christmas Eve, many years ago, I lay quietly in my bed.
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"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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