Check out the Pride Celebration Treasure Hunt!
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

The Polar Express (1985)

by Chris Van Allsburg

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,392412941 (4.36)63

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 63 mentions

English (411)  Japanese (1)  All languages (412)
Showing 1-5 of 411 (next | show all)
Just as I remember it as a child, I loved this story growing up especially around Christmas. I still got excited as I was reading and waiting for it all to happen. This one wasn't the same as when I read "Madeline," I was fully able to separate the two in my head while reading. The best part is the last line, "Though I've grown old, the bell still rings for me as it does for all who truly belive." I love this line, it doesn't mean believing in Santa, it means believing in the spirit of Christmas. As long as you believe that you will always hear the bell. ( )
  Payton02 | May 1, 2019 |
Great story about the magic of Christmas. ( )
  jnecaise79 | Apr 14, 2019 |
The Polar Express (Chris Van Allsburg) MA: Houghton Mifflin Co: 1985

Caledcott Award Winner: 32 PG

Summary: A young boy is invited to ride the Polar Express on Christmas Eve to the North Pole. He rides while singing carols and drinking cocoa. Once at the North Pole they meet Santa who chooses this boy for the first gift. The boy chooses a bell that he then loses. The next morning it is returned by Santa.

Critique: Excellent story with thoughtful pics to go along with it.

Activity (after): Would you ride the Polar Express? What would you choose as your gift?
  RachaelWilley | Mar 26, 2019 |
You can't go wrong with any of Chris Van Allsburg's imaginative picture books. This is a true classic that is very deserving of the Caldecott Medal - a wonderful story with beautiful artwork. ( )
  Grandma_B | Mar 15, 2019 |
The Polar Express is a beautifully illustrated picture book about a magical train ride to the North Pole! The illustrations were so detailed, it almost felt as if I was watching a movie. The storyline is quick with little conflict, but overall it is a joyous book to read to kids during the holiday season ( )
  AConverse | Feb 21, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 411 (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.

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Chris Van Allsburgprimary authorall editionscalculated
Neeson, LiamNarratormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
To Karen
First words
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."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

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.

» see all 10 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (4.36)
1 9
2 34
2.5 2
3 121
3.5 25
4 327
4.5 29
5 646

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 135,503,632 books! | Top bar: Always visible