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4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)

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First Sentence
On Christmas Eve, many years ago, I lay quietly in my bed. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Oh, what a beautiful book this is! I've owned this book for over fifteen years, and every year during the holiday season I take it down from the shelf and read it, and I am immediately taken back into time. For the few minutes that it takes me to read this book I once again become a child full of wonder and innocence. I begin to believe in the magic of the holiday season, and yes, for a moment I even believe in Santa Claus again.
This is the story of a boy lucky enough to ride The Polar Express to the North Pole on one magical night to see Santa Claus and his elves. While the destination is exciting, the real fun is riding in this train full of children, all dressed in their pajamas and snacking on cookies and milk. The story is beautifully told by Chris Van Allsburg, but the real reason why reading this book is an annual tradition for me is the brilliance of the illustrations. The pictures are painstakingly detailed, especially the beautiful images of the train, the light from the stars in the sky, and the fallen snow.
While Santa Claus is incorporated into the story and the illustrations, he is not the focal point. The crux of this book centers around this train, the wintery environment, and the youthful magic that makes it all so special.
I am now 22-years-old, and this book is just as compelling for me today as it was when I was 5. I look forward to the day when I will have children of my own and will be able to make it an annual tradition to read this book to them. This book is a must-have for anyone's personal library, especially if you are a parent, a child, or a child-at-heart like me. I give this book the highest of recommendations.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Story of the Miracle of Christmas March 12 2002
By A Customer
This amazingly illustrated Christmas story about a little boy who is anxiously awaiting Santaï¿s visit on Christmas Eve. When he hears a train whistle he runs outside to meet a beautiful train which takes him to the North Pole where he is given the first Christmas present, a bell from Santaï¿s sleigh. Sadly when he returns home he finds that the bell is missing. It had slipped through a hole in his pocket. The disappointed little boy returns to bed. On Christmas morning he opens a small box to find his sleigh bell nestled inside. The parents complement the beautiful bell. But oddly it does not make a sound. Only the little boy really knows the truth that only the people who truly believe in Santa Claus can hear the bells ring.
I love this story. I used to love having this story read to me. With the recent reading of it I remembered just how much I love the story and illustrations. The pictures are amazing, add that to the story and this book completely captures the season of Christmas. The author does a wonderful job with the miracle of Christmas. The author illustrate with word and picture the importance of the miracle of Christmas and how important it is for you to believe in that miracle. As well as all the miracles life has to offer, all it takes is a little bit of faith and imagination.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite children's book Nov. 5 2004
When I was little this was my favorite book. My aunt would read it each Christmas and I now read it to my children. Chris Van Allsburg's holiday classic is full of great illustrations and you can literally feel the coldness of Christmas Eve long ago. The story is haunting and timeless and will probably be around for years to come. And it's not just for children--I still enjoy it myself!
Would also recommend another great read titled "The Children's Corner" by Jackson McCrae. While it's NOT a children's book, it will be very much enjoyed by adults, especially the one story "Christmas Comes But Once a Year." Really great stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Christmas Gift Nov. 21 2006
"Polar Express" captures the Christmas spirit of children and makes it contagious! The illustrations are wonderfully magical and draw you into the story in ways that go far beyond words. This book is about the true meaning of Christmas and the faith of a young child who understood it. It is a wonderful book for kids at that age where they are beginning to doubt the magic of the holiday. It is a great Christmas gift for any child. Another great children's book for slightly older kids is "Why Some Cats Are Rascals" - a very touching, inspiring and educational story showing the world from cats' perspective.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AN UNFORGETTABLE BOOK! THE MOVIE WAS GREAT TOO! Oct. 14 2005
By A Customer
This is one of those rare books that is unforgettable! The vividness of the author's description and the enchanting illustrations are fabulous.
I'm glad the "powers that be" who make movies, chose this awesome book for an animated, graphic movie. It was beautiful to watch. Inspirational!
This holiday classic should be kept by your Christmas tree every year and re-read ... even when your children are grown ... and ESPECIALLY when your children have children of their own.
A haunting tale of a little boy and ... Well, read for yourself!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Get on the train for a great story Dec 2 2004
I am most positive in saying that it is impossible that you could not like this book...whatever age you might be. After all, the real goal of Children's books is not just to inspire the children, but to remind us all about our own childhoods. The drawings are almost Victorian in form and are incredibly detailed, which adds to the power and magic of the book. It would make a wonderful Christmas gift for a child, and is a joy to read as an adult.
There are loads of Christmas themed children's books out there for this age range. Many are mediocre or just plain garbage. This book is in the superior category and a "must own". I must also recommend another book, this one for adults though, titled "The Children's Corner" by Jackson McCrae. I came across it while looking for other books for my kids, and, while it's NOT for children, it was great fun for me, especially the story "Christmas Comes But Once a Year" which about those awful Christmas letter the relatives send. A must for this time of year.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Wonderful book fur the kids. The true spirit of Xmas.
Published 10 days ago by mitchel teichroeb
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical just like the movie
Magical just like the movie. Book was surprisingly large and great quality. One for the whole family to enjoy!
Published 18 days ago by Karl
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A beautiful book best read to children by an adult that loves Christmas too.
Published 28 days ago by Ann Black
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
a Christmas classic
Published 29 days ago by Andrea
1.0 out of 5 stars Condition of book
The book itself is awesome, that's why I ordered it but I was surprized and disappointed in it's condition. The cover had been bent and was not in good condition. Read more
Published 11 months ago by LaVerna Moreland
5.0 out of 5 stars A modern-day classic in every sense of the word
No longer being a child, and having seen the movie before ever reading Chris Van Allsburg's The Polar Express, I find it somewhat difficult to review this Caldecott Award-winning... Read more
Published on Dec 9 2006 by Daniel Jolley
5.0 out of 5 stars polar express
is it an ar book if so can you tell me
Published on March 4 2006 by allyson
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for children!
My five-year-old daughter loves The Polar Express, and after several readings, I even still love to read it to her. Read more
Published on Oct. 28 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Wintery Exploration
I have loved this book since I first heard it in second grade. That little boy reminds me of how I used to stay awake all night Christmas Eve and then sneak downstairs when I heard... Read more
Published on April 7 2004 by "bananagirl0701"
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