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The Polar Express Hardcover – Oct 28 1985

4.9 out of 5 stars 123 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (Oct. 28 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395389496
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395389492
  • Product Dimensions: 28.9 x 1 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 612 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars 123 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #70,642 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

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.

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-3 Given a talented and aggressive imagination, even the challenge of as cliche-worn a subject as Santa Claus can be met effectively. Van Allsburg's Polar Express is an old-fashioned steam train that takes children to the North Pole on Christmas Eve to meet the red-suited gentleman and to see him off on his annual sleigh ride. This is a personal retelling of the adult storyteller's adventures as a youngster on that train. The telling is straight, thoughtfully clean-cut and all the more mysterious for its naive directness; the message is only a bit less direct: belief keeps us young at heart. The full-page images are theatrically lit. Colors are muted, edges of forms are fuzzy, scenes are set sparsely, leaving the details to the imagination. The light comes only from windows of buildings and the train or from a moon that's never depicted. Shadows create darkling spaces and model the naturalistic figures of children, wolves, trees, old-fashioned furniture and buildings. Santa Claus and his reindeer seem like so many of the icons bought by parents to decorate yards and rooftops: static, posed with stereotypic gestures. These are scenes from a memory of long ago, a dreamy reconstruction of a symbolic experience, a pleasant remembrance rebuilt to fufill a current wish: if only you believe, you too will hear the ringing of the silver bell that Santa gave him and taste rich hot chocolate in your ride through the wolf-infested forests of reality. Van Allsburg's express train is one in which many of us wish to believe. Kenneth Marantz, Art Education Department, Ohio State University, Columbus
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Audio CD
I bought this CD before I saw the movie and was very pleasantly surprised, it is a mix of original songs by Alan Silvestri and classic christmas favourites. While seeing the movie helps you to understand the songs better, you don't need to in order to appreciate Silvestri's new songs. With Rockin' on Top of the World sung by Steven Tyler and Josh Groban's Believe combined with songs from the movie and very famous classics that include Bing Crosby's White Christmas and songs from Frank Sinatra and Perry Como this album is great for your next holiday party or for lifting your Christmas spirit!
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Format: Hardcover
This amazingly illustrated Christmas story about a little boy who is anxiously awaiting Santa�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 Santa�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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
"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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Format: Hardcover
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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