The Polar Express Book
The Polar Express Book
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The Polar Express

Written and illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg

Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt


Publisher's Summary

A magical train ride on Christmas Eve takes a boy to the North Pole to receive a special gift from Santa Claus.

Topics in The Polar Express


  • Age Range: 5-8
  • Pages: 32
  • Book Type: picture
  • Publication Date: September 15, 2015
  • ISBN: 0544580141
  • ISBN 13: 9780544580145
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English Degree, Former SAHM, Grammy Extraordinare

For more than 30 years this magical Christmas book has been delighting readers and believers and has become a traditional element of our holiday season. Be careful not to confuse the book with the more recent movie! The story, featuring Chris Van Allsburgh's lovely pencil illustrations in a muted palette of colors, is perfectly paced. The poetic and descriptive text is a pleasure to read--or listen to, "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." (Both Liam Neeson and John Hurt have made recordings.) The Polar Express celebrates belief in the magic of Christmas; our holiday season would not be complete without it!

Mr. Staccato
Spent many carefree hours hunting clues with the Hardy boys and defending Redwall Abbey.

author & illustrator
Chris Van Allsburg

Chris Van Allsburg is the winner of two Caldecott Medals, for Jumanji and The Polar Express, as well as the recipient of a Caldecott Honor Book for The Garden of Abdul Gasazi. The author and illustrator of numerous picture books for children, he has also been awarded the Regina Medal for lifetime achievement in children's literature. In 1982, Jumanji was nominated for a National Book Award and in 1996, it was made into a popular feature film. Chris Van Allsburg is a former instructor at the Rhode Island School of Design. Visit him at

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Chris Van Allsburg

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