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The Polar Express [With Cardboard Ornament] [Hardcover]

Chris Van Allsburg
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

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Hardcover 6.99  
Hardcover, 28 Sep 2009 --  
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Book Description

28 Sep 2009

Late on Christmas Eve, after the town has gone to sleep, a boy boards a mysterious train that waits for him: the Polar Express bound for the North Pole. When he arrives there, Santa offers him any gift he desires. The boy modestly asks for one bell from the reindeer's harness. It turns out to be a very special gift, for only believers in Santa can hear it ring.

"Magical glowing double spread pictures . . . an original and memorable book." - Guardian

"Evocative, realist pastels and atmospheric text." - Sunday Times

"A thrilling tale." - Independent

--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin; 25 Rei/Com edition (28 Sep 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395389496
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395389492
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 29.7 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 803,817 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Chris van Allsburg lives in Providence, Rhode Island and lectures at the Rhode Island School of Design. He is a sculptor and artist, and twice winner of the Caldecott Medal, first for Jumanji, and then for The Polar Express.

(c) Constance Brown Photography

Product Description


"Magical glowing double spread pictures . . . an original and memorable book." (Guardian)

"Evocative, realist pastels and atmospheric text." (Sunday Times)

"A thrilling tale." (Independent)

"Stunning and exciting . . . deeply painterly scenes express the wonder and imagination still fresh in childhood." (Growing Point)

"A powerfully atmospheric story with a dreamlike quality that will remain with young readers." (Books for Keeps) --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

Book Description

Mini hardback gift edition of this bestselling classic Christmas book. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't stop believing... 13 May 2003
An absolutely beautiful book about a little boy who refuses to stop believing in Father Christmas,no matter how much his friends tease him. On Christmas Eve, a steam train shows up and whisks the boy and his disbelieving friends off to the North Pole to meet the man himself.
Wonderfully written and illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg, this is a story to amaze and delight children, and touch the heart of any adult who reads it.
Soon to be made into a film starring Tom Hanks.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A modern-day classic in every sense of the word 10 Dec 2006
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 book. Never having heard of the book before the movie came out, I had originally assumed that this must be some classic Christmas book from a half-century or more ago, one that had somehow escaped my notice when I was a child. The story really does read like a traditional classic, which is only one of the reasons I am so fond of it. I also love the beautiful simplicity of it all, as well as the fact that it helps me remember what Christmas meant to me as a child.

To me, The Polar Express actually speaks more eloquently to grown-ups than it does to children - although these visions of Santa and his reindeer, particularly in the ever-so-long days of middle December, are sure to invite smiles and squeals (and, I expect, questions along the lines of "why would he choose a bell when he could have had a Playstation 3?") from youngsters. Children will no doubt enjoy this story, but I am not so sure they will truly appreciate it - not until, that is, they have had the misfortune of growing up and losing that precious sense of wonder that defines childhood. The Polar Express speaks most subtly and powerfully to those of us who can no longer hear the bell.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful thought provoking story 5 Nov 2001
By A Customer
The Polar Express is the story of a young boy who was taken on a magical train journey to the North Pole on Christmas Eve to receive a special gift fron Santa Claus.
"The train was filled with other children, all in their pyjamas and nightgowns. We sang Christmas Carols and ate candies with nougat centers as white as snow. We drank hot cocoa as thick and rich as melted chocolate bars. Outside, the lights of towns and villages flickered in the distance as the Polar Express raced northward."
The gift the boy chose was a silver bell from Santa's sleigh, but on the way home he realised he had lost it. Filled with sadness he returned to bed that Christmas Eve, but in the morning...well, read the book and find out for yourselves. A truly wonderful story which will make you believe in faith (and Santa Claus).
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35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do You Believe in Santa? Ting-a-Ling! 28 Jun 2004
Reading to your child is good for both of you. The experience strengthens your bond. Your example also helps your child to learn to read. Pick a good book, and you will have enriched your child's life in ways that would not otherwise be possible. Reading The Polar Express aloud is a good opportunity to accomplish these worthwhile results.
This delightful Christmas story raises a challenging question for parents: For whom is this book appropriate? The text suggests that some children and parents (and almost all people as they get older) don't believe in Santa. In addition, the story is filled with things parents tell their children never to do when parents are not around (such as take a ride with strangers, eat food and drink beverages from strangers, and accept gifts from strangers). If you decide to read the story to a very wee one, you should also be prepared for the possibility that your child might be frightened by the idea that all of this commotion can happen on Christmas Eve near your house.
My conclusion is that the optimum time to read this story is the first time you become aware that your child is a little confused or skeptical about Santa. This often occurs after seeing the 17th Santa in a store during the same shopping trip. You could use the multiplicity of Santas to explain why some children and adults are skeptical about these "Santa's helpers." Obviously, we all know that Santa is really busy at the North Pole. I suggest that you handle the "unapproved" behavior by asking your child if she or he should do these things, and reinforce the proper lessons.
The story itself centers on faith. A man remembers one Christmas Eve. The Polar Express pulls up in front of his house when he was a boy and a conductor invites him on board for a trip to the North Pole.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Polar Express book 24 Jan 2010
This book has beautiful pictures in and if you're a fan of the film , you'll love this book. Great to share over and over again The Polar Express
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Polar Express 8 Jan 2010
I bought this for my two Grandsons who were excited about the approaching Christmas. They were delighted with it and the audio DVD accompanying the book was a bonus for the younger boy who is not yet proficient in reading. An excellent product.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful 13 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bought this for my little boy who absolutely loves the Polar Express film to the extent that we are all sick of watching it and know it off by heart. He asked if there was a book to go with the film and he was delighted to get this from Santa. Lovely pictures and easy to read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fab !!!!
Published 27 days ago by Mrs Maria Taylor
4.0 out of 5 stars gift for my grandaughter
I bought this for my Granddaughter. Beautiful illustrations and great story. This is a great buy a timeless Christmas classicxx
Published 7 months ago by dogwid
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Christmas Book
I bought this for my grandchildren this year as they love the film. Obviously the film was made and enhanced from this book but this is still a lovely book to read and the artwork... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Chrissywissy
5.0 out of 5 stars A Timeless classic
that appeals to children and adults alike. Beautiful evocative illustrations throughout the book. This is one book which will be brought out and read year in and year out.
Published 7 months ago by Brigid A Kehoe
5.0 out of 5 stars Book
A beautifully written and illustrated book,a classic family favourite for Christmas time my children love hearing it every Christmas Eve
Published 7 months ago by Hayley
5.0 out of 5 stars Book
Fantastic story, lovely illustrations and a big hit with all of us. My husbands favourite Christmas film and one which the grandchildren will also grow to love
Published 8 months ago by Lyn
5.0 out of 5 stars The polar express.
This is an amazing film. Purchased as a present and I it know will be very well received. Also ordered one for myself.
Mesmerising tale for all of the family to watch. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Joan de-Bues
5.0 out of 5 stars lovely
Besutiful book, great pictures. Love the film so got this to read at same time. Good price, thanks a lot ;-)
Published 8 months ago by sasspurs
3.0 out of 5 stars Christmas book
Quite a long story, but nice. Bought to take with us on a trip on the actual Polar Express train.
Published 8 months ago by Faye Hannah Robinson
5.0 out of 5 stars polar express
went on the polar express with my family up in county Durham brill night out just like the book but they sold out of the book so ordered one on line excellent.
Published 9 months ago by Boro Fan
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