The Polar Express (Includes Ornament)
The Polar Express (Includes Ornament)

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Annotation: A magical train ride on Christmas Eve takes a boy to the North Pole to receive a special gift from Santa Claus.
Catalog Number: #108699
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
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Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
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Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Copyright Date: 1985
Edition Date: 1985
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-544-58014-1 Perma-Bound: 0-605-90386-7
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-544-58014-5 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-90386-9
Dewey: E
LCCN: 85010907
Dimensions: 23 x 29 cm. +
Language: English
Reviews:
School Library Journal
Gr 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
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School Library Journal
Word Count: 1,054
Reading Level: 3.8
Interest Level: P-2
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.8 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 5240 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.9 / points:2.0 / quiz:Q09245
Lexile: 520L
"On Christmas Eve, many years ago, I lay quietly in my bed. I did not rustle the sheets. I breathed slowly and silently. I was listening for a sound -- a sound a friend had told me I'd never hear -- the ringing bells of Santa's sleigh. 'There is no Santa,' my friend had insisted, but I knew he was wrong. Late that night I did hear sounds, though not of ringing bells. From outside came the sounds of hissing steam and squeaking metal. I looked through my window and saw a train standing perfectly still in from of my house." Copyright (C) 1985 by Chris Van Allsburg. All rights reserved.

Excerpted from The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Take a ride aboard the Polar Express in this award-winning, classic holiday story, complete with an ornament gift, perfect for every child's library. A young boy, lying awake one Christmas Eve, is welcomed aboard a magical train to the North Pole. The Polar Express makes its way to the city atop the world, where the boy will make his Christmas wish. This is a story for all who believe in the spirit of Christmas and those who treasure the sound of a reindeer's silver bell. The Polar Express is the 1986 Caldecott Medal winner, and reading the story together is a beloved holiday tradition held by generations of families. It was also made into an animated feature film starring Tom Hanks. In this special edition, the inimitable artistry of Chris Van Allsburg is highlighted with a new jacket design and expanded interior layout. Includes an author's note and downloadable audio read by Liam Neeson.


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