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The Polar Express

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  196,649 ratings  ·  3,081 reviews
The Polar Express is a treasured holiday tradition. This lavish gift set includes a CD audio recording read by Liam Neeson, a keepsake "All Aboard" ornament, and a note from author Chris Van Allsburg.

Awarded the prestigious Caldecott Medal in 1986, The Polar Express has sold more than 7 million copies, become a classic holiday movie, and been translated into stage producti
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published 2000 by Houghton Mifflin (first published October 28th 1985)
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4.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  196,649 ratings  ·  3,081 reviews

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Will Byrnes
A young boy is awakened from his Christmas Eve rest by a train that magically appears just outside his home. Ignoring the demands of stranger-danger, the boy climbs aboard, finding the car filled with other youngsters. They are treated to goodies while en route to the north pole where Santa is to offer the first gift of Christmas to one of the passengers in a town-square ceremony attended by all the elves as well as the transported youngsters. Our hero is selected, and when asked what he would l ...more
5 Believe ★'s

“Seeing is believing, but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can't see.”

Read/audiobook this for the very first time the other day with my little niece and we both love it!!! The story was sweet and very enjoyable. The narrator is Liam Neeson!!!! Ohhh, I love love love his voice and let me tell you he did NOT disappoint whatsoever! This is definitely gonna be a Christmas favorite around here :) I absolutely love the illustrations too! I will recommend th
Bionic Jean
I so wanted to love this book. I had heard many friends enthuse about The Polar Express, knew it had won awards, and have a soft spot myself for illustrated fantasy books for children. But this particular one I found to be a little disappointing.

Yes, it has magical elements. In a way it is reminiscent of many Christmas stories, with the message that you just need to believe in Father Christmas and everything will turn out to be perfect. It had elements from stories I love, such as "The Snowman",
Dec 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Christmas favorite we read every year. Beautiful story and illustrations. A must!
Just gave a little nudge to my sleeping Christmas Spirit who rolled over and said, "come back in two months".
Although I really do much appreciate both the story (the presented narrative) and the accompanying illustrations, Chris Van Allsburg's The Polar Express ultimately does indeed feel but mildly entertaining and actually also manages to leave me rather flat and strangely unsatisfied.

Now Van Allsburg's text reads sweetly and to a point evocatively enough (but also rather on the surface, rather removed from what I would label as personal emotionality) and so much so that I never do feel all that eng
Dec 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: the-kid-in-me
What would you like for Christmas?

I'm still in the spirit of Christmas, because Christmas isn't until the 7th of January here in Ukraine. So.....more for me. I've always loved The Polar Express movie, It can even be said that it's my all time favourite Christmas movie, but up until now, I had never read the book. There's no "why" to the story, sorry. I've read it now, and I'm delighted to say I love it just as much as the movie-maybe even a tad bit more. I love the moral of the story, abou
Kylie D
Dec 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful and delightful book. The kids will love it. I just found the illustrations to be a bit creepy...
Dec 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
Though I've grown old, the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe.


I watched The Polar Express the movie as soon as it came out. And it became one of my favorite Christmas movies. And now I finally decided to read (well, listen actually) the book. And the book was just as magical as the movie (even though I do have to admit that I liked the movie a little bit more)

One more thing I want to mention is that Liam Neeson did an amazing job narrating the book. If you haven't a
Nov 30, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: adults trying to recapture their mythic childhoods
My general opinion of Chris Van Allsburg is that his books are made to appeal to adults, not children. None of his books has ever been a favorite of my children. This book is a perfect example. The overall story has potential--a Christmas Eve train that takes Santa-believing children to the North Pole to witness the ritual of Santa giving the first gift of Christmas. But page after page of illustration focuses on the landscape the train travels. When the Polar Express arrives at the North Pole, ...more
Mackenzie Lane
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-kids
Not the first time I've read this book (obviously) but I read it again for the Oh What Fun Readathon & it adds a book to my yearly total so 💁🏼

Dec 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Brings back wonderful memories for me. A childhood favorite (and timeless classic). Beautiful story and gorgeous illustrations.
The Story: 3,5 stars

The Narration: 5 stars
“Though I’ve grown old, the bell still rings for me as it does for all who truly believe.”

Like the magical train ride, The Polar Express is a magical story, one that readers and listeners will want to enjoy again and again. It's a excellent book for a family read aloud during the Christmas season. Plus, the narration by Liam Neeson also helps ;)
Dec 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Arlene by: Those who believe in the magic of Christmas...
So here’s a little something about me… there are two movies I to watch around the holidays. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer Stone and The Polar Express. Yes, I’m a kid at heart and there’s just something about those two movies that, for me, make it feel like Christmas.

I think it was around the holidays several years ago that I went out shopping during Black Friday (yes call me crazy) and bought my first HP movie for the low price of like $3! And, I’ve watched the movie every year s
3.5 The First Gift of Christmas Stars

This book is a short little Christmas story about a young boy who finds a train to the north pole, in front of his house, very late one Christmas Eve, and so the story goes on from there.

I remember enjoying this short, Christmas story when I was a child, and years later, I still rather like it, and I enjoy the illustrations as well.
Last autumn friends from Texas visited. We had a wonderful time, so when they left after two weeks we really missed them. Just before christmas a package arrived with some gifts from Texas. The best part was this Childrens classic. I never even knew it was a book, beside the film. Shame on me.

The Polar Express is a story about a boy who travels to the north pole with the polar express train. He receives the first christmas gift from Santa. And it's a very special gift for true believers:

'I shoo
Sheila Majczan
Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those classics I read over and over again with my children and with my kindergarten students. The movie is also lovely.
Nhi Nguyễn
Thấy Nhã Nam có xuất bản bản tiếng Việt của cuốn này, tựa đề "Chuyến tàu Bắc Cực", mà cũng lâu rồi, lên các trang bán sách online thì chả thấy còn bán nữa, giờ chỉ còn mỗi Shopee là còn bán, mà tiền ship sách về mắc gấp đôi giá tiền bản thân cuốn sách, nên thôi bạn Nhi dẹp luôn, bạn Nhi đi down file pdf bản gốc về đọc cho sướng :))))

Mà đúng là sướng thật đấy trời ơi ^^ Hình vẽ đẹp tuyệt vời, đẹp lung linh muốn xỉu luôn :D Bản thân câu chuyện thì quá ý nghĩa, ý nghĩa nhất là trang cuối cùng, tóm
Dec 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christmas
I read this little book last night while I was in bed listening to a train on my magical white noise box.Trains and bells, I love them both. If only this little magical box had temple bells and wind chimes, which we have in our yard, but with our back porch’s bedroom door closed during these cold winter nights, I don’t hear them; instead I hear silence.

As a child, I remember listening to sounds at night as I lay in bed. I never heard Santa’s sleigh bells; instead I heard the neighbors' dogs bark
I've seen the movie a few years ago, but when I read this for storytime at work, it was my first time to actually read the story. Excellent art and sweet story...but I don't quite agree with the emphasis on "believe in Santa"... Could be a little confusing for small kids—unless, of course, you're intending to make them believe fully in Santa as the bringer of gifts. It pairs very nicely with the movie.

2017: Again, chosen reader of the book for work storytime. :)
Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book will forever remind me of my kids when they were young and their eyes still sparkled with the magic of Christmas. The illustrations are beautiful and makes me want to watch the movie. ( My kids love the train and the hot chocolate song in the movie.)
“The Polar Express” is a fantastic book that proudly won the Caldecott Medal and is from the creative mind of Chris Van Allsburg. This story is about how a young boy experiences the magic of the North Pole when he goes a magical ride on the Polar Express. “The Polar Express” is a brilliant Christmas story that children of all ages will enjoy for many years.

Chris Van Allsburg has done a terrific job at both writing and illustrating this book with a passion. Chris Van Allsburg portrays the boy’s
Minh Nhân Nguyễn
4 sao

Cuốn sách có nội dung hết sức đơn giản nhưng đọc xong mình đã có một sự cảm động sâu sắc trước tình cảm và niềm yêu quý của tác giả đối với sự hồn nhiên trong trẻo của trẻ thơ. Cánh cửa bước vào thế giới ấy vẫn luôn rộng mở nhưng khi trưởng thành rồi dường như ai cũng quá vội vã với những âm thanh bên ngoài mà không nghe thấy tiếng chuông réo gọi.

Xét một cách khách quan thì đây là cuốn sách sẽ khiến trẻ con thích thú khi đọc vì có nhiều thứ kỳ diệu, có vùng đất Bắc Cực náo nhiệt chứ không t
To check out all my reviews:

I have come to love and appreciate this book especially in a certain point of my life I actually hated it with a passion. I do not know if I ever read the english version which I probably did but I remember my 4th grade spanish teacher reading this story to us especially in the same time frame as the movie version being released. For the most part I did enjoy the book but for years I hated the film with a passion. I believe I fall
Jeff Raymond
Oct 12, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: picture-books
I hate The Polar Express.

I don't so much dislike Chris Van Allsburg, although I consider him complicit. I think Bad Day at Riverbend is a top 5 picture book for me, and his art style is great, and he can often tell a fun story (last year's Probuditi a great example).

But holy crap do I hate The Polar Express.

It's like Love You Forever - tacky, sentimental pap designed to get you to shed a tear or tug on your heartstrings or whatever. The bell! The whole thing just...throws me. I don't get it.

Dec 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This will always remain one of my favorite Christmas stories. This was my first time listening to it on audiobook and it was just magical! The sound effects of the train really brought the story to life. The sweet message gets me every time. It's such a simple and beautifully written book.
Souma BookAddict

I wanted to see what the big deal was. I think my expectations were too high.
However, the illustrator did an amazing job at showing realism through animated drawings. It made me feel like I was actually on The Polar Express.
Renée Paule
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is such a charming story and I've seen the film too - very sweet.
Aug 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
I collect Christmas books and would eagerly scour the shelves for the newest stories each season, but for whatever reason I did not buy nor read The Polar Express - it just did not appeal to me. Then in 1987 I took my two daughters to Seattle via Amtrak to attend Maurice Sendak's stage setting of the Christmas classic The Nutcracker. Before going to the ballet, the girls and I spent an afternoon at a Christmas exhibit at the University of Washington and chanced to happen upon an older gentleman ...more
Jan 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Just read this for the first time. There's a story here, behind the story.

My two grandsons, ages eight and four, 'found' this book, but not on the children's bookshelf which I keep for them at my house, but on MY bookcase squeezed between a book on dinosaurs (also mine) and my small collection of Nancy Drew mysteries. They ran to me with it, ordered me to sit down and read it for them. I complied.

Well, they'd both seen the movie - the older one had seen it several times - but they sat on either
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Chris was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on June 18, 1949, the second child of Doris Christiansen Van Allsburg and Richard Van Allsburg. His sister Karen was born in 1947.

Chris’s paternal grandfather, Peter, owned and operated a creamery, a place where milk was turned into butter, cream, cottage cheese, and ice cream. It was named East End Creamery and after they bottled the milk (and made the ot
“At one time, most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed, it fell silent for all of them. Even Sarah found one Christmas that she could no longer hear its sweet sound. Though I've grown old, the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe.” 143 likes
“Seeing is believing, but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can't see.” 32 likes
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