The Polar Express

The Polar Express

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The Polar Express

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The Polar Express is a 1985 children's book (ISBN 0-86264-143-8) written and illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg, a former professor at the Rhode Island School of Design. It was adapted as an Oscar-nominated motion-capture film in 2004.

The book is now widely considered to be a classic Christmas story for young children. It was praised for its detailed illustrations and calm, relaxing storyline. In 1986, it was awarded the Caldecott Medal for children's literature. The book is set partially in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the author's home town. It is published in both soft and hard-copies.

Plot summary

As the book starts off on the night of Christmas Eve, a young boy is lying in bed waiting to hear the sound of Santa Claus's sleigh bells. Suddenly, he hears loud rumbling outside on the street as a magical train called The Polar Express pulls up in front of his house. The boy ventures outside and is invited by the train's mysterious conductor to journey to the North Pole. The train is filled with children, all dressed in their pyjamas, who sing Christmas carols, eat candies, and drink hot chocolate as rich as melted chocolate bars and the train rumbles on.

As the train reaches the North Pole, the boy and the other children see thousands of elves gathered at the center of town waiting to send Santa Claus on his way. The boy is handpicked by Santa to receive the first gift of Christmas. Realizing that he could choose anything in the world, the boy asks for one beautiful-sounding...
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