The Polar Express is a 1985 children's book (ISBN 0862641438) written and illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg, a former professor at the Rhode Island School of Design. It was adapted as a feature film in 2004. more...
It tells the story of a young boy on Christmas Eve who is beginning to no longer believe in Santa Claus. Somehow, a magical train called the Polar Express pulls up in front of his house and he is invited to journey to the North Pole. As he reaches the North Pole, the boy is handpicked by Santa Claus to receive the first present of Christmas. He chooses a bright silver bell from Santa's sleigh which makes a beautiful sound. As the years go by, people around him notice that they can no longer hear the beautiful sound, even his parents and sister. But there are those who still can, those who still truly believe.
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. It is published in both soft and hard-copies.
In the book, Fritz the pit bull appears as a sock puppet on the first page.
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