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Polar Express 30th anniversary edition Hardcover – September 15, 2015
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Audio, Cassette, Unabridged
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From the Publisher
North Pole Cozy Cocoa Recipe
Gather the ingredients below.
Pour hot water, sugar, cocoa powder and salt into a large pot. Whisk over medium heat.
When everything is combined, add chocolate chips and whisk mixture until chocolate chips are melted.
Add milk and vanilla and whisk again. Serve with marshmallows or whipped cream!
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ gallon milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
Fun Facts About The Polar Express
In celebration of the 30th anniversary of The Polar Express, enjoy these fun facts about the book!
- The setting of the book is based on Van Allsburg’s childhood home in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
- The Pere Marquette 1225 train, now in Owosso, Michigan, was the inspiration for the story. As a child, Chris Van Allsburg played on the engine when it was on display, and to him, the number 1225 meant 12/25, Christmas Day!
- The real 1225 train inspired the animated train, and they recorded the 1225’s different locomotive sounds to use in the movie.
- Chris Van Allsburg said that The Polar Express was the easiest of his picture book manuscripts to write. He created only one draft and had to make only a few changes to the text.
- The Polar Express is done with oil pastels, and to get the night lighting just right, he mixed color complements (reds with greens, oranges with blues) to bring out the hues of colors in low light.
- Van Allsburg has an artistic connection to another Christmas classic — in 2014 he designed the sets for the Michigan Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker.
“The best book about Santa.”—Entertainment Weekly
“The Polar Express is magic indeed. ”—The New York Times
“Allsburg's mix of meticulousness and mysticism is his own, and his quiet Christmas bell, now run, will not stop ringing.”—Adam Gopnik, author of The King in the Window
“The sumptuous pastel effects make this one of Van Allsburg's most treasured visions.”—Newsweek
“As always, the forms are sculptured, the perspectives as dazzling as they are audacious, the colors rich and elegant, the use of light and shadow masterly.”—Horn Book Guide
“Even the most hardened Santa doubters might find in The Polar Express the faith to believe again.”—American Bookseller
1986 Caldecott Medal Winner
A New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book of the Year
ALA Notable Book for Children
Booklist Editors' Choice
Horn Book Fanfare Selection
Reading Rainbow Review Book
About the Author
Chris Van Allsburg is the winner of two Caldecott Medals, for Jumanji and The Polar Express, as well as the recipient of a Caldecott Honor Book for The Garden of Abdul Gasazi. The author and illustrator of numerous picture books for children, he has also been awarded the Regina Medal for lifetime achievement in children’s literature. In 1982, Jumanji was nominated for a National Book Award and in 1996, it was made into a popular feature film. Chris Van Allsburg is a former instructor at the Rhode Island School of Design. Visit him at chrisvanallsburg.com.
Top customer reviews
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This is the 25th anniversary edition. It is supposed to come with a CD (attached to the front inside cover) and an ornament. MAKE SURE YOURS HAS THE ORNAMENT, YOU PAID FOR IT! The first copy I received did not come with an ornament so I contacted Amazon and they sent me a new copy. I received the new one today and it had the ornament attached to the inside of the dust jacket in the back of the book. You will NOT receive a bell ornament. The one that comes with this edition says "All Aboard!"
When this huge box from Amazon showed up, I assumed Amazon was out of smaller shipping boxes. My husband and I couldn't stop laughing when we pulled this book out of the box.
This book is perfect for large audiences (classrooms). Depending on your size, you may need help holding and turning the pages - my husband is 6 foot and he would have benefited from having an assistant page turner.
The only issue I encountered was the book arrived damaged, torn dust jacket and mark on hard cover. In the end I guess it wasn't enough for me to send it back and deal with the hassle of a return. This does not effect the use of the book at all, which is a great purchase!
The first key difference is the artwork itself. The book's simple watercolors do not match the rich color and detail of the movie. It is more akin to something that you would see in a children's book from the early 1900s. Even so, it affords the book a certain "antique" quality that is quite in keeping with the timeless story that it tells.
The book's construction is exceptional with heavy, glossy pages held together by a tight binding. The book itself is contained in a very nice dust jacket that conforms very well to the book's shape. This book is perfect for display on a coffee table around the holidays or perhaps in the room with your Christmas tree on a small table.
The book holds an audio CD containing a narration acted by the great Liam Neeson. (He did the voiceover for the lion Aslan in the Narnia movies.) His deeply resonant voice flows like the Polar Express' signature hot chocolate. The CD is perfect for playing in your children's room while they go to sleep or in the car while you drive around a country road taking in holiday lights.
Without providing any spoilers, the book's theme is about the magic of the secular Christmas tradition. In a way, it emphasizes the importance of maintaining a childlike sense of wonder and appreciation for Christmas. While the book is in fact secular, it does contain an underlying message of believing in things that you cannot always see. All in all, I am deeply pleased to give this holiday treasure 5 stars. If you love the movie as much as I love it then you will love this book too.