The Polar Express

The Polar ExpressThe Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Chris Van Allsburg is one of my favorite authors. I picked up on his works when I was in graduate school and feel immediately for his storytelling. Obviously, this is one of the biggies. I used to read this yearly to my students the day before the Christmas break. In the goodie bags (usually a porceline Santa mug or some such holiday design), there was always a silver bell. The students reveled with such delight.

Then the movie came out. Movies spoil the magic of the classroom. I haven’t had the same reaction to the book since. I have stopped reading it to my classes. FWIW, after protesting the movie initially, I have seen it. It is awesome! Beetle can watch it hundreds of times during the season.

Van Allsburg’s writing is aptly complemented by his illustrations. I love his style.

This is a must read!

Many years ago when my sister lived in Iowa, I visited for Christmas. Our parents were there too. I had talked up this book quite a bit. I recall my mother reading it and losing all control. It is a tear-jerker!


Read this to the class today. It’s been a few years since I have. Yes, they were aware of the movie, but not everyone had seen it. They seem to have learned that I introduce them to decent books so they bought into it. They enjoyed it!

Today, they will magically find a silver sleigh bell. This book helps me get into the Christmas spirit. Merry Christmas!

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