THE POLAR EXPRESS VAN ALLSBURG GIFT SET EDITION BNFS
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Few other Christmas books have captured the magic of Christmas in the way The Polar Express has for so many. And it has done so without syrup or sentimentality. Indeed, it is appropriate for adults as well as any child who may already have had the inkling or been told by a friend that perhaps Santa doesn't exist. (I bring this up because the story is about a boy who mentions that his friend insisted that Santa isn't real, and I wouldn't be ready to put that thought into a six-year-old's head, although I know it happens every day.)
Where does one start in describing Van Allsburg's books? They're not wordy. He's a superb artist and storyteller but he doesn't get carried away with text. He gets carried away with his art, and we're all better off for it! (This book won the Caldecott Medal for the best illustrated book of its year.) The illustrations are in color, but since the story takes place at night, the colors are shadowy.
The story is one of a young boy who, though he is momentarily doubting Santa's existence, waits quietly in his bed on Christmas Eve straining to hear the ringing of sleigh bells, a sound his friend said he'd never hear. Instead, he hears the hissing of a train, a train that turns out to be the Polar Express, stopping at his house, waiting to carry him and children already on-board to the North Pole.