The Story: A young boy who is fairly disillusioned by the upcoming yuletide season boards a mysterious train that magically appears outside his house one snowy night. Thus begins an amazing journey as the train is destined for the North Pole – and to Santa’s home! There, one special child will receive the first gift of Christmas – anything their heart desires!
Why is this your favourite Christmas book?
Chris Van Allsburg’s books are eerie, almost hypnotic but most importantly (and certainly important for a Christmas book) they’re so full of atmosphere that you can’t help being wrapped up in them. “The Polar Express” is almost ethereal in the way it makes you recall your most cherished childhood Christmases, and the thrill of seeing Santa (whether at your local department store or perhaps even sneaking into your room on Christmas Eve to drop off presents!) We love how the cynical boy completely changes his mind and the rather bittersweet end to the story as the boy realizes that his friends and family stop hearing the gentle tinkling of the bell that Santa bestows upon him as the first gift of Christmas. A truly dazzling and magical book (and the movie version is actually great too!)
Can you describe a favourite illustration or give a favourite quote from the story and tell us why you chose it?
For Charlotte, it’s the part where the train is speeding through the snows with wolves chasing alongside. It’s a gorgeous page spread as the train trundles through the dark forests at night. I really love the scenes where the chefs arrive from the restaurant car to dish out steaming cups of hot chocolate so deliciously described that you can almost taste them!
Author / Illustrator: Chris Van Allsburg
About ReaditDaddy and Charlotte
Hi there, we’re Phil and Charlotte from ReadItDaddy, a book blog that we’ve enjoyed writing since 2010. As Charlotte gets older, our taste in books changes but we love reading brilliant new picture and chapter books and sharing them with our lovely readers!
Which book is on your Christmas wishlist this year?
Charlotte: “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Illustrated Edition)”
ReaditDaddy: “Disney’s ‘The Art of Big Hero 6’ or ‘The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ (I am collecting these art books and they’re glorious!)
Story Snug’s 2015 Advent Calendar on Pinterest