Late on Christmas Eve, after the town has gone to sleep, a boy boards a mysterious train that waits for him: the Polar Express bound for the North Pole. When he arrives there, Santa offers him any gift he desires. The boy modestly asks for one bell from the reindeer's harness. It turns out to be a very special gift, for only believers in Santa can hear it ring.

"Magical glowing double spread pictures . . . an original and memorable book." - Guardian
"Evocative, realist pastels and atmospheric text." - Sunday Times
"A thrilling tale." - Independent


Chris van Allsburg lives in Providence, Rhode Island and lectures at the Rhode Island School of Design. He is a sculptor and artist, and twice winner of the Caldecott Medal, first for Jumanji, and then for The Polar Express. He has also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Illustrators in October 2009.


You could do no better. Bittersweet, beautifully told, trad book.

The New Review (Supp.To the Observer) Christmas Books 2014

A magical Christmas tale that is not to be missed and shared with all the family.


Utterly perfect Christmas tale. One of the most atmospheric and perfectly paced Christmas stories ever written for children.

Read it Daddy! Blog

A book to keep and remember.

Newbury Weekly News, Caroline Franklin

This classic tale is beautifully illustrated and helps children understand the value of presents.


Magical glowing double spread pictures . . . an original and memorable book.


Evocative, realist pastels and atmospheric text.

Sunday Times

A thrilling tale.


Stunning and exciting . . . deeply painterly scenes express the wonder and imagination still fresh in childhood.

Growing Point

A powerfully atmospheric story with a dreamlike quality that will remain with young readers.

Books for Keeps

A timeless Christmas classic.

Beacon Books

This evocative and sumptuous pastel illustrated picture book is as vital to the home library as Scarry’s The Night Before Christmas and The Grinch.

Families South East

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