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Polar Express (Anniversary) - by Chris Van Allsburg (Hardcover)

About this item


  • 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.


Dimensions (Overall): 9.2 Inches (H) x 11.6 Inches (W) x .5 Inches (D)

Weight: 1 Pounds

Number of Pages: 32

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Sub-Genre: Classics, Holidays + Celebrations / Christmas, Transportation / Railroads + Trains

Format: Hardcover

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Author: Chris Van Allsburg

Age Range: 4-8 Years

Language: English

Street Date: September 15, 2015
TCIN: 21405017
UPC: 9780544580145
Item Number (DPCI): 059-03-5843
Origin: Made in the USA


A young boy, lying awake one Christmas Eve, is welcomed aboard a magical trip to the North Pole . . .
Through dark forests, over tall mountains, and across a desert of ice, the Polar Express makes its way to the city atop the world, where the boy will make his Christmas wish.
For millions of readers worldwide, this mysterious journey to the North Pole has become a beloved classic. In this 30th anniversary edition, the inimitable artistry of Chris Van Allsburg is revealed in a never-before-seen fashion, with a new jacket design and expanded interior layout. Includes author;s note, downloadable audio read by Liam Neeson, and golden "All Aboard" ornament.
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Get it by Fri, Mar 5 with free Standard Shipping

Shipping details

Estimated ship dimensions: 9.3 inches length x 0.38 inches width x 11.7 inches height
Estimated ship weight: 1 pounds
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