Polar Express 30th anniversary edition

Polar Express 30th anniversary edition WeeklyReviewer

Take a ride aboard the Polar Express in this award-winning, classic holiday story, complete with an ornament gift, perfect for every child’s library.

A young boy, lying awake one Christmas Eve, is welcomed aboard a magical train to the North Pole. The Polar Express makes its way to the city atop the world, where the boy will make his Christmas wish. This is a story for all who believe in the spirit of Christmas and those who treasure the sound of a reindeer’s silver bell.

The Polar Express is the 1986 Caldecott Medal winner, and reading the story together is a beloved holiday tradition held by generations of families. It was also made into an animated feature film starring Tom Hanks.

In this special edition, the inimitable artistry of Chris Van Allsburg is highlighted with a new jacket design and expanded interior layout. Includes an author’s note and downloadable audio read by Liam Neeson.    

From the Publisher

Polar Express 30th anniversary edition WeeklyReviewerPolar Express 30th anniversary edition WeeklyReviewer

Polar Express 30th anniversary edition WeeklyReviewerPolar Express 30th anniversary edition WeeklyReviewer

North Pole Cozy Cocoa Recipe

Gather the ingredients below.

Pour hot water, sugar, cocoa powder and salt into a large pot. Whisk over medium heat.

When everything is combined, add chocolate chips and whisk mixture until chocolate chips are melted.

Add milk and vanilla and whisk again. Serve with marshmallows or whipped cream!


1 cup cocoa powder

1 cup chocolate chips

1 tsp salt

1 cup hot water

1 cup sugar

½ gallon milk

1 tsp vanilla

Fun Facts About The Polar Express

In celebration of the 30th anniversary of The Polar Express, enjoy these fun facts about the book!

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.

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