The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

While I usually like to read books before I watch their movie adaptations, I have to admit that The Polar Express has been a favourite Christmas movie of mine for years, and I’ve only just gotten around to reading the book. Naturally, as the movie means so much to me, this was a book I was pretty excited to get my hands on.

While most movie adaptations lose a lot of the detail contained in the books that they are based on, The Polar Express is a rare example of the reverse being true. The original book is quite minimal with its storyline, and the movie expanded upon it significantly, so fans of the film will notice that many parts of the story that they may be familiar with are not present.

Nonetheless, it has to be said that the very concept of The Polar Express is a really beautiful one. A train coming in the dead of night on Christmas Eve to pick up children and take them to the North Pole so they can meet Santa Claus – that’s an amazing concept, and when coupled with the book’s absolutely fantastic illustrations, it’s sure to give anyone a magical Christmas feeling.

The best way to describe this book, is that it feels like a dream born out of the over-active imagination of a child lying awake on Christmas Eve, listening out for Santa Claus, and wondering what he’d be like and where he comes from. I had a wonderful time reading it as an adult, and I can’t image how much nicer it would feel for someone reading it as an actual small child. It’s definitely one for Christmas lovers to add to their shelf.

Rating: 8/10

Buy it here.

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