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.
The Polar Express is an undisputed Christmas classic, and the film based on the book, starring Tom Hanks, has become a festive favourite around the world. Find out why our readers adore this special story and check out some of the gorgeous inside spreads below.
‘My son and I really enjoyed this book...The illustrations are lovely and we are looking forward to reading this more in the run up to Christmas!’
Read to SPH, age 4
‘This is a lovely festive book about a boy who boards a mysterious train that waits for him: the Polar Express bound for the North Pole. My kids loved this!’
Read to Massi, age 2
‘What a magical book. Its size is impressive and the front cover powerfully conveys the huge lumbering Polar Express in the iconic setting of winter. The illustrations are inspiring and beautiful, fully capturing a child and holding their attention. This is definitely an adventure like no other and the book makes you feel refreshed and revitalised, it's powerful and uplifting.’
‘Absolutely gorgeous book which me and my daughter loved. Wonderful illustrations and a classic story. We enjoy watching the film together close to Christmas and this story is going to be a firm favourite too. Can't beat something like this to get into the Christmas spirit. This will be a well treasured book!’
Jessica Lee, age 6
‘This is our favourite Christmas movie, and I wondered what the book would be like compared to the film. It's utterly beautiful, some of the most gorgeous illustrations I've ever seen, totally evoking that feel-good Christmas tone...I completely loved this story, so did my son, and I'd heartily recommended this Christmas story for both girls and boys, and the young at heart who still believe, from 3+.’
Read to Bob2, age 7
‘This book is beautiful! Illustrations are enchanting and the story is full of Christmas spirit. It is packed with the excitement and magic of Christmas and is perfect to be shared traditionally with the whole family. Can't wait to read this on Christmas Eve! We will treasure this for a long time.’
Read to mattieavfc, age 11
‘The loveliest book to compliment our favourite Christmas movie. This story is magical and gets us in the mood for Christmas.’
Read to Eswren, age 6
Here are some of our favourite images from The Polar Express: