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Encyclopedia > The Polar Express

The Polar Express is a 1985 children's book (ISBN 0-86264-143-8) written and illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg, a former professor at the Rhode Island School of Design. It was adapted as a feature film in 2004. 1985 (MCMLXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Basic Characteristics There is some debate as to what constitutes childrens literature. ... Chris Van Allsburg (born June 18, 1949 in Grand Rapids, Michigan) is an author and illustrator of childrens books. ... The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD, pronounced /RIZ-dee/) is one of the premier fine arts institutions in the United States. ... The Polar Express is a 2004 feature film based on the childrens book of the same title by Chris Van Allsburg. ... 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


The book is now widely considered to be a classic Christmas story for young children. It was praised for its detailed illustrations and calm, relaxing storyline. In 1986 it was awarded the Caldecott Medal for children's literature. It is published in both soft and hard-copies. Christmas is an annual holiday that marks the birth of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. ... 1986 (MCMLXXXVI) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Caldecott Medal is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children published that year. ...


Plot

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

It tells the story of a young boy on Christmas Eve who is beginning to lose his belief in Santa Claus. Somehow, a magical train called the Polar Express pulls up in front of his house and he is invited to journey to the North Pole. As he reaches the North Pole, the boy is handpicked by Santa Claus to receive the first present of Christmas. He chooses a bright silver bell from Santa's sleigh which makes a beautiful sound. As the years go by, people around him notice that they can no longer hear the beautiful sound, even his parents and sister. But there are those who still can, those who still truly believe. The Christmas Eve (1904-05), watercolor painting by the Swedish painter Carl Larsson (1853-1919) Christmas Eve, the evening of December 24th, the preceding day or vigil before Christmas Day, is treated to a greater or a lesser extent in most Christian societies as part of the Christmas season. ... A typical depiction of Santa Claus. ... North Pole Scenery When not otherwise qualified, the term North Pole usually refers to the Geographic North Pole – the northernmost point on the surface of the Earth, where the Earths axis of rotation intersects the Earths surface. ...


Trivia

  • In the book, Fritz, the pit bull, appears as a sock puppet on the first page.

Fritz is the name of the bull terrier who appears in all of Chris Van Allsburgs books. ...

1225

The Steam Engine that pulled the Polar Express was modeled after an actual locomotive which resides at the Steam Railroading Institute in Owosso, Michigan. The 1225 was part of the Pere Marquette Railway system before being decommissioned to the Michigan State University campus as a display. However, some Steam Age Railroad enthusiasts took it upon themselves to restore the great engine, and, in a few years, it was pulling excursions all around the Owosso area and around Michigan. The engine 1225 was picked for the display at MSU because the C&O yardmaster associated its number board for christmas day 12-25, December 25 (December being the twelfth month). Although the train in the movie was modelled on the PM 1225, the engine model cited in the movie, Baldwin 2-8-4 S3 Vernon Class, was actually a model used by Erie Railroad, and represents the third series of 'Berkshire' locomotives they bought, this time from Baldwin Locomotive company. Unfortunately, there are no surviving examples of that stock today, but there were at least 8 of the '1225' model, two from PM, and 6 from Nickel Plate railroad. Neither was the train built in 1931. Source: http://www.steamlocomotive.com/berkshire/erie.shtml Great Western Railway No. ... Owosso is a city located in Shiawassee County, Michigan. ... The Pere Marquette Railway (AAR reporting mark PM) was a railroad that operated in the Great Lakes region of the United States. ... Michigan State University (MSU) is a public university in East Lansing, Michigan. ... December 25 is the 359th day of the year (360th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 6 days remaining in the year. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
The Polar Express - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (387 words)
The Polar Express is a 1985 children's book (ISBN 0862641438) written and illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg, a former professor at the Rhode Island School of Design.
Somehow, a magical train called the Polar Express pulls up in front of his house and he is invited to journey to the North Pole.
The Steam Engine that pulled the Polar Express was modeled after an actual Steam Engine which resides at the Steam Raliroading Institute in Owosso Michigan.
Polar Bear Express - definition of Polar Bear Express in Encyclopedia (1141 words)
Ontario Northland is best known for the daily Polar Bear Express train which runs from Cochrane to Moosonee, bringing tourists as well as essential supplies to this remote northern town, which cannot be reached by road.
The "Express" part of the name is something of a joke, because the train will happily stop along its route to pick up or drop off canoeing parties.
In 1977, the railway purchased a Trans-Europe Express train set retired from the Dutch railways, for use on its Northlander train.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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