One Christmas Eve, a bathrobe-clad boy boards the mysterious Polar Express train on its way to the North Pole. Arriving in the mystical polar city, the boy is thunderstruck when Santa chooses him to be the recipient of the very first gift of Christmas. Shyly, the boy asks for his true heart's desire--one silver bell from the harness of Santa's reindeer. His wish is granted, and the train begins its return trip. But alas! The boy has a hole in his pocket, and the cherished sleigh bell is lost... forever?
Author-illustrator Van Allsburg, who also received the Caldecott Medal for Jumanji and a Caldecott Honor for The Garden of Abdul Gasazi, is a creative talent beyond compare. The timeless splendor of his unique, breathtaking illustrations and quiet story will undoubtedly stay with the reader for a lifetime. (Ages 3 to 8) --Emilie Coulter