All Aboard!

Well, are you coming?  Why, to the North Pole of course.

We all recognize this famous line from what has now become a Christmas classic AND a motion picture.  The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg is one of my holiday favorites.  (Actually, pretty much any book by Chris Van Allsburg is a favorite–he’s a master.)  But when I pulled this one from my Christmas book basket this year, I tried to read it from a writer’s perspective.  This is what I noticed.

  • MagicThe book evokes a sense of magic and wonder, starting with the front cover.  The text and illustrations give a magical feel as if you’re in a dream, creating the perfect opportunity for parents to snuggle with their children at bedtime.
  • MysteryThe magical element creates a sense of mystery captivating the audience until the very last page.
  • SecretsWhat kid doesn’t want to know more about the secret life of Santa?  And a glimpse of what it’s like on Christmas Eve at the hidden world of the North Pole?
  • DreamsA few pages into the book and you’re on a train ride IN your pajamas filled with Christmas carols and HOT CHOCOLATE where only KIDS are invited–now this is what dreams are made of.

Secrets, Magic, Mystery, and Dreams–Chris Van Allsburg pulled from what makes Christmas the most wonderful time of the year to create the perfect holiday read aloud.


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