A Favorite Holiday Book: The Polar Express


{Click on Photo to Shop for “The Polar Express” by Chris Van Allsburg}

One of my favorite books for the holidays is “The Polar Express” by Chris Van Allsburg. It is beautifully illustrated and the story is still so magical for me even as an adult. In 2005/2006-ish the book was being made into a major motion picture  and they did a Hollywood type screening in my hometown (and where I was going to art school at the time) of Grand Rapids, Michigan. As art students we were given the task of recreating massive scenes from the book that were larger than life size. While I had always loved the book, this was the first time I had really studied the compositions because they had to be repainted at such a huge size. For the event, Chris Van Allsburg was in town… he is a bit of a hometown hero in GR because that is where he hails from… and I also had a chance to hear him speak a bit about his experiences in the children’s book field. All in all, the book and movie couldn’t even be compared because they are completely different experiences and both good in their own right. If you’ve read the book, I just have one question:

Does the bell still ring for you?

Update: Here are a few photos from the 2004 movie premier!


{Chris Van Allsburg Speaking at Kendall College of Art and Design, Grand Raids, MI, 2004}

{Backdrops created by Kendall students for movie premier, 2004}


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4 Responses to “A Favorite Holiday Book: The Polar Express”

  1. sketched out Says:

    Yes, yes indeed, it still rings for me, hee heeeee!

    What a great experience that must have been, having Chris Van Allsburg come to your town and speak. Also sounds like a fun project to recreate some of the scenes from the book. Do you have any photos of that you can share?

  2. candacetrewcamling Says:

    I’ll have to see if I can find them! I think I have some saved somewhere… when I post my two turtle doves tomorrow I will append this post.

  3. sketched out Says:

    Oh please do!

  4. sketched out Says:

    Wow, Candace! Those backdrops are gorgeous! Thanks for adding the pics.

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