5 Days of Christmas Books: The Polar Express

This is day two in my 5 day series: 5 Days of Christmas Books. Today’s book is The Polar Express. While this is a newer selection than yesterday’s classic – The 12 Days of Christmas – it is one that has inspired wonder and awe in kids everywhere. From the book to the ever popular animated movie, The Polar Express is a holiday joy.

5 Days of Christmas Books with Activities: The Polar Express from Starts At Eight

The Polar Express Summary

One Christmas Eve many years ago, a boy lies in bed, listening hard for the bells of Santa’s sleigh, which he has been told by a friend do not exist. Later that night he hears not bells but a very different sound. He looks out of his window and is astounded to see a steam engine parked in front of his house. The conductor invites him to board the Polar Express, a train filled with children on their way to the North Pole. The boy and his companions journey past tiny towns and forests full of wild creatures. They travel up and around mountains and across the Great Polar Ice Cap to the magical city at the North Pole. The train takes the children to the center of the city, where Santa and the elves have gathered for the giving of the first gift of Christmas. The boy is chosen to receive this first gift. Knowing that he can choose anything in the world, he decides on a simple gift: one silver bell from Santa’s sleigh. Santa cuts a bell from a reindeer’s harness and the delighted boy slips it into his bathrobe pocket as the clock strikes midnight and the reindeer pull the sleigh into the sky.

When the children return to the train, the boy realizes the bell has fallen through a hole in his pocket. Heartbroken, he is returned to his home. In the morning, his little sister finds one small box with the boy’s name on it among the presents below the Christmas tree. Inside is the silver bell! The boy and his sister are enchanted by its beautiful sound, but their parents cannot hear it. The boy continues to believe in the spirit of Christmas and is able to hear the sweet ringing of the bell even as an adult. {Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Books}

Buy the Book – Buy the Movie

Hot, Hot, Hot Chocolate

This is one of the most memorable scenes in the movie in my opinion. So when you sit down to watch with the kids consider making up some hot chocolate to share!

Favorite Hot Chocolate Recipes from Starts At Eight

More Hot Chocolate Fun

The Polar Express: Movie vs. Book

The Polar Express Movie

I actually did not know there was a book, until the The Polar Express movie came out. I had never hear of The Polar Express until the movie version starting airing trailers.

There are so many books that have been made into movies. We have an unwritten rule in our house that you shouldn’t see the movie until you have read the book. I just don’t think movies usually do the book justice and I want my children to experience the enrichment of the book first.

That being said, comparing books to their movie version is a great critical thinking, and writing opportunity for kids. For this very reason I have created a FREE Compare The Book and The Movie Printable for you to use. I created it generically so it can be used again and again for any book/movie combination you choose! You could choose to add things like color sheets, and other printables to it in a folder to create a fun mini unit for any book/movie combinations that you do!

You can also check out this FREE 65+ page Polar Express Book & Movie Study from Enchanted Homeschooling Mom.

Other Polar Express Activities

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Another Great Christmas Book Idea:

The 25 Books of Christmas

5 Days of Christmas Books with Activities Series

5 Days of Christmas Books from Starts At Eight

1. The 12 Days of Christmas

5 Days of Christmas Books: 12 Days of Christmas from Starts At Eight

2. The Polar Express

3. Frosty the Snowman

5 Days of Christmas Books with Activities: Frosty the Snowman from Starts At Eight

4. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

5 Days of Christmas Books with Activities: A Christmas Carol from Starts At Eight

5. Twas the Night Before Christmas

5 Days of Christmas Books with Activities: Twas The Night Before Christmas from Starts At Eight


5 Days of Christmas

5 Days of Christmas from iHN