The Polar Express has become something of a Christmas classic. Yet, around my house, this book is request, frequently, year-round. It’s 90+ degrees outside, we’ve spent the day at the beach or playing in the sprinkler, and the bedtime story request consists of a mid-winter trip on a magical train to visit Santa.
As the adult, I don’t understand it. I’m sure I made similarly perplexing requests as a child, even though I do not recall doing so. Yet, holiday season or no, the effect is the same – starry eyed children caught up in the fairy tale world of Santa and his elves. Who am I to judge?
Therefore, on the strength of year-round appeal, I am awarding this month’s Giggle Book Award to The Polar Express.
“I knew I could have any gift I could imagine. But the thing I wanted most for Christmas was not inside Santa’s giant bag. What I wanted more than anything was one silver bell from Santa’s sleigh. When I asked, Santa smiled. Then he gave me a hug and told an elf to cut a bell from the reindeer’s harness. The elf tossed it up to Santa. He stood, holding the bell high above him, and called out, “The first gift of Christmas!””
–The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg