What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that lush drawings of the winter world seen through the eyes of a child complement the quietly elegant story.
What's the story?
Did you hear that sleigh bell? One young boy, whose friends are beginning to doubt Santa's existence, stays awake listening for that telltale jingle to validate his faith. What he hears instead is the toot of a train horn, signaling the beginning of one of the most beautiful Christmas books of all time.
Is it any good?
Children will listen intently to every word and study every picture as this beautiful and mysterious story unfolds. This tale's appeal traverses all age groups because it avoids the cuteness of many Santa stories and instead deals with deep magic. By the end of the story, the boy realizes that many people outgrow their belief in Santa, as one by one his friends and family stop hearing the bell. His own belief, however, rings true to the end.
The illustrations by Chris Van Allsburg, a sculptor by training, invite readers to crawl into each scene. The night is seen in shades of darkness. Van Allsburg uses surprising perspectives on many pages, like the view from below the train bridge as the Express glides toward the North Pole.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about faith. Why can the boy and his sister hear the bell, but the adults cannot? Have you ever believed something other people told you wasn't true? Why did you continue to believe? How did you feel?