27.09.2015

Polar express book read aloud

As he gets to the North Pole him and the other children immediately recognize the hundreds of elves. Later on the ride home the young boy realizes that the bell in his pocket is no longer there and it must have fallen out. This book is a picture book because there is a sense of imagination in the book and the way the pictures allow you to imagine what the text is saying is vital to the story. Tip: To turn text into a link, highlight the text, then click on a page or file from the list above. Based on the themes of belief and imagination though, a child could think of it as realism. The book is about this young boy as he goes on an adventure where he boards a very magical train that takes him on the ride of his life. There is no specific time period portrayed which causes the book to be timeless and appropriate over the years.
The first sentence in the book begins with "I lay quietly in my bed." This kind of narration is continued throughout the book.
This media allows for blending and highlighting to  make the illustrations either very realistic or impressionistic. The pictures that include the young boy are all realistic because you can see his face clearly with all of the details that make it look like real life.
The framing makes the illustrations stand out as if they are commended pieces of art meant to be hung on someone’s wall. The text describes the hot chocolate and candy using similes and text painting but the illustration only shows the children smiling as the chefs push the cart with the white mugs and hot chocolate. The author does a great job with the theme of the book and really makes you want to believe.


My kindergarteners are going to have a blast with this in a few weeks when we have our PJs and Polar Express day. Christmas morning comes and his sister finds a present under the tree and the little boy opens it and it is a silver bell. He is the one who knows that there is a Santa when so many people surrounded him simply do not believe.
The conductor leads the way for them to get back that childhood view of Santa and finally, Santa in the flesh proves himself to be real. The use of oil pastels allows for classic highlighting around the edges of objects but also for simple white “dots” inside the colors of the objects that make them realistic instead of flatly pigmented.
We are left to imagine the white nougat in the center of the candy and the dark richness of the cocoa. He embarks on this journey when he looks out his window and hears the whistle of the conductor and the engine's roar. You also understand that all he wants to do is believe that Santa is real and through his journey you understand that is possible.
The end of the story when the boy describes how he can still hear the bell is the final moment of unwavering belief. You can see Santa Clause in the forground with all of the details but in the background the elves are blended so much and do not have any features or details. At that moment he is invited on the train to experience an extraordinary adventure with many other children who are dressed in their pajamas just like him. He shook the bell and his parents couldn't hear the bell ring only him and his sister could hear. The magic of Christmas is shown when they boy’s sister finds the last gift under the tree, the bell from Santa.


They look just like basic shapes that you can tell, because of the context, are meant to be the elves. I think it is important that children read this book to understand that it is okay to still believe. The descriptions of the cocoa and candy on the train are clearly coming from the thoughts of the young child.
Not only does this make the boy absolutely sure that his belief is credible but it also shows us that Christmas morning comes around and there is always a surprise and there is always something to look forward to and hope for. Even if they don't believe it is still a great book to read because as the author puts it some people believe and some don't it is up to you to decide if you do or don't. She loves to get comments and feedback and always looking for new things to try or do with her girls. The boy places the bell in his pocket and then they all watch in admiration as Santa takes off to deliver his presents. The conductor also does not have a name throughout the book but also plays a significant role because he is able to lead the children on an adventure to help them believe.
The little sister (Sarah) of the young boy is another character in the book who doesn't appear until the end. She does play an important part though because the young boy realizes that he isn't the only one who can hear the silver bell ring but his sister can too, which means she is also a believer.



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