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Literary Elements

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg is one of my all-time favorite children books. when you read it again as an adult it reminds you of how amazing being a child and believing in christmas is! The story is about a young boy on Christmas Eve who believes in santa and take a trip to the North Pole on the polar Express. On his trip he is with many other children just as excited as he is. When he arrives to the North Pole he gets chosen by Santa to tell him what he wishes for christmas, and the little boy wished for one of Santa's reindeers bell. He received the first gift of Christmas! He takes his journey back home and notices he lost the bell, because his pocket had a hole in it. The next morning he is opening his presents and he opens his last one and it was the silver bell he got from Santa's reindeer. Only those who believe in Santa could hear the sweet sound of the bell, and once you stopped believing in Santa you can no longer hear it.

The setting of The Polar Express first starts off at the young boys home, later traveling to the North Pole on the Polar Express and where he later sees Santa and receives the bell, and then later travels back his home.

The theme of The Polar Express is to show young readers to always believe, even if everyone around may not still believe in the same thing as you.To believe in the magic of Christmas and Santa.

Physical Features

The size of the book is larger and pretty easy to read. The cover, shown above, shows The Polar Express in the middle of the street in the young boys neighborhood. Throughout the book the Words are on the left side of the pages with the pictures taking up all of the right page and half of the left page. All the pages have borders around them, not letting the pictures bleed off the pages. The most important page in my opinion is the last page. It has a large picture of the bell giving the most important message of the book. When one stops believing in Santa they will no longer hear the sweet sound of the bell.

Visual Elements

Throughout the whole book the reader is watching the whole story unfold in front of them. The reader follows the adventures of the young boy traveling to the North Pole. In the first picture is after the boy is climbed aboard the Polar Express with the conductor showing him the way. You can see the bright lights and the excitement of the being abroad the Polar Express. In this picture you can see all the young children in their pajamas drinking hot cocoa from helpers on the train. The picture makes you feel like you're on the train with all the children. The colors are kinda all the same, but the main focus of the picture is the men passion out hot cocoa to children enjoying the excitement to traveling to the Polar Express.
The second picture is one of the other important part of the story is the picture of the young boy on the side of Santa receiving the first present of Christmas. The young boy ask Santa for was one silver bell form Santa's sleigh. The focus of the picture is Santa holding the bell, the young boy looking up to Santa. The reindeers to the left of Santa, with the bright lights of excitement behind them

Artistic Style

The artistic style of the book is very realistic, as the reader you can see the expressions on each of the characters. All the houses are realistic. For children who still believe in Santa it gives them a realistic image of what the North Pole may look like if it were to exist. With the story being very realistic is gives a sense of the reader almost being there with the young boy on his adventures. The only characters that do not have any faces are the elves, but as the reader you can obviously tell they are elves.

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Artistic Media

The pictures are oil pastel. With all the pictures in the book the colors are blended together really well. The pictures almost have little dots on them. With the pictures being very detailed with color, they almost have a little blur to them also.

Elements of Illustration

The elements of illustration throughout the book is very constant and stays the same. All the Illustrations are framed and stay in the center of the page. With the illustrations being framed it makes them stand out, having the reader really focus on the story. Even with the book being for younger children, it is put together in a way that can be enjoyable for any age.

Interplay of Text and Illustrations

The text is located to the left of each page, but almost not as important to what the story the pictures are telling. The book flows very well, it doesn't leave the reader hanging, to having to think what will happen next, it tells them right away. The text is very simple and doesn't distract from the illustrations. The text lets the reader hear the words, but mostly focus what is happening in the pictures.