THE BEST CHRISTMAS BOOKS EVER - THE POLAR EXPRESS
The Polar Express was written and illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg and published in 1985.
The book is partially set in the author's home town, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and takes place in 1956.
It begins when a young boy, who used to love Christmas, but now doubts, hears a train whistle outside his house and to his amazement, he finds the train has stopped and is waiting for him.
The conductor explains the train is called the Polar Express, and is journeying to the North Pole. Still wearing his night clothes the boy reluctantly boards the train, which is filled with chocolate and candy, as well as many other children in their pyjamas.
After an adventurous journey the train reaches the North Pole and at the center of town thousands of elves are waiting to send Santa Claus on his way.
The boy is handpicked by Santa to receive the first gift of Christmas.
Realizing that he could choose anything in the world, he asks for one bell from one of the reindeer's harnesses.
Santa gives him the bell and he places in the pocket of his robe but later, on the train ride home, it falls through a hole in his pocket and is lost.
But on Christmas morning, his sister finds a small package under the tree, behind all of the other gifts.
And when the boy opened it he discovered that it was the bell, delivered by Santa who had found it on the seat of his sleigh.
When the boy rang the bell he and his sister revelled in the sweet sound.
Their parents of course were unable to hear it because they did not believe.