The Polar Express.
A young boy is awakened on Christmas Eve night by the sound of a train. To his astonishment, he finds the train is waiting for him. He sees a conductor who then proceeds to look up at his window. He runs downstairs and goes outside. The conductor explains the train is called the Polar Express, and is journeying to the North Pole. The boy then boards the train, which is filled with many other children in their pyjamas.
The Polar Express races north over mountains and through boreal forests inhabited by wolves as well as rabbits, but the train never slowed down. When it arrives at the North Pole, the conductor explains that Santa will select one of them to receive the first gift of Christmas.
The boy and the other children see thousands of Christmas elves gathered at the center of town 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, the boy asks for one bell from one of the reindeer's harnesses. The boy places the bell in the pocket of his robe and all the children watch as Santa takes off into the night for his annual deliveries.
Later, on the train ride home, the boy discovers that the bell has fallen through a hole in his pocket. The boy arrives home and goes to his bedroom as the train pulls away. On Christmas morning, his sister finds a small package for the boy under the tree, behind all of the other gifts. The boy opens the box and discovers that in it was the bell, delivered by Santa who found it on the seat of his sleigh. When the boy rings the bell, both he and his sister marvel at the beautiful sound. His parents, however, are unable to hear the bell and remark that it must be broken. The book ends with the following line:
At one time, most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed, it fell silent for all of them. Even Sarah found one Christmas that she could no longer hear its sweet sound. Though I've grown old, the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe.
LDF Notes: This collection is well suited for beginning readers (short paragraphs, nice illustrations).
Il y a longtemps, une nuit, la nuit de NoÃ«l, un train s'arrÃªte dans la rue devant la fenÃªtre d'un petit garÃ§on. InvitÃ© Ã y monter, celui-ci y retrouve quantitÃ© d'autres enfants vÃªtus de pyjamas ou de chemise de nuit. Commence alors un voyage fantastique Ã travers bois, sur des montagnes enneigÃ©es, jusqu'au PÃ´le Nord, le pays du... PÃ¨re NoÃ«l ! RÃªve ou rÃ©alitÃ© ?
Notes LDF Collection particuliÃ¨rement adaptÃ©e pour les lecteurs dÃ©butants. Paragraphs courts, belles illustrations.