“CHILDLIKE WONDER REVERBERATING WITH MYSTERIOUS INTENSITY”: FIRST EDITION OF THE POLAR EXPRESS, SIGNED BY VAN ALLSBURG
VAN ALLSBURG, Chris. The Polar Express. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1985. Oblong quarto, original maroon cloth, original dust jacket.
First edition of Van Allsburg’s lushly illustrated, enchanting tale of childlike wonder and hope, winner of the 1986 Caldecott Medal, signed by the author-illustrator.
Chris Van Allsburg's captivating fable "clearly established the illustrator-author as one of the premier creators of picture books in 20th-century children's literature. The Polar Express, immediately taken to heart by children and adults alike, was a phenomenon in children's publishing. It won the Caldecott Medal for illustration, appeared on the New York Times best seller list, sold more than a million copies in its first five years of publication and achieved the status of a contemporary classic… Rich panel illustrations, in blues and purples, are accompanied by a narrative that achieves an exceptional sense of story… Van Allsburg touches a universal chord— faith. The simple truth of the story is perceptively conveyed through a felicitous blend of pictures and narrative; the combination radiates with childlike wonder while reverberating with mysterious intensity" (Silvey, 660).
Book fine, dust jacket very nearly fine. A handsome signed copy.