“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. $2500.
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 about-fine, dust jacket near-fine with only slight rubbing mostly to extremities. A handsome signed copy.