The Polar Express – Free Online Read Aloud AND Study Links

polar expressImagination, dreams, and scenes of memories from long ago…
Van Allsburg’s express train to the North Pole will take you on a trip,
if only you believe.

*Updated Nov. 2016 plus new material added!

FREE Read-Aloud for Kids of The Polar Express, read by its author/illustrator: Chris Van Allsburg, one of my kid’s favorites!

Online Story Time from Barnes & Noble (This link goes to the current story.)

Climb aboard the steam train, for a seven and a half-minute get-away on The Polar Express.

Now for the retelling of “The Polar Express” in the beauty of American Sign Language. Watch Shaylee signing the story for ASL Nook. She has quite a gift for story telling. You will love it!

Scroll way down on the linked page to find this icon.

 The Polar Express *Free*
(Read-Aloud) [NOOK Book]

You’ll have to scroll way down on the linked page to find this icon. –>

Click it and wait for the pop-up to load.
Be patient, it may take a few minutes.

Of course. really you should buy it for yourself 😉 That way you will always have it and never worry that they’ll remove the link again.

SPECIAL for those of you lucky to be in WISCONSIN —

A Polar Express Holiday Train natl-railroad-museum-polar-expressfantasy awaits you at the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay Wisconsin. Featuring a live rendition of the Hot Chocolate Dance followed by a dramatic reading of the original book, patrons board the train for the ride to the North Pole. Once you reach the top of the world, Santa personally greets each and every child. Participants are encouraged to wear pajamas to complete the experience. Tickets sell out quickly for this limited event.

East Troy Electric Railroad’s Christmas Express Train will take you on a magical ride from the East Troy WI depot to Santa’s Workshop, located at The Elegant Farmer in Mukwonago WI. Children can visit Santa, enjoy cookies and hot chocolate, plus take home a special gift. Advance Reservations Are Recommended.

Tea & Trains is a holiday tradition for Madison WI area families, featuring the signature train collection by guest conductors, an enchanting reading of Make Way for Ducklings by Chief Michael Koval, themed arts and craft stations, an exciting silent auction, and of course, our high tea.

Barnes & Noble Online Storytime

Barnes & Noble’s Online Storytime features stories read by authors and celebrities.

Other ways to hear The Polar Express story….  is a project by the Screen Actors Guild, so the stories are read by actors and celebrities that do a great job animating the dialogue.

You select a story, from the list  which shows the length of the reading and who the celebrity is that will be reading your book.

There are Activity Guides you can download for many of the books, too!


Audio readings like these are a great tool to show children how to read with expression without feeling silly about it; because that’s just what good readers do.

StorylineOnline did have Lou Diamond Phillips reading “The Polar Express” but it has since been taken down. There are still many other popular titles (like Rainbow Fish and Stellaluna) to choose from.

Make The Polar Express into a homeschool unit study! Great ideas!!

polar express.png
the Full Polar Express Movie

Play the Polar Express Game polar-express-train-game-free-online
– Free Online Game

Other audio versions available online for The Polar Express:

There are many versions on YouTube, but t
his one read by William Hurt is my favorite.  It’s really good; professionally done with musical score and sound effects.  All you need to do is get your own copy of the book out, and follow along!

This one,  read by Liam Neeson is really very good, too:

Plus Study Guides and Other Activities…

Houghton-Mifflin Books, the publishers of THE POLAR EXPRESS, have created a list of suggestions that you can use to stretch the basic book across curriculum — or as we homeschoolers would say,  UNIT STUDY!
Here are suggestions for writing activities, science and geography, art and music.  Then download a teacher’s guide with lesson plans and more activities.
There are even Coloring Sheets, Games (Crossword puzzles etc.) and Recipes to go along with The Polar Express theme.
Visit for teachers’ guides on all of Chris Van Allsburg’s books.

Click here to download the free guide for The Polar Express.

The Polar Express  Written & Illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg

Thanks to Homeschool Freebie Of The Day for the tip on the study guide materials


Dec. 2015
Blessed Beyond A Doubt created this Polar Express preschool printable pack for her email subscribers. Join her list and you’ll get several FREEbies weekly, so you will always have something new for your children.


This FUN Polar Express  Preschool Packs Includes:

Nov. 2014
The re-imagined Reading Rainbow experience —  an App that has an unlimited library of acclaimed children’s books and video field trips.

“Take a look. It’s in a book!”

Happy Reading!


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