The Polar Express is almost certainly my favourite Christmas book, and I did read this one cover to cover.I've had it many years and seem to remember that I bought it without really knowing the story, probably because I liked the illustrations! I really enjoyed the read when I got it home and found it to be very moving (moved me anyway). The animated film is good but I found the book to be better and enjoyed the imagery it conjured up in my mind as I read it. The film, I saw after reading the book, removed my need to form my own images, and now I have the image of the Tom Hanks character and the boy firmly planted in my brain, and the style of animation used has removed my need to envisage that world. Technological advances are moving at a pace and dots the I's and crosses the T's before we need to do it for ourselves, and we call it progress!