This is a notebook and guide for learners of English as a second or overseas language, all over the earth. Most of the writings here are in Basic English, first designed by C. K. Ogden, using 850 necessary words and a number of international words only.
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The Polar Express
The Polar Express Chris Van Allsburg,
 the writer and painter of picture books,
 came across a poor match-boy
 with very green eyes
 one winter night.
 After getting a box of matches from him,
 he took time
 hearing the boy give a story.

It was the story of a journey on a
steam train which took boys and girls to the
North Pole, the land without a daylight in winter,
the land where Santa Claus was living.

After the story,
the boy made an offer of a small bell
for five dollars.
Though it was broken,
Allsburg got the bell for all the money he had,
because of the sad look on the boy's face.
The bell gave, however, a very beautiful sound.
Allsburg took it up to have a better look
under the street-light.
When he made a turn back,
the boy was gone,
like some unnatural being.

Allsburg says that he put the story down in writing,
made some changes,
and it came out as the picture book named The Polar Express.

I'm not certain
if Allsburg's account of hearing the story from the strange boy
is true.
Some say it's another story made up by him.

ポーラー・エクスプレス
Anyway, the book did well on the market,
and years later,
it was made into a motion picture,
with addition of quick-moving events.
The moving picture is like a journey to Disneyland,
full of colors, dance and music.

The book, on the other hand,
is more like a Märchen,
[like an] old bedtime story from Germany.
It's a short and quiet story which
gives you a feeling of the winter night,
giving attention to the dark outside,
with snow coming down.
The picture of Santa Claus
is like the [one made of wood,
with a painted smile and]
on its feet in front of a store,
without moving.

SSS readers give four stars to the book.
They say that its language level is 1.2.
It's 1,050 words long.

The opening lines go like this:

On Christmas Eve, many years
ago, I lay quietly in my bed. I
did not rustle the sheets. I
breathed slowly and silently. I
was listening for a sound -- a
sound a friend had told me I'd
never hear -- the ringing bells
of Santa's sleigh.


Some say the book is not as intersting as the movie,
but I'm more for the book.
It's deep and good for reading out loud
late at night before the Christmas Day.
| Books in Simple English | 15:20 | comments(0) | trackbacks(0) | pookmark |
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