Module 2: Jumanji

27 06 2010

Book Cover

Summary: One afternoon two restless children discover a board game that has been abandoned in the park and they decide to play. However, they soon discover that this is no ordinary board game, this is a board game that comes to life, causing a stampede of rhinos, a pack of rhinos, and other outrageous things to come to life right in their house. The children must hurry and finish the game before their house is destroyed, or worse their parents come home to find what has been unleashed on the house!

Citation: Van Allsburg, Chris. (1981) Jumanji. Boston: Houghton Mifflin

My Impressions: Although I’ve seen the movie a long time ago, I don’t remember reading Jumanji. This was a very entertaining book with great black-and-white illustrations that enhance the text and bring it to life. I thought the characters were believable as well as the scenario–I for one remember clearly the intense boredom that overcomes children with too much time on their hands. Jumanji also reminded me of one of my favorite childhood books, also by Chris Van Allsburg, The Polar Express. Obviously the style of illustration is very similar, but the idea that kids can experience fantastical adventure that is unique to childhood and that adults do not understand is also what I love about both books.

Reviews:

“A beautiful simplicity of design, balance, texture, and a subtle intelligence beyond the call of illustration.” —New York Times Book Review

Library Use Suggestions: A fun story time activity to go along with this book is to have children create their own “board” games on a piece of paper.

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