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JUMANJI by Chris Van Allsburg


This story is a sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat story, has been read by many, and does not grow old.  It was even made into a movie and still, we want to read and reread this surrealistic tale.

As the tale begins, Judy and Peter are left at home while their parents go out to the opera with a parental reminder of rules to obey and that they will be bringing home guests afterward.  The two children venture out to the park across the street only to find a game entitled “Jumanji.”  A note is taped to the box with these words: “Free game, fun for some but not for all.  P.S. Read instructions carefully.”  Thus the adventure begins!  Peter and Judy have no idea where this game will take them nor what kind of extraordinary events will happen, nor does the reader on the first reading!  Just remember what that note said as you read this great book!

The sepia-tone drawings are done by Mr. Van Allsburg.

Thirty-plus years of readers have been right there with Judy and Peter as a whole new generation joins them on this most intriguing adventure.  The book cover pictured above is the thirtieth anniversary edition which includes a CD by Robin Williams reading this incredible piece of fantasy.  What fun to listen to Robin Williams reading Jumanji.

Reading Level:  6 – 8 years old

Caldecott Medal Award
National Book Award finalist
New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year
Boston Globe Horn Book Honor Award
School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
American Library Association Notable Book for Children
Booklist Editor’s Choice
International Reading Association/Children’s Book Council Children’s Choice

Author and Illustrator:
Chris Van Allsburg is the winner of two Caldecott Medals, for Jumanji and The Polar Express, as well as the recipient of a Caldecott Honor Book for The Garden of Abdul Gasazi. The author and illustrator of numerous picture books for children, he has also been awarded the Regina Medal for lifetime achievement in children’s literature. In 1982, Jumanji won the National Book Award and in 1996, it was made into a popular feature film.   Mr. Van Allsburg began his career after graduate school as a sculptor, but delved into drawing.  His wife encouraged him to illustrate his own children’s book and thus the tales began.  He lives in Rhode Island with his wife and two children.  You can find more about this great author/illustrator @ http://www.chrisvanallsburg.com/home.html

Book Information:

  • ISBN-13: 9780547608389
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 10/4/2011
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Edition number: 30
  • Pages: 32
  • Product dimensions: 11.20 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Originally reviewed by me December 3, 2013.


4 thoughts on “JUMANJI by Chris Van Allsburg

    • OH, my!!! The book is wonderful! The children at my older kids storytimes when I was a children’s librarian just loved this book and wanted it again and again. So will you!!!

      Liked by 1 person

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