by Chris Van Allsburg

Hardcover, 2002



Local notes

E Van




Houghton Mifflin (2002), Edition: 1st, 32 pages


Left on their own for an evening, two boisterous brothers find more excitement than they bargained for in a mysterious and mystical space adventure board game.


Original language


Physical description

32 p.; 9 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member MariaRiedman
Illustrations bring the story to life, remarkably magical.
LibraryThing member cacv78
Van Allsburg, Chris. (2002) Zathura: A Space Adventure. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.
This story is about two brothers named Danny and Walter and their adventures in another world that they discover when playing a board game they find called Zathura. The fantasy elements in this story are found
Show More
as the brothers find their home in the middle of "outer space" as they open their front door and see a planet in front of them. The story seems somewhat believable because the author makes the characters realistic as they fight and interact in their daily lives just like any normal boys before they find the Zathura game and move on to another world. This story is not an original plot because the author wrote another book called Jumanji in 1981 that has a similar plot where a brother and sister find a board game but enter a world of dinosaurs instead. Overall Zathura was a good read and well suited for an older group of children. The illustrations are black and white and are very good with a lot of details that follow the story closely.
Show Less
LibraryThing member katrinafroelich
In this story, illustrations are grainer than I anticipated, and don't capture the same movement of others. The story is a bit predictable, and characters demonstrate stereotypical transformations.
LibraryThing member Treeseed
At long last, 20 years after Jumanji, Chris Van Allsburg's new picture book, the sequel, Zathura, picks up where we left off, with Walter and Danny Budwing opening the long thin mysterious game box containing the amazing and dangerous game called Jumanji. Much to our surprise the box contains more
Show More
than just the Jumanji game. Danny and Walter are the kind of kids who don't finish their puzzles and don't read the directions before starting a new game. Just like its predecessor, Zathura takes us on a wild ride at break-neck speed and the boys are just one step away from disaster in every second of this suspenseful tale. Van Allsburg's artwork is his characteristic black and white, surreal, humourous and detailed wizardry. The action is edge-of-the-seat and sure to thrill young readers and story listeners in equal measure with Jumanji's jungle adventure as the brothers try to come to terms with the alien environment of the purple planet Zathura.
Show Less
LibraryThing member cvyork
I haven't read Jumanji yet, but it seems like it is like that, but in outer space. There also seems to be a common theme amongst Van Allsburg books, which is the relationship between siblings.
LibraryThing member curiousbutterpants
Chris Van Allsburg's fantasy "Jumani" was an exhilarating adventure, a true declaration of the power of the imagination. Naturally, high hopes were there for Zathura, what I dub his "kids in outer space" version of essentially the same story.

Unfortunately, "Zathura" doesn't ever seem to take
Show More
flight. While Allsburg's illustrations are gorgeous, the plot doesn't add up and worse, the ending is one of those that will have you biting your nails in frustration.

It's really lovely to look at, but in the end "Zathura" is one of those that you just wish could've been better.
Show Less
LibraryThing member messelti
In Zathura, when two bickering siblings find a strange board game that catapults them into “a space adventure,” they must learn to team up if they ever wish to make it home again! Zathura is a sequel to Chris Van Allsburg’s Jumanji, and like many sequels it is inferior to the original. Van
Show More
Allsburg has learned a thing or two about character development in his prose, and the combination of tension between the siblings and their journey into the vast seclusion of space adds an interesting element to the story. Also, his ultra-detailed style continues to provide fascinating minutiae each turn of the page. However, it is as if Zathura is a final edit to the Jumanji story, not a new adventure. Combined with the original story it creates one complete tale, not two. Still, less critical young readers are more likely audiences for these stories than cranky, sleep-deprived graduate students, so…like any Van Allsburg work, Zathura is recommended for any school or public library’s picture book collection.
Show Less
LibraryThing member Orpgirl1
I love Chris van Allsburg's work, but Zathura left me a tad disappointed. Picking up where his infamous Jumanji left off, Zathura tells the story of 2 brothers who play a board game left inside the forgotten Jumani box. Set in space, the brothers and their home go on a series of adventures while
Show More
flying to Zathura and hopefully making it home. van Allsburg main theme throughout the book is one of family bonding and caring for your siblings, as emphasized by an older brother who must learn to not only care for his younger sibling but also express these feelings. However, the solution for removing the brother's from their outer space travails seemed anticlimatic and tacked on, as if van Allsburg couldn't figure out a better way to end Zathura without it devolving into a Jumanji remake. His drawings in Zathura are well worth reading this book, however, as his characteristic black and white pen drawings are strikingly well done. Overall, though, I'll stick to other van Allsburg books in the future.
Show Less
LibraryThing member cricket2574
This book is kind of like the movie Jumanji where children play a board game that comes to life, but in outer space. They have to win the game for things to go back to normal.

I really did not care for this book, probably because it is in black and white, and the art work in books is what really
Show More
attracts me to pick certain ones-not sure why I picked this one.

Again, this book would probably be for older children, not the 3 and 4 year olds I teach. I would probably just bring board games from home for the children to play, or possibly do some things on outer space, maybe make space ice cream or somethings like that.
Show Less
LibraryThing member kirkonly
Summary: Zathura is an amazing adventure book about two little boys, Danny & Walter. While playing in the park they find a board game lying in the grass, Zathura. But when they start to play the game, the world that they know is turned into a space voyage that they have only experienced in their
Show More
SR: Zathura was a great voyage through space. The two brothers could easily be interpreted as “you and your brother”. When reading the story I felt like I was in a dream. The pictures also added a lot to the story.
TR: Zathura is a mind blowing story about two boys who didn’t get along. Throughout the game they become closer and closer, until finally they were not just brothers but friends. This book not only is an adventure book that would keep any child interested, it is a book that shows children how to become friends a care for each other.
Show Less
LibraryThing member dukefan86
I didn't realize there was a sequel to Jumanji until I read the inside of the dust jacket. Considering that I'm not much into science fiction, this was a cute story, and I enjoyed the ending. The illustrations, as usual for Chris Van Allsburg, were wonderful!
LibraryThing member jdieder104
If Jamanji hadn't recieved the Caldecott Gold Medal, I believe Zathura would have received it. The book is wonderfully illustrated. The relationship between two brother in the end is wonderful. I give this book a two thumbs up. Chris Van Allsburg illustrates, designs and writes his books.
LibraryThing member mdemock
Very similar to Jumanji, but with an outer space twist. This book has magical qualities that help to bring two brothers closer together. Like many of Chris Van Allsburg's books, the ending doesn't give the reader much closer and makes them want to read more.
LibraryThing member sjordet
"Zathura" is another fantasy children's book from Chris van Allsburg. This book is a continuation of the ending to "Jumanji." Using black and white pictures again, van Allsburg's artistry shines as he brings life to main characters Walter and Danny Budwing. The story is clever and entertaining and
Show More
the ending is wonderful.

Walter and Danny Budwing are two brothers who do not get along. Left home alone together, Danny begins to play a board game named Zathura (which was wedged in a Jumanji game box). Strange things start happening such as meteors crashing through the roof of the Budwing home and pirates invading the house as the Budwing home flies through outer space. The two brothers must team up in order to beat the game and stay alive.
Show Less
LibraryThing member KristenSheley
Two brothers are not getting along, and in the course of the story—which involves a magical board game like Van Allsburg's Jumanji—they are forced to come together and use teamwork to win the game. In the case of events in this story, the older sibling (Walter) ultimately gets to skip back in
Show More
time to when the game was found and, with his knowledge of what happens, he decides to play with his little brother instead of ignoring him and allowing Danny to get into the game. Considering how many brothers and sisters fight when they're young and hate having to entertain younger siblings, I think the theme is quite worthwhile and the illustrations helped enhance this. (Both brothers were quite distinctive in appearance, and in the last picture we see them standing together, arms around each other.)
Show Less
LibraryThing member mhinderlie
Summary: Danny and Walter have a hard time getting along together, much like any other pair of young brothers. One day when their parents leave, they find a Danny lures his brother outside where they find a game. Danny brings the game inside and begins playing, before he realizes they are in the
Show More
middle of a meteor shower. Walter begins playing too, they come about many different struggles as they are playing. Finally Walter gets sent through a black hole that makes him travel 3 hours back, where he is able to keep Danny from beginning the game.
Genre: Science Fiction
This story is an excellent example of science fiction, one of the two major settings is in outer space, where the boys come in contact with robots, alien pirates, meteor showers and black holes. Without the scientific content in this story it would not be the same story line.
Theme: Working together.
In this story Walter thinks that his younger brother Danny is an annoyance and doesn't like to spend time with him. The only interaction he has with him is correcting him in his speech and pulling his nose. Then in the end he sees that he loves his brother and wants to be there for him. He also learns that together they can do greater things than if they were apart. Walter learns the great lesson that Danny is a great asset to his life.
Media: Charcoal and sketching pencils
Show Less
LibraryThing member pinkgirl84
This book is somewhat like Jumanji. This is a pic book that has great illustrations. The book is about a game that takes a couple of friends into Space where they encounter a lot of crazy things. Ages: 8-11
LibraryThing member Jadoret
Summary: Two brothers who do not get along are sent into outter space where they must work together to overcome dangerous obstacles. At the end of the game the older brother is sent back in time before the game was played. When coming upon the game again he discards of it and takes his younger
Show More
brother back home to spend some quality time together.

Personal Thoughts: I liked how the story puts the reader in the mind of a child. It is very entertaining and fun for children. It also gives insight to the frustrations that children experience.

Classroom Extensions:
1. how precious time is
2. working togethe
Show Less
LibraryThing member kdelker
Zathura is a book about the adventure of two brothers who didn’t get along until they had to face challenges together to survive. Danny finds a game that sends the boys into outer space where they are hit by a meteor shower. As each boy takes a turn, the challenges are tougher and only by
Show More
depending on each other are they able to make it through.

I like the way the boys are forced to work together and how Walter changes his mind about his little brother and decides to spend time with him other than beating him up.

We could talk about space and meteor showers and how gravity affects us. We could also discuss relationships and how to get along with each other. We could list some things we could do rather than fight.
Show Less
LibraryThing member kerry.wood
Great story about 2 boys who are left home alone and decide to play a board game - Jumanji. However, they find a 2nd game board inside with a "Space" theme. Good storyline, very imaginative, and kept my interest. B/W Real Life Illustrations
LibraryThing member ht_storytime
Very long, but worked well for storytime. Actions and voices help to tell the story.
LibraryThing member Natoya
This story can be used when introducing science fiction to the students do t the fact that there are robots and gravity on earth. The story is great also for teaching creativity to young writers. The reading level is a 3.7
LibraryThing member Gamino
This story can be used when introducing science fiction to the students do t the fact that there are robots and gravity on earth. The story is great also for teaching creativity to young writers. The reading level is a 3.7
LibraryThing member kk903148
"Zathura", tells of two brothers that just can not seem to get along. The older brother Walter is always picking on his little brother Danny. Walter sees his brother as annoying and babyish. All Danny wants to do is spend time with Walter. When the boys go outside they find a board game. There was
Show More
an extra board in the in the box. Danny thought that it looked more interesting than the first so he started to play. Danny did not realize that whatever the game said actually happened in real life.Walter and Danny end up in outer-space. They experience things such as no gravity to aliens attcking there home. The boys thought that they were noever going to get home. However. Walter got a card that said that he will go three hours back in time. This put them at the time that they first found the game. Walter was very quick to though it away and get home.

Personal Views: This book is fun for everyone. It teaches older brothers and sisters to be nice to their younger siblings.

1. Teach about the planets
2. Create a space ship and have the children write what they would do if they were in outer-space.
Show Less
LibraryThing member ramber1
I thought that this book was a fun way to allow children to expand their imagination. The illustrations were really fun and amazingly detailed even though they were all in black and white. Each scene and card pulled from the game board had a really great illustration to go along with it which
Show More
really enhanced the storyline. This story also had a really good message that can sometimes be hard to teach children. In the beginning of the story, the younger brother is bothering the older brother and they are not getting along at all but by the end of the story the big brother knows that it is important to spend time with his younger brother and that it really is not that bad. Through getting sucked into a black hole in the story the older brother realizes that he really does love his younger brother even thought they fight sometimes. I really enjoyed the illustrations and storyline of this book but most of all loved the message that it gave the readers about the siblings and working together.
Show Less






½ (147 ratings; 3.9)
Page: 0.3647 seconds