by Chris Van Allsburg

Hardcover, 1981



Call number




Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (1981), Edition: Library Binding, 31 pages


Left on their own for an afternoon, two bored and restless children find more excitement than they bargained for in a mysterious and mystical jungle adventure board game.

User reviews

LibraryThing member stephanie006
Jumanji is geared towards more advanced readers. It is full of many descriptive words and more complex sentences. Readers could be taught how to use commas, semi colons and dialogue in a story. This story has a rich plot, setting, rising action, climax, falling action and ending. This story could
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easily be used to study the five elements of a story. .
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LibraryThing member BrennaSheridan
A beautifully illustrated book about a magical board game that comes to life for a brother and sister. This book brings about many adventures for Peter and Judy including wild monkeys, giant mosquitoes, head hunters, and more! In the end, the brother and sister are closer than ever.
LibraryThing member June6Bug
Beautifully illustrated story of a boring afternoon gone out of control.
LibraryThing member munchkin49
This is a book about a young brother and sister that find themselves home alone and bored. They find a game outside and after reading the instructions begin playing. They soon discover this game is very different from any game they have played before. With every move of a game piece a new surprise
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materializes. They are only able to set things to rights if they finish the game.
This is a fun book but I'm afraid that because the illustrations are in the pen and ink style and without color, children might find them boring. For my own preference, I like the illustrations. The other thing I liked about this book is the idea of when children think they are bored, they often get into situations that are more than what they bargined for.
As a parent I have seen this happen with all three of my own children. They go looking for adventures and when the adventures find them. Sometimes more adventure than they really wanted.
I think it would be really fun to have the students create their own game with rules, the object of the game, and how to win. Another extention idea would be to let the children bring their favorite game, toy, or book when they are bored.
A third thing the students could do would be to bring different stuffed animals to class and share how they might act or what they might do if they were a part of the Jumanji game.
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LibraryThing member kbuttry
This book is about two children whose parents leave the house. They find a game in the park and decide to go home and play it. When they start playing, whatever is written where they land actually happens! Judy finally wins and everything disappears before their parents get home.

I enjoyed this book
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because it is not like the movie so I didn’t know what to expect. Also, the ending had a very funny twist to it. The pictures were drawn very excellent as well.

For extension ideas, I would have the class break into groups of 4 or 5 students and make up their own game. They would have to make instructions, a game board, and game pieces. Then once everyone finished, they would present it to the class and we would all play their games.
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LibraryThing member smilz23
The story of two young children who find a fantastic game under a tree. As they play the game comes to life and brings monkeys, lion, rain, fog and other events to their home.

Classroom connection: This book could be used to introduce the idea of fantasy vs. realistic fiction in an upper elementary
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classroom. The pencil artwork could also be studied. As well as an introduction to the Caldecott award.
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LibraryThing member messelti
In Jumanji, Two children decide to play a new game one afternoon while their parents are away, and unleash a world of trouble in their home. Writer and Illustrator Chris Van Allsburg takes a familiar scenario-two children left alone find trouble-and moves in a unique direction. The source of Judy
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and Peter's cannot be found in the usual arsenal of "do not touch" items in a house. Instead, the children find a board game in the park and decide to play a game. With the commencement of the game comes an array of tropical dangers: monkeys, a snake, a volcano, even a disease-carrying tsetse fly. Fortunately, these children know how to follow instruction and it saves their skin in more ways than one. Van Allsburg’s illustrations offer occasional snapshots of the story in motion, providing a clear setting and subtle characterizations. The smooth style of the pictures, along with the sidelined point-of-view, reinforces the text that precedes them and gives the reader the impression that they are not so much imagining the action as peeking in on it at every page turn. Recommended for any collection of picture books, in a school or public library.
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LibraryThing member cvyork
Hmm... this is the first book by Van Allsburg that I have read which received the caldecott. I think that because I saw the movie first, it ruined the book for me. The movie has a much more interesting and intricate plot than the book. The details of the words are not especially catching either. I
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think this lack of description should be made up for, with illustrations. There was a lot of dialogue but some things were just hard to picture.
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LibraryThing member amanda_c
Jumanji is a longer picture book with beautifully sketched illustration which will likely appeal to older children due to its more subtle qualities.

Jumanji would make an excellent story time book for younger children, and an engaging read-alone book for older children or
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advanced readers.

The magical adventure theme of this beautiful picture book will appeal many children, as will its lovely illustrations.
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LibraryThing member carrie.murphy
This story is so much better then the movie because the illustrations force the reader to become enthrolled with the text. The illustrations are drawn in black ink and are very detailed. I greatly enjoyed reading this book to my nephews and they liked it even more.
LibraryThing member KarriesKorner
The drawings are beautiful, but the story is really boring. Perhaps I have the vision of Robin Williams running through a mansion wearing leaves and fighting off a computer-generated lion to warp my perception of this book.
LibraryThing member elle0467
Two children play with a ouija board and go on an adventure when the ouija board brings them all sorts of bad things. Eventually they break the spell of the board and go back to normal life.
LibraryThing member HeatherSwinford
The book has a wonderful illustration of two bored children who escape into the world of the jungle through a mystery board game. The book is so imaginative and unique.
LibraryThing member katyguerra
Jumanji is a story about a brother and a sister who find a game in a park under a tree. They decide to play the game while their parents go out. All sorts of animals come out of the board game, such as a lion, an 8 foot python, monkeys, and a lost guide. They hurry up and finish the game, and
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everything goes back to normal.

I thought this story had adventure and was funny. You never really expect a lion or snake to come out of a board game. I can relate to this story, because I have learned that you should always finish what you start.

I can can have my students make their own board game in relation to this book.
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LibraryThing member jake.stover
Jumanji was about a brother and sister left home for the afternoon while their parents went away. They were told to keep the house clean because the parents were bringing friends over. The children find a game in the park and take it home to play. They read the instructions and find they MUST
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complete the game. Throughout the story, more crazy things happen and the house gets wrecked. By the end of the story, the parents come home to a clean house and the kids are asleep.

This was a very intriguing story. It made me want to turn the page and read more. The art work was great and the pictures were very detailed. They were black and white, but you could make out all of the details. It was a good book to read and just to look at. I think the book had a great story line and the ending left me wondering what would happen to the other two boys.

I would use this book in a unit about animals. It would be good if the class was taking a trip to the zoo. I would also use this as an introduction to board games, then have my students make their own board game that went along with the unit we were on.
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LibraryThing member mcivalleri
This is a very cute book. The pictures are excellent, and the story is fun. It is a bit simplistic, but I can see this motivating young readers to seek out other adventures in other books, which is the whole point! So I would recommend this book for a school library.
LibraryThing member Madalyn333
Jumaji is a fantasy fiction story about 2 children who are left alone for an afternoon. The two children discover the game Jumanji and they decide to play the game. Even though the game looked like every other board game, the children where in for a crazy adventure. This book has very detailed
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illustrations and it is appropriate for more advanced readers.
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LibraryThing member malinacoulter
A brother and a sister are left alone in their house. They become bored and decide to go outside to play. When they went to the park to play they came across a board game that was just left there. When they start playing the game they found out they soon got more then what they bargained for.

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is a very entertaining book. Every page has a new adventure waiting for the reader. In the end they are able to finish the game which brings everything back to the way it was before.

In the classroom I would like for us to watch the movie Jumanji. I would also like for the class to make up their own board games as well.
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LibraryThing member KellyBryan
The illustrations in this book are magnificent. They are very clear and crisp and you get an incredible understanding of what they story is about. There are more details given in the pictures than what it written in the story. There are random objects placed in the pictures that the author never
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mentions in the story. Even without the story you can still get a good idea of what the book is about.

With slightly older children, you could do a critique of this book compared to the movie that was made about this book.
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LibraryThing member dtortorice
This book is about two children who find a board game while out in the park. With their parents away, they quickly read through the instructions and begin to roll the dice. Soon they realize that what happens in the game happens in real life! They struggle to complete the game, as the directions
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said they must get through it to finish it. Eventually with the house and their safety on the line, the little girl reaches the end. The house returns to normal just in time for the parents to return!
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LibraryThing member savannahmcallister
Jumanji is about two children who do not listen to their parents, nor do they read direction like they should. They played a game before they knew all the rules. Then bad things happened. Such as an attacking lion, stealing monkeys, and many other diasters. Once the game is over the kids are
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thankful for what they have. They cleaned and behaved after discovering how horriable life can be. I know how these children felt, because I never followed directions. This caused me to get in lots of trouble, and have more problems then i could handle. I would use this book to teach children why it is important listen, or follow directions. We could also study the differnt animals, and thigs that occured in this book. I would introduce the children to the African culture where most of these things come from.
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LibraryThing member shumphreys
This is the story of a sister and brother that find a dangerous and magical board game that gives them an adventure full of terror and fright. Monkeys, lions, and other wild animals appear after each roll of the dice, and they wreak havoc on the kids' house. Only through a solid determination and
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perseverance do the children manage to finish the game before they become victims of pandora's box of boardgames.
Having seen the movie first, the book is much tamer and the story much shorter.
Grade 2-6. Wide appeal. group read, or individual read. Positives - Great illustrations, wild adventure
Negatives - might be too scary for younger audiences
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LibraryThing member ShellyCBuchanan
The story of a borther and sister left to fend for themselves for the afternoon, and who find and begin to play a board game they find unexpectedly, turns into an adventure that moves between reality and fantasy. The play in the board game comes to real life and the children are spun into chaos and
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impending doom, before all is put right. Van Allsburg is a master storyteller, who in the story anchors himself within the long line of masters, following Caldecott. The active, mysterious and luminescent qualities of the artwork are truly transporting for both children and adults.
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LibraryThing member AoifeJune
I think that Jumanji is a very good book and it is good for fun-loving poeple.
LibraryThing member aflanig1
A magical board game that brings real animals and other jungle elements into real life. A great fantasy story


National Book Award (Finalist — 1982)
Caldecott Medal (Medal Winner — 1982)
Boston Globe–Horn Book Award (Honor — Picture Book — 1981)
Audie Award (Finalist — 1996)
Kentucky Bluegrass Award (Nominee — Grades 4-8 — 1983)
Buckeye Children's & Teen Book Award (Nominee — Grades K-3 — 1984)
Indies Choice Book Award (Picture Book Hall of Fame — 2017)
Grand Canyon Reader Award (Nominee — 1985)
Golden Archer Award (Winner — Primary — 1996)


Original language


Original publication date



0395304482 / 9780395304488


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