4 06 2012

The book Jumanji is waaaaaaay different from the movie.  Of course, the basic idea is the same – two kids, Peter and Judy,  find a mysterious board game and their just bored enough to play it one afternoon while their parents are away.

The point of the game is to roll the dice and move your token down the path through the jungle to the golden city of Jumanji.  The rules are simple.  Take turns, move your token…  however, the final rule is the most important – the game doesn’t end until someone has won.

That may seem easy enough, but each square that you land on on your way to Jumanji poses a new challenge – maybe a lion attacks that forces you to go back two spaces, or a band of monkey steal the food from your camp so you lose a turn, or a monsoon comes through the jungle to set you back a ways.  Only, it doesn’t just happen in the game – as the two kids find out, if you land on a space that says “lion attack” there’s going to be a real live, honest to goodness lion in your living room.  Next thing you know it, there’s a monsoon in the kitchen, monkeys throwing pots and pans about, lava pouring from the fireplace, and a rhino stampede crashing through your mother’s china.

And the game doesn’t end unless someone wins.

Chris Van Allsburg, also the author of The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, Zathura, and The Polar Express, won the Caldecott Medal for this incredible picture book.  The right side of every page is filled with detailed black and white pencil drawings of wild jungle animals taking over the house as Peter and Judy attempt to finish their game.

Jumanji turns 30 years old this year, but this afternoon it had all three of my boys riveted as we explored the pictures and read the story.

This one is #15 for the summer.  I’m trying to read 90 books in 90 days before school starts up again in the fall.




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