Jumanji, a young people’s jungle adventure especially designed for the bored and restless.
Peter and Judy find it outside with a free sign next to it. When they look at it more closely, they discover that the mysterious board game comes with a strange note: "Very important: Once a game of Jumanji is started it will not be over until one player reaches the golden city."
Judy and Peter are about to find out not only what the note means but also the meaning of adventure when they begin to play, for the game literally starts to come to life. When they land on “a lion attack,” a lion appears, crouching on top of their piano. When they roll on “food-stealing monkeys,” they discover that a band of monkeys has indeed raided their kitchen. Their house is quickly turning into a jungle and there’s only one way for Peter and Judy to stop it. They must reach the golden city before it's too late.
Van Allsburg's art style is the perfect accompinament to his story Jumanji. The pencil illustrations are drawn like black and white photographs. They're so detailed that you can see reflections and deep shadows. This realistic style gives the crazy scenarios a very surreal look, while also increasing the excitement of an afternoon game gone terribly wrong.
Those readers who've grown bored with a typical board game after landing yet again on "lion attack" (with the only consequence being "go back two spaces") will understand how fun this book is. Seeing the board game come to life (however negative the consequences) is a thrilling experience that's sure to elicit some shrieks of excitement from young readers. It may also cause similarly bored and restless readers to find that they appreciate the power of the imagination a little more.
Review by Lauren Shearer
Lauren Shearer writes words for fun and profit. She also makes films, but everyone knows you can't make a profit doing that. Her other hobby is consistently volunteering way too much of her time. You can read more of her reviews here.
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