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Jumanji (Jumanji #1)

4.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  20,578 Ratings  ·  1,079 Reviews
The game under the tree looked like a hundred others Peters and Judy had at home. But they were bored and restless and, looking for something interesting to do, thought they'd give Jumanji a try. Little did they know when they unfolded its ordinary-looking playing board that they were about to be plunged into the most exciting and bizare adventure of their lives.
In his sec
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published 1981 by Houghton Mifflin Company
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Forrest Gump by Winston GroomThe Devil Wears Prada by Lauren WeisbergerJurassic Park by Michael CrichtonJumanji by Chris Van AllsburgMary Poppins by P.L. Travers
I Only Watched the Movie!
4th out of 944 books — 5,428 voters
The Princess Bride by William GoldmanThe Notebook by Nicholas SparksThe Devil Wears Prada by Lauren WeisbergerThe Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienStardust by Neil Gaiman
The MOVIE was BETTER than the BOOK
47th out of 859 books — 9,121 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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While I did enjoy Jumanji, the story seems a bit incomplete and more like an outline (as though some, if not actually much of the details are missing). I did appreciate the rich and detailed illustrations, but wanted more information, more fleshed out characters and scenarios.

Some might and with justification point out that the illustrations actually augment the sparseness of the text. That being said, I think some of my own issues are probably because I have always been an exceedingly textual
I love the 1995 film of Jumanji. It's a great story with fantastic special effects for the time. It's an exciting fantasy, full of surprises, wonder and magic, with two engaging children Peter and Judy, and many magnificent wild animals, threatening and amusing by turn. What is there not to like? But the 1981 book on which it is based ...

Chris Van Allsburg has written a kind of template for this fabulous adventure. It is a disappointingly brief and shallow read. None of the characters is fully
“Jumanji” is a Caldecott Award- winning book by Chris Van Allsburg and is the most popular children’s book out of all of his books. In this story, two children, Peter and Judy, discover a strange looking board game and they soon realize that this board game is more dangerous then they thought. “Jumanji” is clearly one of the most inventive and intense children’s book that will surely make children read it for a long time.

Chris Van Allsburg is excellent at illustrating and writing this classic c
2015 Reading Challenge #03: A book that became a movie.

Si ya viste la película y amas Jumanji, no leas este libro. Repito, no leas este libro. No dañes la ilusión.

Fin del comunicado.
May 31, 2015 Elyse rated it it was amazing
This book was in my space this morning.... came up in conversation

A favorite in our house with my younger daughter especially! So, it's special to me too!!
**2 Cuando el libro NO es mejor que la película STARS**

Pop Sugar Reading Challenge 2016 A book from the library.

Hace un par de días estaba sentada en el piso de la biblioteca, en el área infantil buscando libros para mi hija, justo cuando un libro salvaje llamo mi atención.

Como alguien que creció en los 90's la película Jumanji me marco y se convirtió en una de mis favoritas.

Así que cuando vi el libro (del que no tenia idea venia la película) inmediatamente lo puse en mi montón de libros pa
Katie Carson
I love the choice of the black and white illustrations of this book. Although Van Allsburg is known for this style of illustration in his books, I think he really uses it to his advantage in Jumanji. For example, note the shading from page to page. The second page, where the children leave the house and encounter the board game, the shading is much darker and provides a more ominous feeling that page before Peter and Judy say goodbye to their parents.

When the lion appears on the piano, not only
When I first reviewed Jumanji Toby responded that it was too bad that the movie ruined the beautiful surrealism of the book and drawings. Her comments made me take another look at this book. Instead of re-reading it to myself I decided to read it out loud with my 3rd graders. I have to admit that this class as a whole has ants in their pants and never sits still. Sometimes a couple of them will get up and walk around the reading circle as I'm reading.

I started out our story time by showing them
Dec 09, 2014 Josiah rated it it was ok
As far as its illustrations go, Jumanji doesn't lag behind any book that had ever previously won the Caldecott Medal, in my view. Chris Van Allsburg's eerie use of shadowing is fantastic, and certainly deserving of the highest honors available to picture book illustrators. My first experience with this book was when my teacher read it to our class in first grade, and the scariness of the drawings has stayed with me ever since.

Readers who expect Jumanji to rival the movie adaptation in terms of
Dan Schwent
Oct 19, 2012 Dan Schwent rated it really liked it
Shelves: kid-stuff
Loved the book. Not a tremendous fan of the movie due to Robin Williams.
Aug 06, 2015 Jessica rated it it was ok
Definitely nothing like the movie! The author could have easily made an incredible full length book out of this, so I'm not sure why it's this short of a story.
Anna  (Bananas!)
Jul 11, 2015 Anna (Bananas!) rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
The art makes this book. Gorgeous.
Jan 14, 2016 Kathryn rated it liked it
Such a wonderful idea and so full of potential, but I felt that the illustrations didn't match the excitement conveyed by the text. Nothing seemed particularly exciting even when the kids were supposed to be all thrills and chills with all the terrifying and exciting events. I'm also wondering, is this meant to be a cautionary tale? The dangers that can befall us when we allow ourselves to be bored? Or is it a celebration of imagination and what we can create when we allow ourselves to think bey ...more
Alexis Rodrigue
Feb 03, 2016 Alexis Rodrigue rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 52-books
I loved this book just as much as an adult as I did when I was a kid. I purchased the 30th Anniversary edition which comes with a cd of Robin Williams reading the story and that means so much to my inner child.
Jan 20, 2016 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Fun story with detailed and realistic black and white illustrations. It might be a little scary for younger audiences, but great for older children. Our girls enjoyed the suspense of the story and we really enjoyed reading it together.

This book was selected as one of the books for the January 2016- Quarterly Caldecott discussion at the Picture-Book Club in the Children's Books Group here at Goodreads.
Dec 02, 2014 Grace rated it it was ok
Shelves: childrens
See, sometimes I get kid’s books. Sometimes I just get them. I like the simplicity and how uniquely children can look at the world in them. The world doesn’t have to be explained if it just is. Other times I don’t get them. Other times I’m left with a lot of questions. Why didn’t the children freak out more? What’s the fundamental rules behind the reality of Jumanji? Can you die from it (like being mauled by the freaking lion trapped in the bedroom), or is the reality just draped over ours and n ...more
Mar 25, 2016 Wilmarie rated it really liked it
This wonderful story was the Caldecott Medal winner for the year 1982, and an adaptation of this book was turned into a film in 1995 with deceased actor Robin Williams as the main character. The book and The film adaptation are both set around a Medicaid board game called Jumanji where real elements of the jungle are occur where you are playing. The book tells the story about a brother and sister named Peter and Judy Shepherd, respectively, who are left alone in their house while their parents g ...more
Courtney Ennis
Oct 29, 2014 Courtney Ennis rated it it was amazing
In this fantasy picture book, there are many magical elements that are in the story. The story starts out with two siblings who are left at home alone after their parents go out for the night. The kids start playing with their toys but soon get bored so they go outside to on a adventure. They come across a tree with a board game underneath it. They decided to take it back home and play it. When they open it, it looks just like an ordinary board game. The directions say to read them carefully and ...more
Stacy Renee
This is another book that was adapted into a movie that I saw before reading the book. Because of that, I feel like I can't fully appreciate it. The book is short, pretty rushed, and kind of boring compared to the movie. I do like the illustrations, though.

Also, I can't believe they are remaking the movie! I absolutely loved the Robin Williams version. I'm interested in seeing what they do with it and if it will stick to the true essence of the book.
Heather Souders
Sep 24, 2015 Heather Souders rated it really liked it
Jumanji is a classic children’s tale. This book kept me on my toes, creating suspense through the illustrations and the storyline. It is an effective picture storybook for children. With an exciting plot and corresponding illustrations, this book entertains and does not disappoint. A sense of adventure is created within the reader, which helps build one’s imagination. Although the illustrations are black and white, they still show great detail. In a way, I think that the author used dull picture ...more
Al James
In my childhood, I have watched the movie version of Jumaji and very much enjoyed it. Having finally read the book I must say I enjoyed this version much more. The story follows two siblings Judy and Peter and their adventures while playing the game “Jumanji” where the children are pit against increasingly difficult situations that takes the form of real life animals and the disasters which the game places them both in. I instantly fell in love with the story concept of a game coming alive and l ...more
Patrick Coman
Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg

Jumanji is an illustrated short story and fantasy tale, written and illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg. Jumanji is a combination of the words jungle and magic.
When two children, Peter and Judy, are left at home for an evening they find a board game in the park called Jumanji. A note stuck to the box warns to read instructions carefully. Out of curiosity and boredom they decide to take it home with them. When they open the box they see a mildly boring game that turns
Mar 19, 2010 Jessica rated it liked it
Recommends it for: ages 5-8
Shelves: children
I think I may be reviewing this with a bias, because I saw the movie first. And if you're expecting this to be like the film, you'll be disappointed. Not because it's a bad book (far from it), but because it's actually a very quiet book. It seems like it would be a difficult feat to make a book about a board game that creates life-threatening situations (attacking lion, stampeding elephants) to children quiet, but somehow Chris Van Allsburg has achieved this. Some of this may be due to the soft ...more
Mar 20, 2012 Vicky rated it really liked it
In this story we meet Peter and Judy who are bored and restless, and while wandering through the park come across a very curious game someone has left behind. It seems to be a basic board game but the children learn very quickly that this isn't any ordinary game. Each roll of the dice brings a new and potentially dangerous surprise. The only way out of this is to finish the game.

Jumanji is the best of adventure stories for children. No slow poke pacing here! One of my favorites and now having r
May 19, 2012 Amal rated it liked it
Jumanji is a book about two bored siblings home alone. They discover a board game and decide to play it unaware of the mystery and surprise it brings to their living room. The illustrations in this book are amazing, the black and white theme give it a classic look and somewhat bring the characters to life.

All children can explore the magic and adventure of this book. During SEB, I did a unit called stories set in imaginative settings. I thought that Jumanji would be an excellent story to use wi
Saga Vasuki
Apr 08, 2016 Saga Vasuki rated it really liked it
Bir kitabı okumaya başlarken sadece adına bakarsan nolur? Çocuk kitabı olduğunu okurken fark edersin -_-

Neyse, çocuk kitabı olarak güzeldi.... Ha film daha güzel orası ayrı. Sanırım bu cümleyi ilk defa kurdum.
Oct 25, 2012 Magila rated it really liked it
A perfect book for the pre-early reader crowd, with alternating pages of large text and sentences, and well-crafted art. There was just something indescribable I felt was missing from this book. Everything was there, story, pictures, good text, good message. I think maybe it was a lack of character development - through word and art.

You might say that is a silly comment. And I will grant you it is a little silly. However, there is just something about looking at a picture book and seeing a litt
Brianne Griffin
Jan 23, 2012 Brianne Griffin rated it it was amazing
I loved this picture book and thought the story line was adventurous. It captures the reader's attention and draws you into the adventure and chaos. In the beginning, Peter and Judy are bored and out of curiosity play a game they found. The game turns into real life with rain forest animals taking over their house. I wanted to keep reading to see what was going to happen next. I think the author did a good job of transitioning throughout the board game. Although the illustrations were black and ...more
Sep 20, 2011 Caitlin rated it really liked it
After seeing the movie over a million times I have nevr actually read the book. I must say I almost like this version better. The pictures reall make the scenes of the book come alive all though there is no color. With all the colors done in a gray tone it really gives the book an eary feeling too it, and giving the readers some suspense. Van Allsburg does a really good job at munipulating the angles of pictures even if they are not correct, such as when we are looking at the two boys by the tre ...more
Oct 26, 2013 Katie rated it it was amazing
This fantasy picture book by Chis Van Allsburg has won the Caldecott Medal, Kentucky Bluegrass Award, Washington Children's Choice Picture Book Award, Golden Archer Award for Primary, and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Nominee for Picture Book - Honor Book. I think this would be a great book for grades K through second grade. Jumanji can be used in the classroom as inspiration for an art project. The students can collaborate with the teacher and come up with their own board game similar to Jum ...more
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2016 Reading Chal...: Jumanji 1 12 Feb 09, 2015 03:53PM  
An unexpected adventure . 1 6 Feb 01, 2013 04:39PM  
Chris Van Allsburg 2 8 Mar 26, 2012 09:32PM  
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Chris was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on June 18, 1949, the second child of Doris Christiansen Van Allsburg and Richard Van Allsburg. His sister Karen was born in 1947.

Chris’s paternal grandfather, Peter, owned and operated a creamery, a place where milk was turned into butter, cream, cottage cheese, and ice cream. It was named East End Creamery and after they bottled the milk (and made the ot
More about Chris Van Allsburg...

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