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Jumanji (Jumanji #1)

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  15,712 ratings  ·  817 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 April 27th 1981 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published April 1981)
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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 821 books — 4,661 voters
The Notebook by Nicholas SparksThe Princess Bride by William GoldmanThe 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
45th out of 789 books — 8,143 voters

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Community Reviews

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“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
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
Dan Schwent
Loved the book. Not a tremendous fan of the movie due to Robin Williams.
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
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
Courtney Ennis
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
The story follows two siblings, Judy and Peter. Their parents went to see the opera one day, so they were left alone in the house. Due to boredom, the children go to a nearby park and discover a long thin box. The box is a cardboard game called Jumanji. On the instructions, it clearly states in capital letters that 'ONCE A GAME OF JUMANJI IS STARTED IT WILL NOT BE OVER UNTIL ONE PLAYER REACHES THE GOLDEN CITY.' The children begin the game. Peter rolls first. He lands on lion attack. What they ...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 3 of 5 stars
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Mary Jo
I'd never read this book before, come to think of it I'm not even sure I saw the movie. I remember when it came out though, seemed like an interesting story. When this book came across my desk at work I was intrigued, especially with the included CD featuring Robin Williams.

I have to say - not only is the book & story itself interesting, but the audio by Robin is amazing! He really distinguishes the characters with different voices and does a great job of bringing the book to life. I highly
Chloey Jones
A trilling story of two young children who are bored after being left behind at home. They are often obedient but that day they found a game lying at the park and decided to play it for themselves. At first glance the game seemed mild and the oldest sibling was uninterested until he took his first turn. What occurred next was anything beyond their imagination when a real life lion was suddenly in their home. Scared for their lives the children wished to end the game and never continue but the g ...more
Kassidy Pine
Jumanji is a wonderful high fantasy book written to captivate children as they are taken through the journey of two kids that are swept into a game with the roll of the dice. After Judy and Peter parents leave the go outside and find a game underneath a tree. It appears to be to look the same as all their other board games with simplistic path of colorful patterns, however what the magic mystery the board contains is far more than just a game. The kids are warner by the game that “once the game ...more
Rachel Ledbetter
This is a book with extraordinary drawings that tells the story almost as well as the words on the pages. It all begins with a board game that young Judy and Peter found under the tree. It appeared to be like every other board game they had at home, except they found this one under a tree in a box accompanied by a note. The two were bored and restless, so they decided to give this “jungle adventure game” a try. Little did they know, that this ordinary looking board game was about to engross them ...more
I never knew Jumanji was a children's book but when I saw it I had to read it! Also, there is a CD in my book so if I ever want to read it to my children, we can pop the CD in and listen and look at the picture like illustrations.

The book is a lot different than the movie but I do like where Peter and Judy are related, makes it more like a sibling teasing kind of deal. The boy is, of course, restless and wants to play something fun, so when they stumble across the game, Jumanji,there was no sto
Samuel Gilliam
This book does not particularly have a set age limit, it is not limited to preschoolers. This means that this could technically be open to anyone…but let’s say in this case it is of course intended for children in elementary school to early middle school. In that case, this book is very fitting for this age group, because the vocabulary is relatively simple and the pictures easily help tell the story to help out these young readers. This book, Jumanji, is perfect for the picture storybook catego ...more
Zach Conkey
Jumanji was one of my favorite movies growing up, and I did not realize there was a book that was related. The pictures inside the book really stand out. They are very detailed and drawn to look more realistic than any of the other books I have read so far within the project guidelines. The book not only has very detailed pictures, but it also has very specific details within the text. It has some narration from the characters, which is definitely meant for older children than preschoolers. An e ...more
Allison Murray
I think this book can be used for many ages of children. Although there is a great amount of words, preschoolers might enjoy listening to this book and looking at the pictures. This would also be a great book for elementary children to read on their own. The black and white pictures and paragraphs of text may make this book look boring, but I think there is a high level of excitement created within the words and illustrations. However, I do not feel the pictures tell enough about the story to qu ...more
When I saw Jumanji on the list of books to choose from I knew I had to pick this. It is one of my favorite movies, and embarrassingly I have never read the book that inspired the making of one of the most cherished children’s movies. I personally loved this book. I love the plot of two siblings being left at home to see what mischievous things they can get themselves into. I love the imagination children can receive from this book and the many different scenes and scenarios that this book places ...more
Shelby Lynn
I think this book is appropriate for young elementary school children. I think that it is able to promote independent reading and is a good transition from preschool picture books to short chapter books. I like that this book contains humor once the children start to play the board game. I think that this book promotes the use of imagination with the use of black and white pictures as well as the fact that the board game causing the animals to appear would never happen in real life. I think that ...more
As a fan of the movie, I'm going to try not to show any bias between that and the book. However, it's surprising how quiet the book is compared to the film. The illustrations are black and white which surprised me especially with the theme of the book and although it seems like there's a lot of chaos going on inside that house, to an outsider you'd think nothing was happening at all. While the game gives the story its interesting plot, there was something missing that made it kind of boring for ...more
Victoria Leininger-halpern
Once you open this book, it becomes quite obvious as to why it has won a Caldecott award. Not only is it an exciting story from beginning to end, but the illustrations in this book will be some of the best grading you'll ever see in your life.

Siblings Peter and Judy come across a mysterious board game one day out playing, and what they unleash with the first dice roll is an adventure nightmares are made out of. Jumanji's story is riveting, each page better and more exciting than the last. The c
Joshua Elliott
I watched Jumanji per a Netflix suggestion of "Movies based on Books"; I hadn't realized that Jumanji was a book initially. My wife borrowed it from the library, which is when I discovered that it was a children's picture book. This is a little outside my normal reading, but it only took a few minutes to read so I jumped in.
The book is both written and illustrated by Mr. Allsburg and the serious tone is established by realistic artwork. A board game is found by two bored children, they decide
Magenta Jones
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An unexpected adventure . 1 5 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
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