Melissa's Reviews > Jumanji

Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg
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's review
Sep 18, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: picture-story-book-1

Jumanji is the classic and timeless Chris Van Allsburg story of a magical and mysterious board game and the adventure it brings to two young siblings. I remember reading this book as a child and instantly loving the concept. I imagined how exciting it would be to find my own Jumanji game under a tree and begin to play, unsure of what adventures and heart pounding situations it would bring. Even as an adult reading this book I still feel a twinge of this same excitement as I flip the pages, wondering anxiously what Peter and Judy will encounter with the next roll of the dice. This book is definitely enough to get any reader’s imagination ticking, but I think it would be much more suited for an older elementary audience. An older child could better understand the storyline and concept, as well as form mental pictures of each scene and understand dialogue and description more easily than a younger reader would. The somewhat large amount of intermediate level text on each page would most likely be beyond the reading level of a young elementary school student.
I can’t believe how much I am still mesmerized by Chris Van Allsburg’s stunningly beautiful and detailed pencil illustrations throughout this story. The clean, crisp lines and incredible use of shading in each illustration is truly immaculate. I am not at all surprised that Jumanji is a past winner of the Caldecott Medal because the artwork is just that exquisite and it successfully depicts the plot throughout the entire book. Each illustration does a wonderful job of portraying exactly what the reader imagines the scene to look like through the descriptions in the text. I am so glad that this book has stayed popular for so long because it really does offer up an extremely unique and imaginative story that children have adored for generations and will continue to adore for years to come. Van Allsburg has created a masterpiece and an instant classic in Jumanji, and I would recommend it for any older elementary or younger middle school reader any day. Chris Van Allsburg is a true legend in children’s literature and I think it would be extremely difficult to find fault in any of his work.

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