Robert's Reviews > Zathura

Zathura by Chris Van Allsburg
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's review
Oct 25, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: public-library, van-allsburg, fiction, fantasy, 4-2, games, space, brothers, onomatopoeia
Read on February 08, 2012

I really like Chris Van Allsburg. Truth be told, however, I haven't kept up with his newer books, of which this is one. I picked this up this evening when Beetle and I went to the public library. Again, I thought a new read aloud might be nice to add to the mix.

Van Allsburg's illustrations are as wonderful as ever. He has talent (those Caldecott Awards didn't just appear). Unfortunately, this story left me flat.

It's not hard to realize why; I had read it previously. This is a remake of Van Allsburg's famous Jumanji. That was a fabulous book! This book follows the same path (siblings find a game, begin playing it, and strange things happen). Blech! The game of Jumanji is even mentioned in this story.

Sure, instead of jungle animals, the weirdness were robots and other space creatures, but it's the same story.

Unless I missed it, Fritz isn't in this book. :(
The boys who find the game are the Budwings, the boys we see going off to the park at the end of Jumanji. On this second read, I see this really is the sequel, Zathura is a second board tucked into the box. There is a change in that this story should take place at evening since the parents returned from dinner when we saw the Budwings head to the park. So, that has been re-worked a bit.

The theme to this story is working together. When the boys decide to do that, they overcome the obstacles of the game that is causing the problems.

I like how "Me and you" was corrected to "You and I." That is a teachable moment.
26 October 2011
8 February 2012

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