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 second book for children, Chris Van Allsburg again explores the ever-shifting line between fantasy and reality with this story about a game that comes startingly to life.
His marvelous drawings beautifully convey a mix of the everyday and the extraordinary, as a quiet house is taken over by an exotic jungle.
When Judy and Peter find a board game in the park, they take it home, hoping to alleviate their boredom. One live lion, an erupting volcano, and a dozen destructive monkeys later, the children are no longer bored. Their jungle adventure game has come to life! Chris Van Allsburg is a master at walking the line between fantasy and reality. His unusually sculptured drawings (familiar to the many devoted fans of the Caldecott-winning The Polar Express and The Garden of Abdul Gasazi) convey the magical transition of a normal house to an exotic jungle. Readers will tremble along with Judy and Peter, urging them to roll the dice that will plunge them from one perilous predicament into another. Jumanji, a New York Times Best Illustrated Book and winner of the 1982 Caldecott Medal, is sure to amaze and thrill even the most jaded young reader. (Ages 9 to 12)
The dynamic combination of master author/ illustrator Chris Van Allsburg and master of voices Robin Williams produces a delightful, but unexpected, audio program. Williams keeps his narration low-key and doesn't haul out character voices as listeners might expect. The consequences of two children playing an unusual board game, Jumanji, give the narrator and the audio producers great material. Williams coveys the perfect level of horrified anticipation with each roll of the dice. The events have all the high-stakes action and calamity one would expect, and Williams wisely takes a restrained roll as storyteller. The music, scored by Michael Moss, is fabulous, with great jungle sounds and a strong theme throughout. The balance between Williams's narration and the musical score is perfect. Williams's narration brings out a subtle humor, which is overshadowed in print by Van Allsburg's starkly haunting illustrations. This team succeeds at making Jumanji multi-dimensional--an audio delight. R.F.W. An AUDIOFILE Earphones Award winner (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine