Rule #1: Read and Follow ALL Instructions
“Free game, fun for some, but not for all. P.S. Read instructions carefully.” These mysterious instructions come with a board game Judy and Peter find behind a tree in the park. According to the rules, players roll the dice and move game pieces along a path through a dangerous jungle (just how dangerous they soon find out!). The first player to reach the city of Jumanji wins. The instructions also say that once the game starts, it won’t stop until someone actually reaches Jumanji – a small but significant rule that Judy and Peter happen to overlook. Too bad.
After the game starts, the kids make one harrowing escape after another. When Judy’s card reads: “Lion attacks, move back two spaces”, a real lion chases them up the stairs and under the bed. Each roll of the dice brings more misadventure into their home: monkeys, monsoons, a hopelessly lost jungle guide, rhinos, a python, even molten lava from a volcano! Nothing will go away until somebody wins. Finally Judy rolls the dice and lands on the final square.
“JUMANJI!” yells Judy. And as mysteriously as the jungle appeared, it fades away. Judy and Peter decide that playing Jumanji once was more than enough. They return the board game to the park where they found it. Later that same day, Danny and Walter, two boys who never bother to read instructions, discover the game behind a tree and make the unfortunate decision to take it home and give it a try (see my book review for Zathura
to get the rest of this exciting story!).
About the Author / Illustrator
Chris van Allsburg’s book Jumanji
, which won a Caldecott Medal in 1982, is an absolutely fascinating read! As with his other books The Garden of Abdul Gasazi
and The Polar Express
, Van Allsburg creates beautifully detailed pencil drawings that bring this fantasy to life. Jumanji
was later adapted into a successful motion picture of the same name.
To continue the Chris Van Allsburg adventure, read the book reviews for Zathura
and The Garden of Abdul Gasazi
on this website (click on Relevant Links below).