Bookovers Anonymous: Jumanji

Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg

I’ve mentioned before that Chris Van Allsburg is one of my favorite children’s authors of all time. Today I am sharing another one of his fabulous books, Jumanji. First written in 1981, it went on to become a movie starring Robin Williams in 1995. The Jumanji movie is a great resource to use with the book, possibly as a culminating activity to a unit study.

The book tells the story of Judy and Peter, a brother and sister looking to have some fun when their parents leave them alone for the day. When playing outside, they find a mysterious box containing the Jumanji Jungle Adventure Game. What follows is an exciting adventure where each role of the dice brings them face to face with lions, monkeys, monsoons, and bumbling guides. By the end of their day, an exhausted Judy and Peter bury the game in the park, which sets up another Van Allsburg book, Zathura.

Look out! Rhinoceros!

Jumanji is loaded with things to study and talk about. First, if you have a child that loves animals, you could certainly spend time researching each animal in the book as a unit study. I’ve read this with my kids and had them create their own version of the game, which they really enjoyed. In addition, there are a lot of resources and lesson plans available online.

First, the Chris Van Allsburg website gives you information about the author, as well as links to other resources. Houghton Mifflin has put together a teachers guide with writing and reading lessons for the primary grades. At Carol Hurst.com, read a review of the book and view some questions for discussion as well as suggested activities.

Teaching Books provides links to interviews with the author as well as other resources. At Better Lesson, find a lesson plan focused on using the book to teach figurative language.

Jumanji is so much fun to read! I love how it encourages a kids imagination.

Thanks for joining me for Booklovers Anonymous this week! Be sure to come back next Thursday!

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