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Title: Jumanji Author: Van Allsburg, Chris

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Bibliographic Information Title: Jumanji Author: Van Allsburg, Chris Illustrator: Van Allsburg, Chris Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Co. Date of Publication: 1981, ISBN 0-395-30448-2 Genre: Picture Book Literary Elements Plot: Jumanji features a narrative plot. Although the events that result from the children's actions are not necessary logical, the action in the story moves forward recognizably through both text and illustration, and the story comes to a mysterious, yet satisfying, ending. The plot centers on the children's completion of their game. Setting: Most of the setting is communicated through clear illustrations in this picture book - the pictures are representational of ordinary things in a family household, with images of a kitchen, a living room, a child's bedroom, and familiar objects throughout. The children's adventures are displayed throughout the house. The setting is crucial as it allows for readers to relate to the characters within the book. Characters: This fantasy picture book depicts the characters as typical, relatable children who aim to cure their boredom. Through their dialogue and through illustration we find them to be inquisitive and fun-seeking. They start out rather haphazardly and incautious, but emerge as precautious, learned individuals. ...read more.


Looking out the window, Judy and Peter see the boys as they discover the Jumanji box. Artistic Elements Media and technique: Jumanji is done in gray tones with something called Conte dust and Conte pencil. The lack of color and lack of feeling in the background of the images is a sharp contrast to the extraordinary events that take place within the illustrations. Style of Art: Surrealism - The pictures are extensions of the fantastic tale told in the text. They portray incredible events taking place in what appears to be a typical household among apparently realistic children. Each illustration is brimming with detail. Composition: Most of the pictures are at eye level, so the reader feels like he or she is in the house along with the characters. Early in the book, shortly after the children have started to play the game, Judy's roll of the dice results in monkey's raiding the kitchen. In the illustration you can see both the expression on the monkeys' faces and Judy's face. The perspective is from an angle behind the kitchen table and below the action in the picture. ...read more.


It can also help children to see that despite hectic situations they can find resolve. This would be relevant in realizing that their can be a solution to any of a number of outrageous situations that an individual or the American public as a whole might face. It can teach children that they can be responsible and capable of taking care of themselves once they are old enough to be left home alone. Overt and/or hidden messages: I disliked the fact that Judy and Peter are depicted as fairly young children, yet are left home alone for a lengthy amount of time. Though this might be reassuring for a child who is old/mature enough to be left home alone, this might scare other children who are not yet ready. Age appropriateness: Based on vocabulary and illustration, I would share this book with children as young as early elementary school. Although, at an early elementary age I would make it apparent that children do not have to be left home alone. Creativity Ask students what they would do if they play Jumanji and were in the same situations that Judy and Peter were in? If their house were overrun by monkeys? Flooded with water? You could bring in photographs of the animals depicted in the story. ...read more.

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