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Last updated Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Author: Chris Van Allsburg
Date of Publication: 1981
ISBN: 0395304482
Grade Level: 3rd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Oct. 2007

Synopsis: 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.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Vocabulary: monsoon, tsetse fly, sleeping sickness, tremendous, stampede, rumble, splintering, mantel, molten, bolted, exhaustion
•  What do you think this story is about?
•  Why are there monkeys on the kitchen table? What kind of food are they eating?
•  Where do monkeys usually live? What other animals do they live with?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Have you ever played any board games? What are your favorites?
•  Why is it important to read instructions before doing something? Why was it extra important for Judy and Peter?
•  Did you ever have a dream that you thought was real? What happened in your dream?
•  Do the parents believe the children when they tell them about their adventures? Do you think the kids made the story up or did it really happen? Do you think they imagined it?
•  Have you ever seen the movie Jumanji? How is it different? How is it the same?

Craft ideas:
•  Make your own board game. Use different colors of construction paper to create the different spaces and draw scenery in the background. Cut a slit through the path, making sure to leave a bit on each end (we don't want the paper to fall apart). Then cut out the different pieces the players will use. Attach a popsicle stick to the pieces. When you play with friends, you can slide the popsicle stick into the slit in the path to move. Don't forget to write the rules for the game!
•  Draw the animals that you saw in the book.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don't have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!