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used this a writing stimulus after reading Jumanji to my class. The children didn't enjoy as much as Jumanji but were glad to have read it and liked that the main characters were the Budwing Boys. Decided that the game changed everytime someone new found it
My kid loves anything space-related. After watching the movie Zathura for the millionth time, I tried to get him to watch its predacessor, Jumanji, and he really couldn't be bothered with it because... no space stuff. So we checked out the book, Zathura, and he was hooked. We checked it out so many times, they told us we had to stop for at least a two-week cycle every month so someone else could read it. After searching for months at used and new bookstores, I just ordered it from Amazon.
The story revolves around Danny and Walter, two brothers who are constantly fighting and bickering. After tusseling in the park on the way home, one of them finds an old board game box next to a tree with the word "Jumanji" printed on it. It had been left there by Peter and Judy after their adventures in the original book of the same name. Walter and Danny take it home, and when they find the jungle board game a bit too immature, they magically find another board wedged into the bottom of the box. One with spaceships and aliens printed on it.
You can probably guess where it goes from there -- the boys take turns trying to reach the planet Zathura to get home, while everything from meteors to lizard aliens to a homicidal robot destroys their house around them.
As always, the illustrations are beautiful and somewhat wistful, in the same odd way that Van Allburg's other books tend to be.
I can't figure out what all the hubbub is about this book. The illustrations are pretty neat, but the story isn't especially engaging and my six year old daughter is somewhat bored by the long story line on each page, often including much beyond the accompanying illustration. I could easily see how twice as many illustrations could be used without it coming across as a book for very young children.
Also, if your child is familiar at all with the movie, they'll be downright confused by the story and the fact that the game they find is Jumanji, not Zathura!! For a second, I thought I had bought the wrong book!
This has been made into a movie just like Jumanji. This happens after Jumanji and the book stands on it's own. An older brother who does not appreciate his younger brother learns to cherish and appreciate him after this space adventure. The drawings are amazing and captivating to kids of all ages. Another great book by Chris Van Allsburg.
I love the stories and artwork of Chris Van Allsburg. I collected them all for one of my daughters some 30 years ago and now I’m collecting them for me, to share with ALL my grandchildren. These stories hold up over the years and still charm children and sparks their imagination.
I bought the book for a Van Allsburg book study. It lends itself well to his body of works, and provides a nice second part to Jumanji (or first, if you want to make that connection between the characters after the kids have been introduced to them). A great addition to the series- a little jumpy in its "in the moment" action parts, but still a good, captivating read-- even for kindergartners.
We got this as a gift for our son, who LOVES space. He loves it! The art is great, and the book's size makes it easy to get lost in the illustrations. The story's not too long, so it's great for a bedtime book for kids known to stall, as it won't take forever to get through. It's different from the movie, if you're familiar with that; more kid-friendly.