Jumanji is the title of a 1981 children's illustrated short story and fantasy story written and illustrated by the American author Chris Van Allsburg. It was made into a 1995 film of the same name. Both the book and the movie are about a magical board game that implements real animals and other jungle elements as the players are playing the game; thus the dangers which the players have to overcome in the game also appear in real life. "Jumanji" is a Zulu word meaning "many effects".

Fritz, a bull terrier in all of Chris Van Allsburg's books, appears as a toy dog on wheels in the third illustration.


While their parents are out for the evening, Judy and Peter Shepard are bored and don't know what to do, so they go to the park. There they find a jungle adventure game called Jumanji, which seems to have been abandoned. They take Jumanji home and start playing it, only to discover that the game is alive: any dangers encountered in the game spring to life somewhere in the house. When Peter rolls on a lion, a real lion appears, which Judy and Peter trap in their mother's bedroom. Judy rolls on a stampede, Peter rolls on a monsoon, Judy rolls on an explorer -- each appears in real life to wreak havoc in the house. Still they continue to play, hoping that by finishing the game everything will go back to normal. The game finally ends when Judy rolls on a volcano and yells "JUMANJI!". In an instant everything is back to normal, and the siblings quickly return the game to the park before their parents finally return. The story ends when Judy and Peter look outside and see their neighbors, Danny and Walter, excitedly returning from the park with Jumanji in their hands -- two boys who never bother to finish the games they play.

See AlsoEdit

  • Jumanji, a film based on this book. Unlike the book, the film has adult characters like Alan Parrish, Sarah Whittle, and Hunter Van Pelt.
  • Jumanji (TV series), animated TV series roughly based on the book and the film.
  • Zathura, another short story written by Van Allsburg, has also been adapted to film; its story also involves children who find a magic board game, but the theme is science fiction rather than jungle fiction. The children are Danny and Walter from the end of the story.

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