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ChildrensPictureBook.info Review

Zathura: A Space Adventure
By Chris Van Allsburg
Publisher Houghton Mifflin

At the end of Jumanji, we see the Budwing brothers walking home through the park with the younger brother carrying a board game under his arm, the idea being that someone new is about to experience the terrors of playing Jumanji. Zathura tells the story of Danny Budwing and his older brother, Walter, and their adventures with the game box. Readers of Jumanji will remember that cooperation was key to successfully playing Jumanji. Walter and Danny suffer from a serious case of sibling rivalry. Are they doomed because of it?

When Danny opens the game box, he discovers a second game board under the Jumanji board. This second board looks much more interesting to Danny than the Jumanji game board. It has pictures of flying saucers, rockets, and planets. The path on the game board leads from Earth to Zathura and back. Danny's first turn brings meteor showers. One large meteor blasts through the roof and obliterates the television set Walter is watching. That's Walter's first inkling that life is no longer going to be normal. Opening the front door, Walter and Danny discover their home has somehow been transported to outer space. Danny surmises they must keep playing the game or stay in outer space forever. As they continue to roll the dice, they experience zero gravity, a malfunctioning gyroscope, a defective robot, heavy gravity, boarding by a Zorgon pirate, and a black hole. How the boys get back home is a surprise you'll need to read the book to discover. By the end of the book, older brother Walter has learned to appreciate his younger brother.


Zathura: A Space Adventure

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