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Illustration Analysis of the Picture Book Jumanji
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Illustration Analysis of the Picture Book Jumanji

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A look at the illustrations in Chris Van Allsburg's 1982 Caldecott Medal winner book Jumanji

A look at the illustrations in Chris Van Allsburg's 1982 Caldecott Medal winner book Jumanji

Published in: Education, Art & Photos
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  • 1. Illustration Analysis of Chris Van Allsburg’s Picture Book Jumanji By: Tracie Bolinger
  • 2. • Jumanji is both written and illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg – Published by the Houghton Mifflin Company • It is the 1982 Caldecott Medal winner • The story is about young Judy and Peter when bored one day come across what seemed like an ordinary game. After just one dice roll, they realize there is more to the game than what meets the eye. Nothing could prepare them for the dangers that come out of playing the game. Background Information
  • 3. Style and Media • The illustrations are of a surrealistic style. They appear to be almost real with touches of make believe added in – The Van Allsburg tends to give more detail to some objects making them appear very realistic, while neglecting detail in other objects making them look almost fake. • The medium that was used to draw all the illustrations was graphite (pencil).
  • 4. The objects in the room appear realistic while the man on the dollhouse appears somewhat fake. Notice how his back has little curve in it while the bowling pins do.
  • 5. Line • Chris Van Allsburg used lots of straight lines in his illustrations that give off a feeling of stern hardness. He uses some curves to help make objects seem real. This use of curves is most evident in the children and the objects that come out of the game. • Van Allsburg also used line to draw our eyes to certain parts in the illustration as well as give the reader a certain perspective.
  • 6. The toys and objects in the room have sharp, hard edges while Judy and Peter have soft, round edges.
  • 7. One of the first things that pop out at you are the monkeys on the table. However, when you look below the table you see the tail of a monkey sloping up to draw your eye to Judy. The monkeys are also looking at Judy to help draw your eyes to her.
  • 8. The perspective of the two boys is interesting because it appears that the reader is above peering down on them, when in reality they are level with the boys. The height of the trees and the angle of the road gives the reader a tricked perspective.
  • 9. Shape • The shapes used in the illustrations help to create a realistic feel. The objects in the picture are easily recognizable. • The man made objects in the illustration have very sharp angular lines, while the people and animals tend to have more soft curved lines.
  • 10. The objects are rigid, while the rhinos are soft. The shapes used blend well together to make realistic objects and animals.
  • 11. Color • All of Chris Van Allsburg’s illustrations in his book Jumanji are achromatic. • He uses various shades of black, white, and gray to create tension. The darker the shading the more ominous feeling the picture gives off, to the reader. The lighter the shading the more the reader feels at ease.
  • 12. Color Continued • The illustrations begin with light shading to give readers a sense of calm. The further along into the game the children go the darker the shading becomes, creating a feeling of dread and excitement for the children. After the game has ended, the shading goes back to light when the children are with their parents. When the reader turns the page one more time the shading gets darker, giving a sense of anxiousness because the reader can see the two Budwing brothers running off with the game.
  • 13. In the beginning the shading is bright and airy. No feeling of tension or dread is felt by the reader. Towards the middle of the game/story the shades get darker and darker instilling feelings of dread and fear into the reader.
  • 14. When the children are done playing the game and the parents return home the shading is lighter again. When the reader turns the page however, the shading begins to turn dark again foreshadowing bad things to happen to the Budwing boys. (The Budwing Brothers show up again in Chris Van Allsburg’s picture book Zathura.)
  • 15. Texture • Van Allsburg gave careful detailed attention and texture to those objects that appear to be the focal point. • The children’s and animals hair are finely detailed given a sense of realism, while most of the household objects are flat and dull.
  • 16. Take a look at the attention to detail in the snakes skin compared to the chairs fabric. The skin on the snake looks unbelievably realistic while the chair appears flat with no texture to the fabric.
  • 17. Composition • The composition used in Jumanji is interesting. The house tends to feel very hotel like and nicely spaced making it easy for the reader to notice when something is out of place. • The balance used between the text and illustrations are also intriguing. On every page the text is placed on the left hand side while the pictures are placed on the right. This help the reader focus on each picture that is being given to them one at a time.
  • 18. Composition Continued • The pictures are all framed in a white border. Depending on how the illustration is drawn this allows the reader to feel a part of the story or a viewer looking into the story. • The text and pictures are also nicely balanced so that whatever is being told in the text is also being illustrated in the pictures.
  • 19. The text is on the right and the illustration on the left. The words match the illustration and the illustration is framed nicely by white. In this illustration the reader gets the sense that they are an outsider looking in. Some of the other illustrations tend to make you feel apart of the story.
  • 20. The End

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