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Jessica Paperback – May 27, 1998


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Much to her parents' chagrin, 5-year-old Ruthie has a devoted invisible friend named Jessica. When Ruthie accidentally spills juice, Jessica gladly takes the blame. When Ruthie's parents plan to hire a baby sitter and go to a movie, Jessica gets a tummy ache and needs them to stay home. "There is no Jessica," her parents keep insisting. "But Ruthie knew there was," the author keeps repeating. Kevin Henkes's Popsicle-colored watercolors and detailed pen-and-ink drawings invite us into Ruthie and Jessica's fantasy world. Through his handwritten cartoon dialogue, we are privy to their tender conversations and confidences. When it's time to start kindergarten, Ruthie's father suggests that Jessica stay home. But of course Ruthie brings Jessica anyway. On that fateful day we discover what Ruthie knew all along--there really is a Jessica! Children who believe in imaginary playmates will find their soul mate in Ruthie. And parents who fret over the isolation of an absorbing imaginary life will find comfort in the story's happy ending. All families will appreciate the twists of fate that allow a child's fantasy world to joyfully overlap into the real one. School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, Horn Book Fanfare Honor List, IRA/CBC Children's Choice, American Bookseller Pick of the Lists. (Ages 3 and older) --Gail Hudson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Jessica, a friend only Ruthie can see, follows Ruthie to school on the first day of kindergarten. "Henkes never falters as he outlines the logic and reasoning behind Ruthie's affection for her invisible playmate," said PW. Ages 5-up.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Paperback: 24 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books (May 27, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688158471
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688158477
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,839 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kevin Henkes is the author and illustrator of close to fifty critically acclaimed and award-winning picture books, beginning readers, and novels. He received the Caldecott Medal for Kitten's First Full Moon in 2005. Kevin Henkes is also the creator of a number of picture books featuring his mouse characters, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers Lilly's Big Day and Wemberly Worried, the Caldecott Honor Book Owen, and the beloved Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse. His most recent mouse character, Penny, was introduced in Penny and Her Song (2012); her story continued in Penny and Her Doll and Penny and Her Marble (a Geisel Honor Book). Bruce Handy, in a New York Times Book Review piece about A Good Day, wrote, "It should be said: Kevin Henkes is a genius." Kevin Henkes received two Newbery Honors for novels--one for his newest novel for young readers, The Year of Billy Miller, and the other for Olive's Ocean. Also among his fiction for older readers are the novels Junonia, Bird Lake Moon, The Birthday Room, and Sun & Spoon. He lives with his family in Madison, Wisconsin. You can visit him online at www.kevinhenkes.com.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
74%
4 star
21%
3 star
0%
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5%
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See all 19 customer reviews
This book hits home as a Kindergarten teacher.
Jessica Mulvaney
She advise me that Kevin Henkes books are wonderful for young children.
L. Fisher
I bought this book for my niece and she loved it!.
H. Lockett

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By "shannontherese" on December 8, 1999
Format: Hardcover
An elementary school teacher gave me this book at my baby shower. She told me that her students loved "Jessica," and that my daughter would, too. Time has proven her correct. Recently, my daughter, who is now two and a half years old, asked that I read her the book. "Jessica" has quickly become her favorite book. The story is about five-year-old Ruthie. Ruthie doesn't have a brother, a sister, a cat, or a dog but she has an imaginary friend, Jessica, "who is even better." Although Ruthie's parents tell her that "There is no Jessica," Ruthie knows that there is. The book describes all of the activities that Ruthie and Jessica do together and concludes with Ruthie's discovery of a "real" Jessica when Ruthie begins kindergarten. My daughter loves this book and can recite it word for word. Children quickly become familiar with the story because key words and phrases are repeated throughout the book. More importantly, the book talks about activities and fears that all young children have and accurately depicts a child's hesitation to voice his or her fears. For example, when Ruthie's parents want to go to a movie, "Jessica," not Ruthie, gets a stomach ache and wants them to stay home. This is a terrific book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jessica Mulvaney on September 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book hits home as a Kindergarten teacher. The words are so true to life and it can really relate to a child who may be going through the same things that Rutie is going through. I love this book!
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Laura Seeley on December 1, 1999
Format: Paperback
I just read this book a few minutes ago. it's about a little girl named Ruthie who has an imaginary friend named Jessica. They do everything together! From reading books, to playing with blocks. They are the best of friends. Ruthie's parents try to get her to believe that Jessica isn't real, but Ruthie won't listen to them. On the first day of kindergarden, Jessica goes along with Ruthie. But, Ruthie makes a new friend, whose name also happens to be Jessica and they become really good friends. I think that if you know of a child who has an imaginary friend, then they should deffinately read this book, or you could read it to them!
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By tansadan3 on March 21, 2013
Format: Paperback
We instantly recall the big events, but there are so very many little pieces to the childhoods of little girls: cutting apart velcroed-together wooden vegetables in plastic kitchens; whirling around to Tchaikovsky, bescarved and beribboned; pretending to be flower fairies on tip-toe with little sisters and older cousins. Jessica was one of my little pieces. I read the book at I-don't-know-how young, and was instantly determined to have a Jessica all of my own. Sometimes she was Samantha; others, she was...well, also Samantha - but she was my secret friend and confidante (and, if need be, erstwhile blame-taker and whipping boy). I loved this book dearly for giving her to me.

...so, in so many words, I say: buy 'Jessica' for your daughter. She'll thank you for it later.
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By T. M. Martinez on August 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
As a mom of an only child I can say that this book is part of our regular bedtime stories. It took my daughter awhile to figure out that Jessica was Ruthie's imaginary friend. On every page she would point at Ruthie and ask what her name was, hoping that I would eventually identify Jessica. That did not happen until the end of the book when Ruthie meets a real Jessica at Kindergarten. The timing of the book was also important because my daughter started Kindergarten this year. I can recommend this very sweet book.
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By Jessica on June 26, 2013
Format: Paperback
As a Jessica who was best friends with a Ruth this book had special sentimental value for me. But, as always seems to be the case with Kevin, it actually is a well written and well illustrated piece of children's literature. Speaks to the hardships children face with growing up and experiencing changes in life. But also serves as a reminder that even though change is tough it is essential and can be for the better! Great book!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this story because it features a female lead character - something that is not as easy as you would think to find amongst children's literature. I got it for my niece for christmas, but my 2 year old daughter also loves it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my grandchildren since their mother, my daughter, who is an educator, requested it. She advise me that Kevin Henkes books are wonderful for young children.
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