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.
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