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Jessica Paperback – May 27, 1998

4.7 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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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
  • Lexile Measure: 590 (What's this?)
  • 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: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer 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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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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Format: Paperback
Ah, shucks! That's what I said when I read and saw the ending--again! I always say that, even when I read this story to our young kids.

Ruthie has a friend named Jessie, a friend who is constantly by her side, so much like Ruthie herself. This imagery captures the imagination of young children, gives them assurance and companionship. It's a winner!
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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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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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Format: Paperback
I bought this as a gift for my daughter, Jessica, who was 3. She instantly loved it--partially because the story mentions her name constantly throughout, and partially because the story is just so good. It's a very sweet story, and to be honest, I didn't even know what it was about when I bought it (I just wanted something with her name in it). My own Jessica is going to start Kindergarten next fall, and enjoys reading this story about Ruthie and Jessica now more than ever. It's a simple read, and the illustrations are good too. Well worth purchasing for young kids.
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Format: Paperback
Just what does an imaginary friend do? Ruthie's imaginary friend Jessica spills her juice, stacks blocks and even went to kindergarten with her. Ruthie had to hold her imaginary friend's hand very tight so she wouldn't be nervous at school.

But at school Ruthie meets a REAL little girl named Jessica, and now she has two friends named Jessica. Life is rich!

5 stars if your child has, or would like, an imaginary friend.
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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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