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Jessica by Kevin Henkes


by Kevin Henkes

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Summary: Ruthie has an imaginary best friend named Jessica. Ruthie and Jessica do everything together. So when Ruthie goes off to kindergarten, naturally Jessica goes, too. But then, Ruthie meets a real person called Jessica, and they become the best of friends!

Review: This book is one of my favorite childhood books, partially because I loved that the title was my name. As a child, I also loved the refrain of, "There is no Jessica!" I especially loved that, in the end, Ruthie's parents were wrong; there was, in fact, a Jessica! Now that I'm older, I can also appreciate Kevin Henkes's marvelous illustrations. I highly recommend this book; it's splendid!

Central Idea of Jessica: It's okay to have imaginary friends, but real friends are better! ( )
  jlampr1 | Sep 30, 2014 |
About an imaginary friend, but even though my daughter has invented friends (just like she pretends her baby doll is real), she can't relate. ( )
  MiguelPut | Aug 4, 2014 |
My parents got this book for me, Jessica, when I was five years old, but reading it again almost fifteen years later, really gives me a new insight into it. Ruthie is scared of change, of leaving her family and going to a place called school where she doesn't know anybody, so she creates an imaginary friend named Jessica who goes everywhere and does everything with her and who can never leave her. But low and behold, when Ruthie does go to school, she meets a real person who replaces her imaginary friend, making for a more healthy friendship, and that person's name is Jessica. How fitting!

This book teaches us that change is not only okay, but sometimes, it is even better. Like Ruthie, we may be scared, but one way or another, everything will work out. They might not be as perfect as finding someone named Jessica to replace an imaginary friend named Jessica, but knowing how good things can be is the encouragement that kids need in order to take risks and find happiness. ( )
  parejess | May 18, 2014 |
Ruthie has an imaginary best friend named Jessica. Her parents try to tell her there is no Jessica. Ruthie remains unconvinced. I enjoyed this story and I thought the ending was cute. She comes home from school with a friend names Jessica. ( )
  Imandayeh | Apr 4, 2014 |
Summary: Ruthie is a little girl with a best friend named Jessica. She and Jessica do everything together and are inseparable. However, even though they're the same age, Ruthie and Jessica can't go to school together, Why? Because Jessica is imaginary! Despite her parents saying Jessica needs to stay home, Ruthie brings her along. Ruthie sticks with Jessica the entire day, choosing to stay away from the other kids. However, when Ruthie meets a classmate whose name happens to be Jessica, everything changes. Now Ruthie's best friend can be seen by everyone!

Personal Reaction: I think this book is a good example of how kids can cling to imaginary friends. While I don't know what it's like to have imaginary friends, I know that little kids can often cling to them rather than be with other kids.

Classroom Extensions:
1. Have students create an image of their own imaginary friend using craft supplies (pipe cleaners, play doh, beads, etc...). Have them create a small story with their imaginary friend and share with the class, using the model to act out the story.

2. Have students make a list, as a class, of what they look for in a friend. Then, have them write a letter to their best friend, whether it's a schoolmate, family member, imaginary, etc.. and, with the help of the list, have them tell their friends what makes them such great friends.
  ElissaBroadaway | Mar 22, 2014 |
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For Annie and Geri and Mac
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Ruthie Simms didn't have a dog.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0688158471, Paperback)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:05 -0400)

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Ruthie does everything with her imaginary friend Jessica; and then on her first day at kindergarten, she meets a real new friend with the same name.

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