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4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  693 ratings  ·  118 reviews
"There is no Jessica," said Ruthie's parents. But of course there was. She ate with Ruthie, played with Ruthie, and was sorry when Ruthie was bad. Nobody could see Jessica -- except Ruthie. When it came time for Ruthie to go to school, Jessica went with her. Her parents hoped Ruthie would find a friend at school who would replace Jessica. They were in for a (happy) surpris...more
Paperback, 24 pages
Published May 27th 1998 by Greenwillow Books (first published 1989)
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I read this book with my second graders and they really enjoyed it, but thought the text was really simple and predictable. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, but I wouldn't recommend using this text to promote critical discussion. On a different note, many of the kids could relate to the idea of having no one at home to play with and also had an imaginary friend or pet of some kind that they created to keep them company. The illustrations in this story were small and used talking bubbles...more
Lisa Vegan
Jul 19, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: children who are about to start school; only children with no pets; all young children
This book is another winner from Henkes. The illustrations are very cute, and although nothing super special, fit the story so well. The pictures being tiny make them extra fun. The story about a girl named Ruthie who has an imaginary friend named Jessica, is one that children will relate to, even if they’ve never had any imaginary friends. Lonely only children will no pets will especially understand Ruthie. I love how Ruthie’s beliefs and feelings are taken seriously and also how Ruthie, when h...more
Cheryl in CC NV
Another charmer from Henkes, with a quibble, again. Owen's lovey was a blankie, remember? And the solution wouldn't have worked if it were a stuffed animal.... Well, Ruthie has a stroke of good luck, too. If the book hadn't had the special ending, I don't know if Ruthie's parents would have ever realized that it's OK for her to enjoy an imaginary friend. Personally, I wish I were imaginative to have a friend nobody else could see!
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Another treat from the genius that is Henkes! This time, we feature a human girl (as opposed to his usual mice!) and her imaginary friend. As ever, the story is told with great sensitivity to a child's feelings, never making fun of the child for needing an imaginary friend, but gently showing how sometimes that need can be outgrown or filled in another way.
I bought this as my selection from one category of listed options for my rising first-grade daughter's assigned summer reading. We have read it together one time. It is one of many books for kids her age that I find just OK. She seemed to like it enough, and I have no specific complaints (except a mild concern that a literal-minded child might take as truth, rather than main character Ruthie's feeling, that a friend is better to have than a sibling), but it seems like anyone could have written i...more
Jessica by Kevin Henkes is a story about a girl named Ruthie who has an imaginary friend named Jessica. Ruthie's parents try to tell Ruthie that her friend is not real, but Ruthie will not be persuaded. When Ruthie goes to school, however, something surprising happens to change things.

The text is short, sweet and entertaining. The ending is emotionally satisfying.

Watercolor paints and a black pen were used for the pictures. The illustrations match the text perfectly, and, being small, draw you i...more
Katie Fitzgerald
Read at Family Story Time on 3/14/11:

Overall, what I love about this book is its unique way of tackling an experience so many kids have - believing in, and eventually abandoning imaginary friends. I absolutely loved the fact that Ruthie makes a real friend at school whose name is Jessica. I had an imaginary friend in childhood whose name - Lena Farina - appeared in the obituaries when I was in high school, so I'm especially intrigued by the notion of imag...more
Meghan Porter
"Ruthie Simms didn't haqve a dog. She didn't have a cat, or a brother, or a sister. But Jessica was the next best thing." Jessica by Kevin Henkes is a very sweet story about a little girl, Ruthie, and her imaginary friend Jessica. They do everything together and are the very best of friends. Ruthie's parents keep telling her that Jessica isn't real, but she knows the Jessica is. On Ruthies first day of Kindergarten, her parents tell her that Jessica probably shouldn't go with her, but she goes...more
Audra Sein
The book, Jessica, written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes, tells the story of a little girl named Ruthie who has an imaginary friend named Jessica. Her parents keep trying to convince Ruthie that there is no Jessica, but Ruthie keeps insisting that there is. When Ruthie starts kindergarten, her parents are hoping that this will be what Ruthie needs to make some real friends and give up her imaginary friend, Jessica. What ends up happening is a delightful twist.

This book is oriented vertically,...more
Elizabeth Sousa
Jessica by Kevin Henkes (my favorite children's author - I will not let this bias my review) tells the story of Ruthie, a pet-less, sibling-less little girl who dreams up the perfect, albeit imaginary, friend - Jessica. Ruthie's parents are worried that their daughter will not be able to make any friends on her first day of Kindergarten if she doesn't leave Jessica behind. Luckily, this sort of thing doesn't worry Ruthie in the slightest.

The endpapers feature a rainbow of colors, doodled with w...more
Ruthie didn't have a brother, a sister, or a dog. But Jessica was the next best thing. However, no one else can see Jessica and her parents keep telling her there's no Jessica. Jessica does everything with Ruthie from eating, building towers, and playing on the playground. When the first day of kindergarten arrives Ruthie of course brings Jessica with her and doesn't want to make new friends. When a little girl asks to be Ruthie's partner, Ruthie is surprised to find out that her new best frien...more
Sherrie Gallagher
This book is about a girl, Ruthie, an only child, whose only friend is her imaginary friend, Jessica. Ruthie’s parents are nervous that Ruthie will not make any friends in kindergarten because Ruthie’s imaginary friend Jessica will get in the way.

The illustrations are created with watercolor paints and a black pen. The illustrations are made with child like tools to show the child like features of the characters. It gives the feeling of simplicity and innocence to the story. The watercolors als...more
Jessica is the story of a little girl named Ruthie who spends all of her time with her best friend Jessica, but Jessica isn't an ordinary little girl...

The front cover features a little girl walking barefoot through the grass playing an instrument. The playful artwork of the front cover suggest that this will be a very lighthearted entertaining story. "Jessica" is written in Monticello, as with the rest of the text, but seems to pop from the page because each letter is a different color. Seemin...more
"There is no Jessica," said Ruthie's parents. But of course there was. She ate with Ruthie, played with Ruthie, and was sorry when Ruthie was bad. Nobody could see Jessica -- except Ruthie. When it came time for Ruthie to go to school, Jessica went with her. Her parents hoped Ruthie would find a friend at school who would replace Jessica. They were in for a (happy) surprise!

Good conversation starter if you have a child in your class who is having trouble transitioning to school and who may be st...more
This is a wholeheartedly wonderful book. Jessica is written with perfectly clear understanding of the fears and reflexive comfort producers of young ones, and this deep understanding sympathetically spreads through the heart of the reader like the sunshine on a perfectly warm day. Every last bit of this short picture book is done as well as it possibly could have been done, in my view, and I can only be amazed by the beautiful skills of Kevin Henkes. Ruthie and Jessica are the awesomest charact...more
Jessica by Kevin Henkes was a sweet book about a girl that has an imaginary friend. It actually reminded me a lot of my sister and her imaginary friend, Katie, that she had when she was little.

I could connect this book to Kevin Henkes other books because of the pattern throughout the book, the way the text and illustrations were set up, and the captions that were written from the main character. The style of the end pages also looked like some of Henkes' other work. When the characters were lini...more
Melynda Moore
What: This book is about a little girl named Ruthie. She didn't have anybody at home to play with except for her imaginary friend Jessica. They did everything together. When it came time for Ruthie to start kindergarten she didn't want to leave Jessica at home. The spent the day together in kindergarten until Ruthie made a new friend...a little girl named Jessica!

So What: This book is a great way to discuss imaginations and where they could take us. Children could also connect with this book if...more
Jamie Tedesco
This story shows the imagination children can have, especially when they are trying full a void, like Ruthie does with her imaginary friend Jessica. But Ruthie finds a real friend named Jessica and she feels much happier.
Liz Dixon
I remember readying this as a child, when my second sister was born, we picked her name based off this book
I love books about imaginary friends! I always look for great books with the main theme being an imaginary friend and I cant ever find anyones that I really enjoy. I think I enjoyed this one because I really felt like a little child who has an imaginary friend wrote this to tell their story! The book is short and sweet but has a lot of great pictures and side notes about what the child is thinking! It is a great lesson to be learned and children can really relate to it. It is also a great confid...more
Lauren Owens
This is a cute book about an imaginary friend named Jessica. Jessica can be read on the first day of school to help students to read a story about a girl who was so worried about the first day of school. By the end of the book the little girl does not need her imaginary friend with her anymore and made friends in her new class. Kevin Henkes paired wonderful illustrations help students to use picture cues to understand the book better. This book is very fun to read and to understand due to it's s...more
While we are quickly growing to love Kevin Henkes, this was not our favorite...
Loved this story of preschooler Ruthie and her imaginary friend, "Jessica". Even though her parents insist "There is no Jessica", we watch Ruthie happily play alongside her, be comforted by her, and embark in her first day of school with her. This story is an affirmation of the power of a child's ability to provide structure for herself to soothe and support her as needed. And when the child no longer needs the imaginary friend, she'll know! In this story, Ruthie's transition from"Jessica" to a...more
Jessica is a story about a young girl who has an imaginary friend named Jessica. She does every thing Jessica. Her parents kept telling her Jessica wasn't real and wanted her to leave Jessica home when she went to school for her first time. Jessica went anyway. While at school the girl met a real girl named Jessica and they became good friends.

The book has small pictures before the title page and throughout the book of funny, classic moments every child had when they had an imaginary friend. It...more
I always enjoy a good Kevin Henkes book and this one does not disappoint. As is common with his books, this would work very well for young readers and for the beginning of a new school or nerves about starting school again. This book is about a girl who has an imaginary best friend and is hesitant about making new, real friends when she starts kindergarten. When she finally warms up at school, she finds that she has made a new, real friend, named Jessica. Sweet story, funny pictures and captions...more
Abbey Smith
Jessica is a very cute book. The second graders find it easy to relate to and they get very excited when they figure out that Kevin Henkes is the same author that wrote Lily's Purple Plastic Purse. There are often students in my classroom with the name Jessica, so it is always fun to do a character/person comparison between the character in the story, and the students in our classroom. I won't say it has a overwhelming amount of instructional value, but it is great for characterization and a sto...more
This books deals with having imaginary friends. Ruth has no pets or siblings, but she meets a girl named Jessica who does everything with her. Jessica is not real, she is Ruth's imaginary friend. When Ruth goes to kindergarten, she meets a new friend who is real, named Jessica. I think having imaginary friends is something that used to be more common. I don't know any kids that have imaginary friends right now, but I know that it can be an issue. I would definitely recommend this book to any chi...more
I originally only picked this book because it has name as the title. I turned out to be a very good book. I loved it and it had a good twist in the end.

My summary,
The little girl has an imaginary friend the whole book and her mom tells her to leave her at home on the first day of school but she brings Jessica with her. They line up in pairs and she lines up with Jessica. A little girl asks to be her partner in line and who name happens to be Jessica and they become best friends and she forgets...more
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Kevin Henkes became an author/illustrator when he was nineteen years old, working on a card table in his bedroom.
Today he's the author of many award-winning picture books and novels.
More about Kevin Henkes...
Chrysanthemum Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse Kitten's First Full Moon Owen Wemberly Worried

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