Do you remember having an imaginary friend? If not, do you know someone who had one? If you answered yes to either of these questions, then Jessica by Kevin Henkes is a must read for you!
The story tells the tale of a delightful little girl named Ruthie. Everything that 4-year-old Ruthie does, her imaginary friend ‘Jessica’ does too. From eating, to playing, to reading, to celebrating their 5th birthday together, the two are inseparable.
The reader sees the parents’ struggle to persuade Ruthie that “there is no Jessica” without success. When Ruthie starts school, they advise that ‘Jessica’ should stay home, but Ruthie is undeterred in sharing her 1st day with her friend. I cannot say more without ruining the surprise ending, so please read it to find out!
Readers will smile as the watercolor paints and ink pen illustrations make the story come to life in a whimsical, yet relatable way. It would be perfect for young children (age 3 to 7) who have friends like ‘Jessica’, or for older kids (7 to 11) who may be irritated with their younger sibling’s vivid imaginations.
After enjoying this book, other Henkes works to consider are: