Rescue & Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship

Written by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes

Illustrated by Scott Magoon

5 Fabulous Things Review

  1. Parallelism:The two opening spreads introduce the reader to Rescue and Jessica. Each character has just been given news that is scary and life-changing. Both are feeling unsure of what the future will bring. This introduction shows the reader right away how alike Rescue and Jessica were even before they met.
  2. Topic: I’m grateful that this story introduces important vocabulary like amputee, prosthetic, and service dog to kids. It is a gentle introduction to a topic that kids are sure to have questions about and a great opportunity to start a dialogue about the challenges that some people face.
  3. Illustrations/Perspectives/Colors: The color choices at the beginning of the story (grays, faded blues and greens) match the mood and experiences of the main characters and add depth to the emotional impact of the story. Conversely, when hope is renewed, when Rescue finally meets Jessica, we see hope renewed with page spreads of yellows, reds, and bright greens. The reader instantly feels this turning point in both of their journeys.
  4. Straightforward Text:The easy-to-follow text makes this story easily accessible to kids of all ages.
  5. Themes: So many wonderful take-aways with this one: friendship, resilience, perseverance, compassion, hope…

Parents/Teachers: This book is a must own. It is a tool to initiate conversations with your kids and provide a focus for questions about what it means to live with a disability.

Writers: This book is a wonderful mentor text on how to bring awareness to a serious topic, how to write stories with parallelism, and how to use colors and perspective to set mood/tone.


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  1. Dear Kim: I love, love, love, love, love your 5 Favorite Things blog posts! I had seen a lovely you tube video about this book, and I can’t wait to read it.


  2. I’m so excited for this creative team that RESCUE & Jessica debuted at #4 on this week’s NYT bestsellers!
    It’s a wonderful book for so many reasons – and these five you have listed are strong ones!


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