Rescue and Jessica: A Life-changing Friendship
Written by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes and illustrated by Scott Magoon
Written from two perspectives this lovely picture book traces the journeys of Rescue a Labrador trained to help those in need and Jessica an amputee bound to use a wheelchair for the rest of her life due to an accident. Both have questions of whether they can adjust to their new roles and both fear letting the other down. Despite the difficult subject matter the story is written with sensitivity and a simplicity that makes it easily accessible to children. Together they learn a new way to be, new things to smile about and new things to learn together. With her friend Rescue by her side Jessica begins to realise she could tackle anything that lies ahead. Likewise, with Jessica by Rescue’s side he knows that he would train and learn to do anything to help her.
This book is filled with heart and soul. Based on a true story about a lady injured after the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013 much of what Jessica experiences is real.
This book is a must for any dog lover, proving that dogs really are our best friends. A bond many of us with pets can relate too. But more than that it teaches children empathy, understanding and to have courage in the face of very difficult circumstances and big life challenges. It’s a great way to shine a light on the lives of people with disabilities and also the amazing role and work service dogs do. I loved the fact that despite the subject matter and storyline it shouts huge positive messages to kids and ends with a beautiful high note that cannot help bring a tear and a smile all at once!