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Children's Fiction Books & Libraries

James' Reading Rescue

by (author) Dianna Wilson-Sirkovsky

illustrated by Sara Casilda

Initial publish date
Oct 2021
Books & Libraries
Recommended Age
6 to 12
Recommended Grade
1 to 7
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2021
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


An endearing story about reading to your favorite animal. For animal lovers ages 6 years and up.

James struggles with reading and misses recess to practice. To cheer himself up, he visits the cat rescue shelter and befriends Ghost, the cat in the box. But Ghost isn’t quite ready to make friends! As his reading improves, James learns that kindness and perseverance can have unexpected rewards and that having a furry friend is the best gift of all.

About the authors

Contributor Notes

Dianna Wilson-Sirkovsky's life has always been filled with books and cats, passions learned from her Grandma Marg and her mother, Isabel. She renewed her love for picture books while reading to her children, inspiring her to write and share stories of her own later in life. Her family and herself are deeply committed to animal rescue and the ethical treatment of all animals. They had nine beloved rescue cats that shared their lives for many years.

She works as a senior administrator at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where she lives with her husband David, who shares great ideas for stories and is her sounding board. Her daughter Laura (who has five rescue cats) gives her great support and honest critiques of her writing! Her son Garrett (with one rescue cat) is a magnet for cats – they are drawn to him like catnip!

She takes great pleasure in writing children’s stories inspired by true events, imagination, and the joy of adventure and discovery.

Sara Casilda received a Higher Technician in Graphic Arts and Design in Illustration and also a Bachelor of Arts at the School of Arts and Crafts in Toledo. She did an internship at the newspaper "La Tribuna" in Toledo, where they published the illustration "La Custodia" for Corpus Day in 2014 on the cover of its special edition.
The passion for the arts led her to a professional career through various disciplines such as illustration, graphic design, muralism, photography ... Dreaming of embracing, in addition, painting, writing, and traditional and digital animation.
The classic and children's editorial illustration, with touches of fantasy and imagination, fascinated her since she was a child. In 2018 she entered the editorial field as an illustrator with the illustrated album 'Naar bed, naar bed', which was a finalist in the KeyColours 2018 competition.
Her work is mainly artisan. She uses charcoal, graphite, watercolors, colored pencils ... and she ends up with some digital touches for editing.
She loves and values nature in all its being. She is committed to the care and leads a lifestyle that is as conscientious and consistent as possible. From food to the materials she works with every day.

Editorial Reviews

“(…)This tale about patience and perseverance features beautiful, soft illustrations filled with adorable cats. James’ journey will be relatable to many children, and it also wonderfully demonstrates the positive effects of volunteering.” - Booklist

"This book will help children learn that hard work and practice do pay off and that not everyone (in this case, the shelter animals) will be judgmental about our weaknesses in life. In addition, it will also teach readers about compassion and friendship.

- School Library Connection: Kristen Jayska, Children's/YA Librarian, Livonia Public Library, Livonia, Michigan

"This sweet picture book follow a young boy who is struggling to read. He visits the shelter every day to play with the cats who are waiting to be adopted (even Ghost, who never comes out of his dark corner). Soon, the boy had a great idea! He decides to read out loud to practice his reading skill and to make the cats more comfortable. Soon Ghost starts to trust the boy and comes out of the box. The next time the boy checks the rescue, the box of cats and Ghost is gone. When he gets home he has a big surprise! As a cat lover and a librarian, this book made me so happy!" - Delphos Public Library

"This book was just adorable. I love that he is sad so he goes to a shelter to play with the cats. There really isn't anything bad I could say about this book. The illustrations were great, the story was incredibly cute, and together they just created one of those feel good books." - Santaquin City Library

"What a sweet story! James struggles with reading, and finds a great place to practice at the local pet shelter. One cat, Ghost, needs more help to be socialized and James's reading is just the ticket! This is a nice tale to both highlight the good shelter reading programs can do and to de-stigmatize reading issues. The illustrations are lively and cute and will definitely hold reader interest. This will make a great circle-time read and I think young readers will definitely get invested in the story. I can't wait to try it out! This would make a great addition to preschool and elementary school. classroom, and personal libraries." - BookWorks

Other titles by Sara Casilda