Interview with Dianna Wilson-Sirkovsky

Today’s #ChatWithThePBLady is with Dianna Wilson-Sirkovsky. Read on to find out more about her heartwarming book.

Illustrated by Sara Casilda

📚What’s the most interesting cloud shape you’ve seen?

I guess I’d have to say the funnel cloud that formed not far from our house. Luckily it dissipated before we had time to really panic!

📚What was the last book you read?

Dory Fantasmagory. Wild imagination and lots of fun!

📚Who inspires you?

People who make a difference in the world – either big or small.

📚What’s something fun you recently did?

I planned my new kitchen. Something I’ve been waiting 25 years to do!

📚Let’s talk about JAMES’ READING RESCUE. Can you tell us a little bit about James and his cat friend Ghost?

James struggles with reading and sometimes has to miss recess to practice. His teacher has encouraged him to practice reading out loud, so one day he does his ‘homework’ while visiting the cats at the local rescue. James comes to enjoy reading to the non-judgmental cats and they enjoy his quiet company, which helps to socialize them and therefore makes them more adoptable.
Ghost is a feral cat who constantly hides because he is so frightened. Over time, he becomes used to James’ visits and the familiar sound of his voice eventually lures Ghost out of his box. It’s a classic win/win story – and who doesn’t love a happy ending?

📚As you mentioned, this book touches on reading struggles. Why was it important to you to write this type of story?

JRR is based on a true story I read on the internet several years ago. It touched a chord with me, as my son struggled with reading when he was young. Also, having raised my children with nine rescue cats, I felt that this was a story I just had to write!

📚In what ways might children relate to James and Ghost?

So many children experience reading challenges. Or they may have a sibling or friend who struggles. I think we can all see ourselves somehow reflected in James’ struggle.
Poor frightened Ghost just wants to hide himself away. The cat rescue is too bright, too noisy and has too many other cats! Patience and gentleness gradually win him over and one struggling cat comes to believe in one struggling little boy. They are a blessing to each another.

📚What advice would you give a child who is having difficulties reading?

No one is perfect – everyone struggles with something. Hard work really does pay off. Don’t give up – it may take time but you can do it! Reading opens the world and will enrich your life.

📚How can a child help or encourage a friend who is having reading difficulties?

Be kind – remember we all struggle with something. Why not sit down and look at books together? Share your favorite books and let your friend know that things will get easier with practice. And you are friends, no matter what!

📚Is there anything else you’d like to share about your book?

Yes, a couple of things. Kindness matters even if no one witnesses it. Hard work really does pay off. Rescue animals make wonderful family members and black cats (and dogs) are the least adopted. Please think of these facts next time you’re looking for a new friend!


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