I was born in Staten Island, New York. I grew up in a big, Italian family with lots of love and good things to eat. I studied illustration at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan and the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, Germany.

I have lived in many different places and now reside in beautiful New Hampshire.  I work in a cozy spot in my attic, which I call "The Nest". When I am not illustrating and writing, I most enjoy cooking, spending time with friends and family, playing my drums, dancing, tending to my garden or taking a walk with my new buddy, Enzo. 

I have traveled to many beautiful places, yet my favorite place to be is under my cool and fragrant grapevine on a warm summer day.


I have been writing and illustrating as JoAnn Adinolfi for a long time and it felt right to move forward into a new chapter of writing and illustrating with a name that gives me strength and confidence, so I combined my parents' names.  My beloved father passed in May of 2020, yet I am so grateful that my spunky mother is as feisty as ever! I hope that all the books I create as Josie James demonstrate joy, humor, creativity and integrity and bring stories to life in the best tradition of children's literature. Remembering names and lives well lived is the joy of story telling.