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 studio in my backyard, which everyone calls "The Shed". I put a sign on it that says, "Studio" but everyone still calls it "The Shed". I also have a cozy spot to work in my attic, which I call "The Nest"
I have travelled to many beautiful places but 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.