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 snowy New Hampshire with my husband, a physicist and our two children. 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. It is very cozy inside. My favorite time to work in my shed-studio is when it is snowing, especially when it is snowing at night.
I love to garden like my father and grandfather. In the summer, you'll find me working under the cool, grapevine. When I am not working I love to travel with my family anywhere and everywhere.
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. 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. My book, MARIE'S OCEAN tells the story of great geologist and cartographer, whose name you probably don't know, Marie Tharp. She was a great person and so is my mother, Josephine Adinolfi, and so was my father, James Adinolfi, who died in May of 2020. Remembering names and lives well lived is the joy of story telling. I hope that I make my parents proud. Miss you Daddy, every day.