________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 11. . . .November 18, 2016


I Am Josephine (And I Am a Living Thing).

Jan Thornhill. Illustrated by Jacqui Lee.
Toronto, ON: Owlkids Books, 2016.
32 pp., hardcover, $18.95.
ISBN 978-1-77147-156-5.

Subject Heading:
Mammals-Classification-Juvenile literature.
Animals-Classification-Juvenile literature.
Mammals-Juvenile literature.
Life (Biology)-Juvenile literature.

Preschool-grade 4 / Ages 4-9.

Review by Kristen Ferguson.

**** /4



I am Josephine and I am a mammal. I am a mammal, and so is my mom, and so is my dog Cosmo, and so is a groundhog. And so is that cat that’s always following me around. (Shoo, kitty!)


Jan Thornhill’s I Am Josephine is a story of a little girl who describes where she fits in within the realm of living things on Earth. Josephine explains how she is a living thing, animal, mammal, and human being all at the same time. The second and third last pages of the book list the characteristics of living things, animals, mammals, and human beings. The book switches narration for the last page and speaks to readers directly with a friendly reminder that “. . . there is no one else on Earth who is exactly like you!” The book then ends by asking children what makes them unique from other human beings.

internal art     Jacqui Lee illustrated I Am Josephine with a palate of soothing and appealing colours, using drawings reminiscent of child-like cartoons. As well as portraying the literal story, the illustrations provide additional visual information about the story and living things to the reader. The illustrations are also interactive in that readers are frequently asked to use the illustrations, such as, for example, “How many different types of animals can you find on this page?”

internal art     I Am Josephine is an excellent book to touch on the topics of living things and the different classifications of living things, as well as the uniqueness of each individual child. Highly versatile and suitable for home or school libraries, I Am Josephine opens the possibility to many conversations with children about where a child fits into this world.

Highly Recommended.

Dr. Kristen Ferguson teaches literacy education at the Schulich School of Education at Nipissing University in North Bay, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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