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Catie and Josephine
     

Catie and Josephine

5.0 3
by Jonathon Scott Fuqua, Steven Parke (Illustrator), Susan Mangan (Designed by)
 

Catie Calloway’s family has moved a lot, which is rough on an only child. When Catie finds herself in another new city and another new school, she is glad to meet Josephine, a girl who appears in the big old house that is her family’s new home. With a relationship founded in loneliness, the two girls are immediately drawn to each other and happy to

Overview


Catie Calloway’s family has moved a lot, which is rough on an only child. When Catie finds herself in another new city and another new school, she is glad to meet Josephine, a girl who appears in the big old house that is her family’s new home. With a relationship founded in loneliness, the two girls are immediately drawn to each other and happy to have each finally found a best friend. Catie’s parents, however, are beginning to question their daughter’s odd behavior. To them, it appears she hasn’t a friend in the world, and sending her away to summer camp seems to be the only answer. Unless, of course, Catie can come up with a new friend fast.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Illustrated with digitally composed, full-page color photographs, may of which are surrealistic, this book is a puzzle-part friendship story, part fantasy/ghost story." School Library Journal

"Color photographs add an interesting dimension to the narrative..." Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Publishers Weekly
Fuqua, who collaborated with Parke on the graphic novel In the Shadow of Edgar Allan Poe, offers a thin tale about a friendless only child whose family is constantly uprooted. Moving into an old house in Baltimore, she spies a girl wearing an old-fashioned dress, who reappears one night in Catie's bedroom. The girl introduces herself as Josephine and later explains that she lived in the house before she died of flu in 1918. Invisible to adults, this ghost now resides in the attic, which she can transform into such locales as the setting of The Arabian Nights, a field with a castle in the distance and a dollhouse in which she and Catie become dolls. When Catie's parents threaten to send her to summer camp unless she finds a friend, she renders Josephine visible to her parents by draping her in winter clothing and painting her face with makeup and her tongue and teeth with poster paint. She then introduces her as a mute kid with the egregiously false name of Allison Wondertland. Inane passages and stiff dialogue sink this story, which comes across chiefly as a showcase for Parke's digitally manipulated color photos of fantasy sequences. Slick and stagey, the photos themselves take on a frozen, static quality that works against the notion of ghostly specters and ephemeral tableaux. Ages 7-11. (Aug.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
This is a new take on the old tale of being the new kid in the neighborhood. Catie Calloway is miserable after the family's most recent move into an old house in a new city. It's the end of the school year, and Catie does not make any friends to play with during the summer. Well, she actually does make one friend...Josephine the ghost, who lives in their attic. After years of loneliness, they both treasure this friendship. But, when Mr. and Mrs. Calloway do not see Catie playing with other neighborhood children, they decide to send her to summer camp. To cancel the camp plans, the girls scheme to make Catie's parents believe Josephine is a real person—even though she is invisible to adults. When the plan works, they are ecstatic! But their happiness is short-lived as Mr. Calloway's employer transfers him once again. Josephine has never left home since she died there in 1918 of the flu. In the end, Josephine overcomes her fear of leaving her comfort zone, proving to herself and Catie that their friendship is more important than anything else. Twenty-three short chapters in 70 pages are peppered with off-the-wall graphics by Steven Parke, who designed for Prince and the Grateful Dead. This modern-day fantasy might intrigue readers covering new graphics territory, but do not look to it for practical lessons in problem solving. 2003, Houghton Mifflin, Ages 9 to 12.
— Chris Gill
Library Journal
Gr 3-4-Catie's family has moved quite a bit in her young life-from Texas to Oregon to Cleveland-and is now in Baltimore, where, her mother assures her, they will stay for a while. The girl doesn't enjoy being the new kid in school just five days before summer vacation, and her parents are concerned that she doesn't have friends. Josephine, the ghost of a girl who has remained in their house since she died of the flu in 1918, is also lonely. The two develop a firm friendship, playing together with Barbie dolls and even disguising Josephine with clothes and makeup (she seems to be somewhat solid) so that she can pretend to be a real girl visiting Catie. Then the child's father learns that he is being transferred once again, and both girls are devastated. Catie does all she can to persuade the ghost to move with her family, but Josephine is afraid to leave the only house and yard she has known. But she agrees to try, and they promise to be friends forever, even when Catie grows older. Illustrated with digitally composed, full-page color photographs, many of which are surrealistic, this book is a puzzle-part friendship story, part fantasy/ghost story. The developing friendship between Catie and Josephine is believable, but the unresolved ending falls flat.-Terrie Dorio, Santa Monica Public Library, CA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780618394036
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
09/22/2003
Pages:
72
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.18(d)
Age Range:
7 - 10 Years

Meet the Author


Jonathon Scott Fuqua is the author of Darby, a Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People 2003, In the Shadow of Edgar Allan Poe, and The Reappearance of Sam Webber, an ALA Alex Award for best adult book for young adults, a NYPL Best Book for the Teenage, an SLJ Best Book of the Year, and a Booklist Editors Choice. A writer, artist, historian, and teacher, he has won three Maryland State Arts Council Fiction Writing Awards. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland, with his wife and daughter.

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Catie and Josephine 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Okay... so I don't normally write reviews. I just feel like, who cares? But my 5 y/o girl loved Catie & Josephine, and so did my 8 y/o boy. So I'm buying it for a few friends with kids, and I read the Publishers Weekly review and am thinking that they totally looked at a different book than the one my kids were all over. Come on. I've heard of intellectual snobbery, but this is too much. It's a simple, fun kids book. I even liked Catie & Josephine. Whoever doesn't like this book really needs to get their snob-meter adjusted a few notches, because its funny, hilarious, and moving, especially for kids. Let's not start losing the forest for the trees here. This is great, entertainment.
Guest More than 1 year ago
C&J will delight the whole family, and its rich and compelling story with bittersweet undercurrents will perhaps best reveal itself to readers ages 10-14. C&J addresses themes of lonelieness and finding friends where you least expect to, and it has a Potteresque fantasy element that may be more accessible to younger readers than Harry himself. The dialog is authentic and amusing, and the illustrations are simply breathtaking. This is an unusual and successful cross between a digitally-generated graphic novel and a children's (ghost) story, and its visuals are so unique and beguiling that they deserve a special look. This groundbreaking book will surely herald new directions in (childrens') book illustrations.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm a teacher, and I have my own children. I have just finished reading Catie and Josephine to all of them, and I found the book to be stupendous, from the characters, to the situations, to the final outcome. It was funny, exciting, mysterious, and sweet. My kids didn't stop laughing throughout. So I would very much recommend this book to all. It is a terrific read for younger kids, a break from their usual fare, emotional and quirky and complex. If you have kids, probably 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th graders, they'll love this book, and you will too.