cover image Is That Josie?

Is That Josie?

Keiko Narahashi. Margaret K. McElderry Books, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-689-50606-2

Reminiscent of Jean Marzollo's Pretend You're a Cat, this sweet book is a clever introduction to the game of make-believe. As Josie pulls on her turtleneck shirt, her mother asks, ``Is that Josie in those green and yellow stripes?'' Josie answers, ``No, it's a turtle. Peekaboo, where are you?'' Narahashi (I Have a Friend) portrays a warm and loving parent-child relationship by first showing Josie's real-life activites, then picturing her with the animals she is mimicking. An illustration of Josie in the tub (``Is that Josie making waves in her bath?'') becomes Josie and dolphins ``diving deep.'' The game ends when Josie finally admits to being ``Mommy's big girl'' as her mother tucks her into bed. The spare, glowing pastel watercolors represent Narahashi at her best, but the text lacks the zest and lilting charm of her collaborations with Mary Serfozo (Who Said Red?; Rain Talk). Ages 4-8. (Sept.)