Jean Davies Okimoto

The Love Ceiling is a Women’s Fiction Finalist!
USA Book News National Best Books 2009 Award

The Love Ceiling is a winner of the 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Award.

Uncle Hideki & The Empty Nest
The Theatre Off Jackson
September 14 - October 8, 2006

From The Seattle Times

Jean Davies Okimoto's funny, sometimes wistful play, "Uncle Hideki & the Empty Nest" … gives rare insight into the daunting journey of finding oneself, especially when faced with the warring traditions of two cultures. The Suyama family's awkward situations are often defused by comedy, creating many laugh-out-loud moments as the characters slog through the sticky entanglements of family ties. Time and again, Davies Okimoto's strong writing comes through…
Because the well-developed characters lend multiple dimensions to the play, award-winning children's-book-writer Davies Okimoto touches on issues as varied as homosexuality, retirement, second marriages and life dreams…(and) taps into many universal truths about what it takes to be a woman — in the myriad roles of mother, daughter, wife.

From The International Examiner

Award –winning author Jean Davies Okimoto has crafted a delightful story about the tension between family obligations and self-fulfillment and above all love…the highly entertaining “Uncle Hideki and the Empty Nest” has succeeded beautifully.

The Reinvention of Albert Paugh was produced by Drama Dock on Vashon Island in 2017.

Jean Davies Okimoto is an author and playwright whose books and short stories have been translated into Japanese, Italian, Chinese, Danish, Korean, German and Hebrew. She is the recipient of numerous awards including Smithsonian Notable Book, the American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults, the Washington Governor’s Award, and the International Reading Association Readers Choice Award. Her picture book, Blumpoe the Grumpoe Meets Arnold the Cat was adapted by Shelly Duvall for the HBO and Showtime television series “Bedtime Stories.” She has appeared on CNN, Oprah and The Today Show. Jeanie began writing for adults when she and her husband Joe retired to Vashon Island in 2004 where they are visited by deer, a raccoon named George who is missing a tail, and their seven grandchildren.

Jean Davies Okimoto Profile

The Reinvention of Albert Paugh

Dr. Albert Paugh is flunking retirement. After selling his Vashon Island veterinary practice, he soon finds himself not only lost without his work, but suddenly single.

His efforts to carve out a new life, both as a bachelor and a retiree, only leave him feeling like his golden years are fast becoming years of gloom. His regrets pile up until he moves to Baker’s Beach where he gets to know a very special neighbor, learns that friends are the family you choose, and finds a new sense of purpose. The Reinvention of Albert Paugh is a sweet, funny love story about retirees that will delight readers (and dog lovers) of any age.

“This is a heartening book, a chronicle of renewal and hope that’s sparkling with humor!”
– Rayna Holtz, Librarian, King County Library System ret.

“You’ll be cheering for Al as he figures out how not to flunk retirement!”
- Connie Burns, School Library Journal reviewer, ret.

“Warm as a woodstove, fun as a ferry ride, polished as beach glass …a joyful portrait of a close-knit community... Al Paugh encounters the irksome challenges and tender graces of growing older, as well as new possibilities and renewed purpose among cherished friends, human and canine alike.”
- Laurie Stewart and Nancy Katica, Vashon Island Bookshop

“refreshingly realistic...a thoroughly satisfying story.”
- Ann Combs, Eagle Harbor Books, author of Once Upon a Two by Four

Walter's Muse

Walter’s Muse follows Okimoto’s debut novel for adults, The Love Ceiling, a Season’s Reading Pick of the King County Library System, selected by booksellers for the Indie Next Reading Group List, and the winner for ebook fiction in the 2009 Indie Next Generation Awards.

It’s the first summer of her retirement and librarian Maggie Lewis is relishing the unfolding of sweet summer days on Vashon Island: walking on the beach, reading the classics, and kayaking. But in June when a sudden storm hits the island, Maggie’s summer becomes about as peaceful as navigating white water. Not only does her wealthy sister arrive uninvited with a startling announcement; but Maggie finds herself entangled with her new Baker’s Beach neighbor, Walter Hathaway. A famous children’s author and recovering alcoholic, Walter has a history with Maggie they would each like to forget.

Delightfully told with humor and insight, Walter’s Muse is a page turner for romantics, writers, and the young at heart at any age.

“A joy to read!”
– Rayna Holtz, Librarian, King County Library System ret.

“Readers will connect with this warm story of two lonely people finding each other late in life.”
– Library Journal

“An exhilarating portrait of a woman in her prime...revives in all of us a lust for life, with its splendid twists and turns, gifts of love and friendship, and promises of more surprises to come.”
- Nina Sankovitch, Huffington Post, author of Tolstoy and the Purple Chair

“For those who believe in second chances in love and life, Walter’s Muse provides a warm and engaging blueprint. Okimoto’s loveably quirky characters become a reader’s friends and family. I hated to finish the last page.”
- Connie Burns, School Library Journal, reviewer, ret.

“Brimming with wit and wisdom...a delightful celebration of mature love, sure to enchant fans of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand!”
- Juli Morser, Books by the Way

“...a delightful story told with wit and charm.”
- Ann Combs, Eagle Harbor Books

“For those of us who are also aging children’s writers, Walter’s Muse is both frighteningly authentic and blessedly amusing.”
- David Lubar, author of Attack of the Vampire Weenies

Five Famous Mice Meet Winston of Churchill

The mice are miffed... “All creatures are endangered! Not just polar bears!”

Nellie, Henrietta, Irene, Louise, and Emily embark on a quest across Canada to let people know climate change affects everyone…even mice!

Rebuffed at Parliament, Nellie uses words of her famous namesake Nellie McClung to rally the mice. “We will pester them and pester them until they realize that we are creatures, too!”

But no one takes them seriously until Nellie leads the mice to Churchill, Manitoba where Winston, a famous polar bear, finds the five mice just can’t be ignored.

With a toast to Canada’s Famous Five, in this sequel to the award winning Winston of Churchill, Jean Davies Okimoto and Jeremiah Trammell again deliver a timely, heartwarming, and funny story about a very serious topic.

Maya and the Cotton Candy Boy

Newly arrived from Kazakhstan, Maya Alazova resents her little brother and the way her mother babies him. When the school moves her from the English Language Learner program to mainstream classes, the world of this pretty seventh grader turns upside down. Maya meets a boy who opens the floodgates to her heart, but she becomes the target of a jealous bully and the boy’s attention sets off a hurricane at home. But when Maya finds that her little brother can help with their new culture in ways their parents can’t, she discovers a bond she didn’t know existed.

“Okimoto explores the world of kids in middle school years—fitting in, dealing with ‘old fashioned’ parents, dating, and attachment to one’s home—with laser-like clarity and a huge dose of tenderness. This book will leave students saying, ‘Hey, that is exactly me!’”
– Dan Coles, Literacy Manager, Seattle Public Schools

“In this illuminating, beautifully told story, an immigrant teen and her Kazakh family struggle to cope with poverty, long hours of menial labor, school bullies, American permissiveness, and the clash of Kazakh and U.S. family morés. Plucky Maya and her family pay with hard labor and heartaches for the chance to live the American dream.”
– Rayna Holtz, Teen Services, Literacy/ESL Librarian King County Library System

“I really identified with Maya and her struggles with her role at school, her parents’ rules, and her desire to feel like she is good at something. These issues come up again and again in childhood, and especially in middle school. It is definitely a book I’d recommend to any student at that stage in life.”
– Jenni Wilke, Owner, Books by the Way

“Okimoto creates a realistic scenario with warmly drawn characters...a great book and very needed in this time of new prejudices against people from other cultures.”
– CJ Bott, President Elect 2011, Assembly of Literature for Adolescents of NCTE, Author of The Bully in the Book and in the Classroom and More Bullies in More Books

Women, aging and creativity...a book club favorite!

The Love Ceiling

In The Love Ceiling you'll meet sixty-four year old Anne Kuroda Duppstaad, who after the death of her Japanese American mother, confronts the toxic legacy of her father, a famous artist and cruel narcissist, to become an artist in her own right.

Rave reviews for The Love Ceiling

"rich with life experiences... rendered with compassion and insight.”
— Nancy Livingstone, US Review of Books

The Love Ceiling will ring true with many women.”
The Midwest Book Review

“ intriguing, absorbing, and unusual novel.”
— Mary Gergen, The Positive Aging Newsletter

“...wonderful, touching, funny. Jean Davies Okimoto writes with literary perfect pitch.”
— Christiane Northrup, MD author and host of PBS television special Mother-Daughter Wisdom

“A lovely book, full of wisdom and compassion. With keen insight, the author examines the problems of achieving fulfillment as both a woman and an artist.”
— Barbara G. Walker author of The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets

“A fine painting of words by a true compelling that once you begin you cannot put it down.”
— Chizuko Judy Sugita de Queiroz artist and author of Camp Days 1942-1945

“Any woman who has ever wrestled with a difficult father will find inspiration and solace in these lucid pages.”
— Leza Lowitz former Tokyo correspondent for Art in America

"In this courageous journey, Okimoto gives us a model for any woman yearning to claim her truth, to be seen for who she is in her deepest heart. I was inspired by The Love Ceiling and recommend it for any woman seeking greater self-expression."
— Lisa Dale Norton, Author of Hawk Flies Above: Journey to the Heart of the Sandhills, and Shimmering Images: A Handy Little Guide to Writing Memoir

Winston of Churchill

2008 Winner of The Green Earth Book Award
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