No proper island bookshelf should be without a copy of “Jake & Emma’s Island Getaway,” a new picture book written by Jean Davies Okimoto that tells a tender tale set on Vashon.
The paperback, with eye-popping illustrations by Jeremiah Trammell, was written for children but has a story sure to touch the hearts of readers of all ages. It’s about a pair of misfits — a dog and a sheep who run away from an event that seems exactly like the Vashon Sheepdog Classic, in search of a place where friendship is more valued than competition.
Spoiler alert: The book has a happy ending when the pair finds a new forever home in a peaceful cottage owned by a kind but odd old lady who wears pajamas to the grocery store.
Okimoto is the author of 23 books, eight of which are picture books for children. She moved to Vashon in 1999.
Okimoto is also the founder of Endicott and Hugh Books, established in 2009 as a way to publish her own novels as well as works by other authors. Endicott and Hugh has also published memoirs by Ann Combs and Artis Palmer, as well as poetry collections by Lonny Kaneko, Ina Whitlock, Ann Spiers and Eric Horsting. Many of the proceeds from the sale of the company’s titles are donated to nonprofits, including Vashon Community Care, The Vashon Community Food Bank, the Vashon-Maury Island Land Trust and the Nome Alaska Children’s Home.
“Jake & Emma’s Island Getaway” will be launched with a reading at 4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 22, at Vashon Bookshop, starring local performers Sue Wiley, Rich Wiley, Gaye Detzer and Bill Kirschner, along with a special appearance by Cody the Bookshop Border Collie. The event will also feature a drawing for a giveaway of signed, limited edition prints of some of the artwork from the book, as well as some of the original sketches by the illustrator. No purchase is necessary to enter the drawing, but all proceeds from sales of the book that day will go to Vashon Island Pet Protectors. Okimoto will also be in attendance to talk to readers and sign books.
For more information about her work, visit jeandaviesokimoto.com.