Former Tech Worker Pens Award Winning Book to Heal from Workplace Bullying To Be Featured At LA Times Book Festival

April 13 18:48 2023
“The Ookleberry Tree” aims to raise awareness of anti-Asian racism and focus harshly on workplace bullying.

Bullying in the workplace is an all too common experience that can have a lasting impact on an individual’s life. Former tech employee and Harvard alum, Judy Choi, this experience was the catalyst for her award-winning art book, “The Ookleberry Tree,” which she will showcase at the upcoming LA Times Book Festival on 4/22 for the world’s largest book retailer, Kinokuniya.

“The Ookleberry Tree.” Choi’s book is a fairy tale illustrated with photographs and tells the story of a misfit girl named Yoyo who leaves the real world and enters an imaginary universe. Together with her new friend Ookles they ride a cow to find a magical tree that grants wishes.

The book was written after Choi was bullied by her manager at a former tech job. “I’ve been bullied as a kid and an adult” Choi explained. “As a kid I used to hide from bullies by going to the library during recess and lunch so I could read to pass time. But as a woman being bullied by a woman manager, it’s a different dynamic and hard to prove because the acts of aggression fall in a gray area. The game played was to make fun of me from a distance but making sure so I could hear or not letting me order mashed potatoes at a restaurant. Once I asked permission to miss a team lunch to finish a project and a month later she used it against me during my performance review and said I was inefficient.”

To cope with the bullying Choi wrote her third book “The Ookleberry Tree.” The book took five years to make and was created with the help of photographer Francis George. “We built everything for the photographs including the costumes and sets” Choi explained.

The upcoming “Tigre Fou” showcase at the LA Times Book Festival on 4/22 is a significant opportunity for Choi to share her message with a broader audience. This event will feature some of the most innovative and thought-provoking authors and artists worldwide, and Choi’s work will make an impact.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to showcase my work at the LA Times Book Festival,” says Choi. “It is an honor to be featured alongside some of the most talented authors and artists in the world, and I hope that my book will inspire others to stand up against bullying and racism. I want to create a world where everyone fits in no matter how different you are.”

“The Ookleberry Tree” is available at Kinokuniya Bookstores. The Los Angeles Times Book Festival will be featuring writer Judy Choi as the character “Yoyo” from “The Ookleberry Tree” along with photographer Francis George on Saturday 04/22/2023 from 10:30 am to 1 pm at the Kinokuniya Booth #84.

Tigrefou Editions is an AAPI and woman owned small publisher devoted to producing original art books by underrepresented artists.  Since 2018, the four artists have released 3 award winning books and currently working on 8 more.   To learn more about Choi and her work, visit

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