One day, I received a real typed letter from a local author named Patricia Toht. She had not one but two picture books coming out and wondered if we at PPB might have a launch party. She mentioned that she had owned a children's bookstore in Wheaton years before mine (1988-1995), name of Never Never Land. Well, gosh of course we will, said I: The party for Toht book #1, All Aboard the London Bus, is Sunday at 2:00 p.m. I really want you to come and meet this Patty woman. She is charming and forthrightly friendly, understated but somehow keen in her demeanor. I didn't have a quiet moment to set myself down with her book until a day or so after she dropped it off and we chatted, but when I did — I mean I was gobsmacked. I loved all of it, the energy of the illustrations for sure, but even more so Patty's gentle and frolicsome verse that guides wee tourists to wonder at the wonders of London, including the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, and the making of Big Ben (which is actually a nickname for the giant bell that bongs each day from the Houses of Parliament tower).
Even more than being pleased with her book, though, I was wowed by this woman in the following ways:
- You know that ping of appreciation we feel when we are affected and impressed with someone or thing? When I'm reading, for me I'm pretty sure a ping prompts me to tilt my head, then shoot my eyebrows up. A particularly impactful ping makes me purse my lips in an "ooooo" and I have to look away from the page for a second to let the ooooo-dea knock around for a bit. Pair that with the appreciation one feels when that impressive someone doesn't pirouette their thing with sparkle and spot-light, but lets you find your own way in your own time - and somehow, a much deeper wow is stamped in your heart;
- Nearly 30 years ago, Patricia decided to open a bookstore without much experience and loved her adventure. She has equally loved becoming a published children's author, an achievement she achieved just by - well - writing. In her unassuming way, she left her work with someone that said "ooooo" and her books were born. I love me a person who just starts doing the thing they want to do, even if it might mean a clumsy tromp, creating a path armed not with a map but with righteous energy. I loved it when I told her I have notions sometimes of writing myself, and she replied forthrightly: "If you think you'd like to write, jump in and get started!" Perfect.
Patty lived in London for four years with her family because her hubby's job took them there, and All Aboard the London Bus is the charming result. Come celebrate Wheaton's own Patricia Toht. Bring along your kids or grands or just enjoy meeting this inspiring woman.
Thank you for being a huge part of our wonderful year! Please come and help us celebrate our 3rd anniversary on Saturday, June 3! We want to celebrate our birthday with a party-full of the sort of events we do best: cooking demos, Jenny shows, and Champagne Book Recommendation parties!
- 11:00 a.m. Cooking Demo featuring Short Stack Editions
- 1:00 p.m. Back by popular demand, Jenny Riddle will be performing one of her most popular shows “We Will Survive”!
- 2:30 p.m. Champagne & Raspberries book recommendation followed by our raffle—including Short Stack cookbooklets and kitchen goodies!
Call the store to let us know which of these 3 offerings we will get to greet you.