Our Story

"I can’t imagine anything better than sharing the magical world of children’s books..."

I have my sister Carol to thank for getting me started as a reader at 4 years old. And now, many decades and thousands of books later, I am realizing my dream of opening a children’s bookstore. I can’t imagine anything better than sharing the magical world of children’s books with, well, children - and the grown-ups who love them. 

My parents were both music teachers, my maternal grandmother taught in a one-room schoolhouse in her tiny village, and I inherited their passion for learning. After bouncing around in a few different careers, with education quietly yet consistently nudging me, I landed with great good luck in a position next to an inspiring Reading Specialist at an elementary school. Everything clicked. I went back to school and got my Masters in Reading, then started my own journey as a Reading Specialist. I feel drawn to connect children and books. And at this point in my life, doing that through a children’s bookstore puts all the pieces in place.

Patti Exstein is known and loved amongst students and teachers.

Together with my husband and The Three Wishes Bookshop, we wish to increase children’s access to great books in our community. We aim to spark a child’s curiosity, affirm their current interests and help them discover new ones. Through our tiny bookshop we wish to widen children’s views of the world, inspire our future leaders, and shine a light on diverse cultures, people and issues to make our world a kinder and more peaceful place to live. 

We live in Alexandria, VA with our mostly good rescue dog, Guinness. We have two sons who have grown and flown – finding their own paths, hopefully illuminated by the many books they read, or had read to them, along the way.