My Little Heart, Ruthie is the story of a wounded heart living alone in a cold, icy cell with only her harp for company. One day a warm breeze blows into her cell and so startles Ruthie that she gathers her courage and goes to see what this beautiful feeling is all about, nearly breaking free of her confinement. The breeze turns out to be a fellow heart warming up on his trumpet. This jazz guy named Clyde turns out to be a friend with whom Ruthie can share her darkest secrets. Their conversation told both musically and in rhyme leads Ruthie to discover that her suffering is self imposed and that she has the right to be free. Told as a children’s rhyme, this story speaks to the child inside of every person who believes that past abuses happened because they did something wrong, and it tries to convince them that it was never their fault.
Toni Jannotta started as a dancer, became an actress, performed in children’s theater, sang in musical theater, and ended up in jazz clubs. She has written jazz tunes, performed in the U.S. and abroad, and has composed the music for her original story rhyme, “My Little Heart, Ruthie.” Toni lives with her violin and piano in Southern California. This is her first book.