JUST RIGHT:Kara Dyer of Concord loved her dollhouse so much when she was a girl that she eagerly shopped for one as soon as her daughter was old enough to enjoy the experience. Disappointed by the lack of choices between versions that were either cheap and uninteresting, or expensive and elaborately oversized, she decided to make her own line.
Dyer’s vision was quickly rewarded on Kickstarter.com, when the online campaign to fund the first production run for her Storytime Toys Fairytale House Collection surpassed its $20,000 goal the first day. She then stretched the monthlong drive’s target to $45,000, while committing to developing stop-motion videos of the three featured fairy tales — “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” “Hansel & Gretel,” and “The Three Little Pigs” — for free showings on YouTube if the new amount is raised.
As of last week, Storytime had generated $30,386 in pledges from 264 donors; the campaign ends Tuesday.
Dyer, who has a background in mechanical engineering and business, is offering the toy house and storybook sets for $40 each, with editorial liberties taken to make the stories appropriate for the demographic of 3- to 6-year-olds. The pieces, which are made from a composite of laminated EVA foam and card stock, snap together and can be taken apart and stored flat in a portable carrying case. The dolls, furniture, house walls, ceilings, and floors are painted by artist Sara Argue of San Francisco.
Dyer said 4-year-old daughter Mae — Storytime’s official product tester — likes to set up a neighborhood in which the characters from all three toy houses can interact. Ultimately, Dyer said, she hopes to offer additional designs around fairy tales from other cultures.
“It’s important to me to give our kids great toys that help them learn and develop, instead of toys that do everything for them,” said Dyer, who is pregnant, with an August due date. “I’d love to someday offer a big line so kids have as many different stories and houses as they can imagine.”
For more information, visit www.kickstarter.com and search for Storytime Toys.
EXCELLENCE IN HEALTH:Dr. Linda Sagor (inset) of
Boxborough, director of the division of general pediatrics at UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center, was recently honored by the Waltham-based Massachusetts Medical Society with its Henry Ingersoll Bowditch Award for Excellence in Public Health.
The award is presented to a Massachusetts physician who demonstrates creativity, commendable citizenship, initiative, innovation, and leadership in the fields of public health and advocacy.
In 2003, Sagor established the Worcester-based Foster Children Evaluation Services Clinic, which provides medical, dental, and psychological services. Board-certified in pediatrics, Sagor is chairwoman of the Massachusetts chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Foster Care and on the board of its Council on Foster Care, Adoption, and Kinship Care; and a board member of the UMass Memorial Center for the Advancement of Primary Care, and Community Legal Aid.
WRITERS TALK: Two local residents will be speaking at upcoming
Arlington Community Education events taking place in the media center of Arlington High School, 869 Massachusetts Ave.
Author Megan Marshall (inset) of Belmont will discuss her new biography, “Margaret Fuller: A New American Life,” which chronicles the life of the 19th-century journalist and women’s rights advocate, on Tuesday from 7:30 to 9 p.m. The evening will be hosted by Arlington resident Teresa Hanafin, director of engagement and social media at Boston.com.
And at 7:30 p.m. May 14, Obie Award-winning playwright Kirsten Greenidge, an Arlington native who now lives in Waltham, will be discussing her work and career. The host will be author and music critic Tim Riley of Concord.
Admission is $10 for each event, with preregistration available at www.arlingtoncommunityed.org or by calling 781-316-3568.
LITERARY LUNCHEON: Authors (inset) William Landay of Newton and Randy Susan Meyers will be the featured guests at the
29th annual Friends of the Newton Free Library book and author luncheon Friday, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. at the Boston Marriott Newton, 2345 Commonwealth Ave.
A former district attorney who holds degrees from Yale University and Boston College Law School, Landay set his New York Times bestseller “Defending Jacob” in Newton.
Meyers, whose books include “The Comfort of Lies,” teaches at the Grub Street creative writing center in Boston.
The authors will sign copies of their books, which will be sold by the New England Mobile Book Fair. Tickets are $45; for more information, visit www.newtonfreelibrary.org.
SHOWER FOR SHELTERS: For the 13th year, the Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable is holding a virtual Shower For Shelters.
Donations of unwrapped gifts and new household items will be collected at the libraries in Lincoln (3 Bedford Road), Sudbury (21 Concord Road), and Wayland (5 Concord Road) through next Sunday. The household items will benefit families transitioning from a shelter to a home of their own, while gifts will be donated to the clients of REACH Beyond Domestic Violence of Waltham, Voices Against Violence of Framingham, and the Second Step in Newtonville.
Roundtable board member Nalini Goyal said events like Shower For Shelters promote awareness and community engagement. Donations “of household goods are significant to area domestic violence organizations providing housing services, especially now, when they face huge cuts in government funding,” she said.
For a list of items especially needed, contact any of the libraries or visit www.domesticviolenceroundtable.org. Public meetings take place at 3 p.m. on the second Tuesday of every month from September through June in the Wayland Public Safety Building, at the intersection of routes 20 and 27. There are no attendance fees or dues.