#MyrtleMondays: Preparing for World Doll Day this Saturday, June 11!!

Welcome to #MyrtleMondays… on a Tuesday! This week’s post is delayed to allow for up-to-the-minute coverage of all the exciting progress in our preparation for World Doll Day this Saturday.

Recently I shared the incredible news that several Kansas City organizations have banded together to create a Myrtle Hardcastle Doll to celebrate the 36th annual World Doll Day at the Kansas City Public Library.

Much is abuzz and afoot behind the scenes! Here at Myrtle’s house, I have been madly sewing Myrtle’s costume from the cover of Myrtle Hardcastle Mysteries #4In Myrtle Peril (October 4).

So much detail in this dress! (I’ll have more to share on the creation of this piece after the big reveal this weekend.)

And the amazing team behind the event has been preparing, as well. From their press release for the event:

Every year on the second Saturday in June, World Doll Day celebrates the idea of dolls delivering a universal message of love and happiness. The day encourages the giving of dolls to those who might not have one, because dolls invite curiosity and are a positive influence. This year, along with our love of dolls, we want to highlight the importance of reading and how dolls can encourage inquisitiveness and promote the imaginative spirit side by side with the written word. Educators and parents agree that the combination of reading and dolls is an effective way of learning and taking readers anywhere they want to go. Reading about the history of dolls and the various kinds of dolls around the world can introduce the reader to different people, societies, and customs which can help children make sense of their world, builds social-emotional skills, and open the door to resourcefulness. Books encourage young children to read to their little doll pal and tell a story as they imagine it in their minds. Parents know that the simple fact that children are not “alone” with their books makes reading activities fun and allows children to make the stories their own to share with their “friend.”

Special guest for the event is Elizabeth C. Bunce author of the extremely popular Myrtle Hardcastle Mystery series. Ms. Bunce will discuss how and why she authors books, answer questions, and entertain the audience with fun facts about Myrtle. As a special bonus, the one-of-a-kind Myrtle Hardcastle Doll will be introduced, and everyone will have an opportunity to join the Myrtle Hardcastle Detective Society.

 

At the National Museum of Toys & Miniatures, with curator Amy McKune, senior management of development Bekah Boyer, Alisha Cole of the Westport Historical Society, and education director Madeline Rislow (and for the record, I am not accidentally wearing one sock–I recently twisted my ankle.) We are posing before one of the museum’s displays of their Victorian “lady” (fashion) dolls.

This Monday afternoon, I was treated to a special tour of the doll collection at the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures, one of the organizers and sponsors. And I do mean treat! It was a joy to explore the collection with the guidance of curator Amy McKune.

Amy McKune explains that the museum focuses its collection on dolls that were meant to be played with. The case on the far left holds felt dolls of England’s Royal Family, made by Liberty of London.

A closeup of the Liberty of London Royal Family dolls, showing Princess Mary of Teck. Eagle-eyed Myrtle fans may recognize the name, as she has been mentioned in one of the Myrtle Hardcastle Mysteries!

A few more of the museum’s treasures… well worth checking out yourself if you’re in the area!

One of a kind 1890s baby doll by American doll artist Leo Moss, who sculpted papier mache faces of Black children over ready-made composition dolls.

Two 1880s-90s fashion dolls. These Ladies of Quality look ready to chase down criminals in a progressive English village.

Probably my very favorite exhibit at the museum: this GIANT dollhouse from the mid-19th century was created for a very special little girl in Philadelphia. It is opened once a year in a private, members-only event, but regular visitors can get a peek inside at the elaborate furnishings and inhabitants through the many windows. EXTRAORDINARY!

Huge thanks to the team at the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures for taking time out of their workday to share their amazing collection with us! Education director Dr. Madeline Rislow, pictured above, will be sharing the stage with me at World Doll Day on Saturday with a special presentation on a particular historical doll. You won’t want to miss it.

Registration for World Doll Day is open now. The event is free, but registration is required to make sure there are dolls for everyone.

Register here:
World Doll Day at the Kansas City Public Library
1:00 p.m. Saturday, June 11, 2022

See you at World Doll Day!

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