Dr. Toy, Stevanne Auerbach, Ph.D., passed away on October 19, 2022, from complications of a stroke. you can visit the Berkeleyside link (listed under the profile photo).

Dr. Stevanne Auerbach/Dr. Toy has been for many years one of the nation's leading professionals in children's play and educational toys and related products. Dr. Auerbach relies on 45-plus years of training and hands-on experience to select the best educationally oriented, skill-building products from both large and small companies for her original annual award programs. Millions of parents, teachers, and toy buyers around the world use Dr. Toy’s guidance in making their toy, learning, and play selections.

Most recently, My Butterfly Collection: On the Wings of the Butterfly was released—a personal journey about butterflies, art, writings, and many resources.

Dr. Toy’s Smart Play/ Smart Toys: How to Select and Use the Best Toys and Games-(4th Edition, Regent Press; 3rd Ed. Ingram/Lightening Source; 2nd Ed Educational Insights; 1st Ed, St. Martin’s Press) is a unique guide to play, child development, and appropriate toys for babies to older children. The book is published in the U.S.A. as well as in China, Croatia, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Israel, Korea, Russia, Spain, Thailand, and Turkey; it will soon be available in Egypt, Japan, and other countries.

Her book Toys for a Lifetime (FAO Schwarz/Rizzoli) focuses on classic toys with history and photos of each, and The Toy Chest covers selection criteria, toy history, interviews with over 100 experts in all aspects of the toy industry, and many resources.

She is the author of 16 books for parents, professionals, and children, including The Whole Child, Choosing Child Care, and Confronting the Child Care Crisis.

Dr. Auerbach has written hundreds of articles about play and toys for national and regional magazines, newspapers, and websites, such as NAEYC Family, TIA, Huffington Post, Sears Toy Shop, Pearson Family Education, Club Mom, Parental Wisdom, Toy Directory, and others. She is featured as an expert in many articles and books, sought as a guest speaker, and interviewed on radio and television programs throughout the USA and internationally. Her feature articles have appeared in Family Circle, in Parenting Magazine, Parent’s Magazine, Bottom Line Personal, King Features Syndicate, and on “Dr. Toy’s Guide” (the first site on toys on the Internet) at www.drtoy.com, visited daily by thousands.

Dr. Toy’s Best Products Award Programs, which provide informative, professional reviews of over 5,000 educational and developmentally appropriate products, include Dr. Toy’s 100 Best Children's Products, Ten Best Products, Best Classic Toys, Best Vacation Products, Best Picks, Best Green Products, and Best Green Company.

Dr. Auerbach, in 1986, founded and directed the San Francisco International Toy Museum, the world’s first interactive toy museum. More than 50,000 children visited and played in this unique hands-on museum between 1986 and 1990 when the Loma Prieta earthquake forced it to shut its doors. New toys for children to play with, as well as learning with the historical collectibles, were a mainstay of this unique museum.

Dr. Auerbach, an established speaker, spokesperson, consultant, and author, is trained in child development, psychology, education, and special education. Dr. Auerbach’s title, Dr.Toy®, now trademarked, is well earned, starting with her first consulting assignment with Creative Playthings, Princeton, New Jersey, in 1968, when she developed the company’s first educational marketing program. She has had an active career in education, administration, and all aspects of toys, learning, and play.

She approved the first funding federal grant for the Children's Television Workshop, "Sesame Street,” worked for the Commissioner of Education, Dr. James E. Allan, and evaluated reading, Urban Education, and Title One Programs at the U.S. Office of Education. She created the “What Works” series reporting on promising school practices.

She established the first childcare center for the children of federal employees, which, for more than 40 years, served as the model for the entire federal government. She worked to plan and develop a national $2.5 million R&D Program in childcare for the Office of Economic Opportunity, Office of the President. She helped plan the Day Care Forum for the 1970 White House Conference on Children. She testified on the need for childcare to a congressional committee for the first comprehensive childcare legislation approved by a bi-partisan vote but was later vetoed by then-President Nixon.

Auerbach moved to San Francisco and helped plan the Governor’s Statehouse Conference in Sacramento in 1980. She worked in child care issues in San Francisco and helped to create the SF Children’s Council and Child Abuse Council, produced the first city-wide conference to celebrate “The Year of the Young Child,” and the first expo of educational resources.

Before working for the federal government, Dr. Auerbach was a teacher and reading specialist in New York, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. She was trained by and associated with the Living Stage Program of Arena Stage to bring theatre skills to classrooms under the direction of the founder, Robert Alexander.

She produced the first report on “the need for physical education for the developmentally disabled” for The Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation, which led to the Special Olympics. She prepared the first booklet, “Your Career in the Peace Corps,” while she worked for The American Counseling Association, and she also created the first and second Film Festival for guidance counselors as part of the national convention.

She earned a BA in Education and Psychology from Queens College (NYC); studied guidance, counseling, and child study at the University of Maryland; earned an MA from George Washington University (DC) in Special Education; Ph.D. in Child Development and Psychology from The Union Institute (Cincinnati, OH). Since completing her doctoral degree, she has written and published 15 books on parenting, childcare, toys, and play. Her books have been published by Putnam, St. Martin’s Press, Dutton, Human Sciences Press, Prometheus Press, and other publishers. Five childcare books were re-released in 2011. She also wrote a children’s book, The Alphabet Tree (Windswept House, Mt. Dessert Me.)

Dr. Auerbach, an active member for 35 years of NAEYC, the largest professional organization in early childhood education, was a frequent speaker at their conferences and toy industry, professional, and parent organization events. She has been a member of ASJA, Author’s Guild, ACA, IPA, ITRA, OMEP, TASP, TIA, ASTRA, and WIT. Dr. Toy was selected by WIT/ Playthings Magazine as a Wonder Woman Entrepreneur; Dr. Auerbach is a playful grandmother.