The bond between an American Girl® doll and the real girl who treasures her? Well, there’s nothing quite like it. That’s why we asked the authors of the new American Girl® Ultimate Visual Guide to tell us the stories behind their favorite dolls. Past and present, they’re dolls they owned and loved, and ones they dreamed of having!
If you’re like me, choosing your favorite American Girl doll is an impossible task. How much you love a doll depends not only on her appearance and her “world” of outfits and accessories, but also on how well you know and relate to her character. With each new book I read, I meet someone knew – and fall in love all over again! But if I must choose (sigh), I’ll start with these favorite friends:
That wavy red hair. Those intense green eyes. That intense spirit! She has the courage to climb rooftops and tame wild horses and refuse tea. Plus, her holiday gown is a gorgeous royal blue—my favorite color.
Because. She’s. Just. So. Beautiful. And she lives in the Southwest – an equally beautiful landscape. She approaches life with her heart wide open, despite the hurt and loss she’s endured. Her strength of heart is as powerful as Felicity’s strength of spirit.
This Girl of the Year has ginger-red hair in an impossibly thick side braid. She comes in a bright blue dress. She’s a lover and trainer of horses and lives in the Southwest. Sound familiar? She should. She’s the perfect blend of my first two favorite dolls—a modern-day Felicity who lives near Josefina’s homeland. What’s not to love?
it wasn’t until my thirties that I received my first American Girl doll (a few perks of once working at corporate), I have fond memories of looking through the Pleasant Company catalogues as a child with my mom. Huddled around the pile of mail on the kitchen counter, we would gush over Kirsten’s St. Lucia outfit with the head-topping candle-holding wreath. Or Samantha’s collection of summer accessories.
If I had my chance now, the following are the dolls that have stolen my heart.
Maybe it’s her vintage style or the fact that she’s writer like myself, but I can’t get enough of Kit, her stories, and her collection. Though she is just a kid, I want to wear her outfits, filled with floral prints and sweater sets. She even has a great pair of bib overalls, which satisfies the tomboy still living within me. The jade metal table and chairs with sunburst cutout designs would look perfect on my deck, and since my house was built in the 1930s – the same era as Kit – just about everything in her collection would add to the home’s character.
I can’t imagine what it would be like growing up during World War II, a war that my grandfather fought in, but Molly has always helped me to better identify with that era. I love her fun, lively spirit, and of all her stories, my favorite is Molly Saves the Day. My interest in all things outdoors is captured in the setting of Camp Gowonagin, where I can imagine the kid version of me snuggled up in a sleeping bag while sharing Tent No. 6 with Molly.
I may have gone through high school during the early 1990s, but my wardrobe looked straight out of the 1970s. It made my mother cringe to see me resurrect this era, wearing peasant blouses, bell-bottom jeans, and platform shoes, but it was a look I loved. I even had Julie’s hairstyle—mine in a brunette version—parted down the middle, worn stick straight to my waist, and often with a single braid on the side. As a big sports fan – both playing and watching – I connect with Julie’s story of hoop dreams and the passage of Title IX.
I didn’t grow up with American Girl dolls. I was already on my way to college when the first three dolls were released. But I was intrigued by the idea from the moment I learned about them. I was a huge reader as a kid (I read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books so often that I knew the stories by heart), and I would have loved to have dolls to go along with my favorite stories. So you won’t be surprised to learn that my favorite American Girl dolls are in the BeForever line!
Kirsten’s story reminded me not only of the Little House novels I loved but also of the tales my Dutch grandma told me about sailing to a new land and traveling by train to the Midwest. She settled in Iowa, not Minnesota, but the challenges and joys were similar—not to mention the homesickness. In the end, like Kirsten and her family, my grandmother and her family learned to love their new lives in a new country.
Who can help but admire Addy’s courage and her daring escape from slavery. Addy’s belief that everyone should be free, and her unwavering faith that her family would be together again one day, reminded me of a great real-life American – Harriet Tubman. I love the fact that Addy started school so far behind the other students and not only managed to catch up, but also to win the spelling bee!
Samantha’s life couldn’t be any more different from Addy’s. She’s born into a wealthy family, but that doesn’t mean her life is easy. She loves her “Grandmary,” but she’d give anything to have her parents alive again. Maybe that’s why she has such a big heart – a heart big enough to befriend a struggling servant girl and her sisters, and a heart big enough to fight for better lives for children who are forced to work in factories.
American Girl® Ultimate Visual Guide will be a treasured addition to every American Girl fan's bookshelf. With gorgeous images of every BeForever™ and Girl of the Year™ doll, an expanded section on the TrulyMe™ dolls, a detailed timeline of the company, and tons of exclusive behind-the-scenes information, this book takes readers on a wonderful from the start of The Pleasant Company all the way through to present day.
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