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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: American Girl, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 21 of 21
1. Holiday Gifts - Books, Of Course!

Happy Holidays, Hungry Readers!

Instead of giving you the same-old best-seller list of gift suggestions, I thought I'd make this year's post a little more personal and share which books my family will be giving/receiving. Maybe you'll find one of them to be a good gift for someone you know as well. :)

The Guinness World Records 2017 edition is for the boy child, but it always turns into a full-family gift as he reads aloud every. single. record. Mostly interesting for all, but beware this is not for the faint of heart; many of the bug and FOOD records can be quite disgusting!

The American Girl Guide is for the girl child because, like any fictional character, even the dolls have extensive back-stories. More history = deeper understanding = more imaginative and intelligent play!

Harry Potter #4 is for my husband, the most-behindest reader of all time. ;) We have a family rule that we can't watch a film until we've read the book and he REALLY wants to catch up to the rest of us with the movies, so now he can use the vacation week to crack this spine!

As for me, I have asked for - and hopefully not delusionally expect to recieve - The Bible as read by James Earl Jones. This tome of all tomes has been on my TBR list since really the beginning of days but its sheer size has kept it anchoring the bottom of the pile. But then, Totes Magotes!, I find a version that will be read to me by the greatest narrator* of all time?! It's the only item on my Santa list and I have been VERY good this year...

Be sure and let me know the best reads you give and receive this holiday season; 

Happy Holidays to All and to All a Good Read!

0 Comments on Holiday Gifts - Books, Of Course! as of 12/23/2016 1:13:00 PM
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2. Fusenews: Born and raised in South Detroit . . .

This blog has spoiled me beyond all hope or recognition.  Over the years I’ve used it to find nannies, to get books re-published, and now it has solved a mystery that lay dormant for years.  Back in November of 2009 I decided I wanted to track down a book from my childhood.  Writing stumpers into the internet ether is usually rather pointless and the post Thanksgiving: The Ernestine Mystery was no exception.  So imagine my surprise when reader Desiree Preston wrote me the following note this week:

“Speaking of happy childhood memories, I was able to track down what is for sure the book I was looking for when I read you article at http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2009/11/26/thanksgiving-the-ernestine-mystery/#comment-4765. I don’t know if it is really the one you were looking for, but I thought I’d let you know. It is called Good Old Ernie by Jerry Mallett. Shout out to my second grade teacher, Judy Gomoluch, who is still good friends with my fourth grade teacher Mary Kain, and saw and answered my Facebook post.”

Could this be true?  Jerry Mallett?  So I tracked down the cover and lo and behold  . . .


That’s it, people.  I can’t believe it.  After seven years the mystery is solved.  Let that be a lesson to you, kids.  DON’T STOP BELIEVING! HOLD ONTO THAT FEEEEEEEELING . . . .


So what else is going on in the wild and wonderful world of children’s literature?  Well, since I’m already talking about Thanksgiving, it’s not much of a stretch to mention Christmas as well.  Now has anyone else noticed that there are a LOT of Nutcracker books out in 2016?  I honestly think I’ve seen five different picture book versions of the story, all from different publishers.  Now I’ve heard something that may interest my Chicago readers.  Brian Selznick has recently been working on some fun new projects, including a Chicago related ballet.  According to him . . .

“I’m writing the story for the new version of The Nutcracker (to be set during the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair) at the Joffrey choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon. It premieres this December! I think it’s going to be good…http://joffrey.org/nutcrackerbios.”

One glimpse at the folks behind it (Basil Twist! Christopher Wheeldon!) and I don’t merely “think” it’s going to be good.  I know it’s going to be good.  Sendak (the only other children’s book illustrator I know who had a hand in a reinterpretation of The Nutcracker) would be proud.  Hat tip to Brian for the tip.


Now let’s double back to NYC, since I’m sure there are folks in that neck of the woods that would like a little children’s literature-related fun.  Interested in a book festival that’ll get you out of the city?  Why not try The Warwick Children’s Book Festival?  As it was sold to me . . .

“Apple- and pumpkin-picking, farm markets, lovely shops, galleries and restaurants downtown…lots to enjoy for families looking for a fun afternoon on a holiday weekend.  And among other illustrious authors and illustrators such as Wendell Minor, Jane Yolen, Ame Dyckman, Brian Karas, Roxane Orgill, one of your Boston Globe/Horn Book 2016 award winners, will be there with Jazz Day!  And…the Festival is presented by Albert Wisner Public Library, winner of the Best Small Library in America 2016 award conferred by Library Journal!  We’re excited to invite everyone from the NY Metro Area to discover our festival, our library and our town.”

Go in my stead, gentle readers.  Go in my stead.


I’ll linger just a tad longer in the NYC area since to my infinite delight I found that the irascible, entirely delightful Brooklyn librarian Rita Meade has just been named a “Celebrity Librarian” and one of The Brooklyn 100.  Go, Rita, Go!


melodyprimaryNow I’ll hike back over to the Midwest again.  Maybe I’ll stop in Detroit on the way.  Why?  Because in a bit of absolutely fascinating news we’ve learned the the newest American Girl is Melody Ellison, a child of early ’60s Detroit.  Mental Floss also had this to say about the gal:

A six-member advisory board worked to craft her portrayal and included prominent members of the NAACP, history professors, and the President and CEO of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit. Along with author Denise Lewis Patrick, they worked together to ensure Melody’s story was as true to life as possible—including her hair. The texture of the doll’s locks was changed multiple times to reflect the era.

“In the late ’60s, the majority of African-Americans did have straight hair,” Juanita Moore, President and CEO of the Wright Museum, said to the Detroit Free Press. “It may not have been bone straight, but it was straightened.”

Thanks to PW Children’s Bookshelf for the news.


No doubt you’ve heard it elsewhere by now, but the saddest information of the week was that Llama Llama’s mama, Anna Dewdney, died recently.  I don’t think my family owns any full runs of picture book series . . . with the exception of the Llama Llama books.  There’s a lovely obit for her in PW worth looking on.  She will be missed.


Turn now to happy news.  They’ve announced the speakers for the upcoming ALSC Mini Institute, which will occur before the ALA Midwinter Conference in January.  Behold the speakers for yourself, then sign up.


Me stuff.  The very kind Suzanne Slade interviewed me about my picture book Giant Dance Party at the blog Picture Book Builders.  Woohoo!  Still in print, baby!


Pop Goes the Page at Princeton is still up to their usual tricks.  Today they’re wowing us with their tribute to Alice in Wonderland.  Try not to keen too mournfully when you realize you missed a chance to hear Leonard Marcus talk about the book’s relationship to surrealism.


Daily Image:

Not much on the roster today, so why don’t I just send you off with a picture of me reading the latest John Patrick Green graphic novel Hippotomister to my kids?  They adore it, by the way.  So two thumbs up from 2-year-olds and 5-year-olds equally over here.



3 Comments on Fusenews: Born and raised in South Detroit . . ., last added: 9/13/2016
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3. Video Sunday: Living dolls, shark costumes, buried books and goats in pjs

As you may have noticed, I’ve not done a Video Sunday in a while.  It now appears that what I was waiting for all this time was Dan Santat’s parody of Serial, turning it into a reenactment of his Caldecott Award call.  I’m just ashamed that when he won it didn’t immediately occur to me that, “Wow. We’re going to get a really great video out of this.” Hindsight is 20-20.

Nice that he got to take the shark suit out of mothballs, right?

As a children’s librarian I associate American Girl dolls far more with their books than the actual dolls.  This American Girl Dolls: The Movie trailer from Funny or Die will satisfy any children’s librarian that has ever had to shelve those darn books (or struggle with the eternal question of where to shelve them).

Screen Shot 2015-07-04 at 4.33.30 PM

Shh! Don’t tell them Mattel owns both Barbie AND American Girls.  Thanks to Beth Banner for the link.

So this Meghan Trainor librarian parody video has garnered 77,963 views as of this posting.  And I have heard from more than one person that its creator resembles me.  Which is infinitely kind but she is (A) Younger (B) Cuter (C) Actually knows how to style hair.  Ever noticed that my hair is always a plain bob?  I don’t do hair.  This woman.  She’s all about the hair.

This next one’s a bit of a surprise. Not that it exists (tree to book, book to tree) but that I can’t think of a single American book that has gone a similar route.  Usually we just get “bury this bookmark” swag.  I think only a small publisher could get away with this.  Or an Argentinian one.  Wow.

Thanks to Gregory K for the link.

As someone who doesn’t know a thing about making book trailers, I tip my hat to anyone who is capable (or has offspring who are capable) of creating such a thing out of the ether.  With that in mind . . .

As for the off-topic video, I’m not entirely certain why I decided to go with baby goats in pajamas today.  Maybe it was something in the wind.  In any case . . .

Thanks to Aunt Judy for the link.


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4. Ypulse Essentials: ‘Jersey Shore’ Is The Most Social Show Ever, Facebook Messenger App, Payless Launches Brash

Clearly Snookie, the Situation, and the rest of the ‘Jersey Shore’ cast are, um, social creatures (but so are their show’s viewers. The premiere episode of season four broke all kinds of social viewing records, including the number... Read the rest of this post

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5. American Girl: Cecile's New Orleans Series

The American Girl 1853 series: Cecile and Marie Grace by Denise Lewis Patrick and Sarah Masters Buckey, American Girl, 2011

Cecile Rey is one of the "gens de couleur libres" or "free people of color" living in New Orleans in 1853. Together, she and her friend, Marie Grace, experience all that the diverse, busy city has to offer: Mardi Gras parades and costume balls, outdoor French markets, helping to fight a yellow fever epidemic, volunteering at a local orphanage, and performing at a city-wide benefit for the orphaned children.

Happy Mardi Gras, book lovers! In honor of the holiday, today I'm featuring a series set in New Orleans, and the first two books take place during Mardi Gras!

I was first inspired to cover this American Girl series after seeing a feature on author Denise Lewis Patrick on The Brown Bookshelf. I'd never given a thought to the authors behind my beloved American Girl books, and reading the story of how Patrick was asked to author the Cecile series piqued my interest. The Cecile series is unique from that of the other American Girls because she shares her books with a girl named Marie Grace. I read "Meet Marie Grace" and then all of the Cecile books in the series, and it's very clear that the two authors plotted the stories out together. Between the two "Meet ____" books, some lines were actually word-for-word the same. I'm really not sure why they chose to have two main characters this time. If any of you know, please fill me in!

On the surface, the Cecile/Marie Grace series follows the same "formula" as every other in the AG line.  We "Meet" the girls, they go through some "troubles" but eventually save the day, and everyone ends up stronger and wiser. A little didactic, yes... but these characters are brave, self-confident role models for little girls today. I really like the fact that each book includes a chapter of nonfiction in the back, explaining how the events in the story are a reflection of real events from the past.

Cecile's story is notable because, unlike so many black characters in historial fiction - including 10 Comments on American Girl: Cecile's New Orleans Series, last added: 2/21/2012
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6. My Month of More "Colorful" Reading

29 days ago, I challenged myself to read only books written by or about people of color. This challenge was partly inspired by Black History Month, and partly due to a realization that since leaving my classroom in Baltimore, I had pretty much stopped looking for books that reflected the faces of "my" students.

I can almost guarantee that I would not have read most of these books without taking on this challenge, and boy-oh-boy would I have been missing out! In an effort to summarize this month of reading, here are a few awards and a few "similar interest groups" for quick reference.

Favorite YA Read of the Month: Tie between Mare's War by Tanita S. Davis and Mexican Whiteboy by Matt de la Pena (these two couldn't be more different, but I'll remember them both for a long, long time)

Favorite MG Read of the Month: The Whole Story of Half a Girl by Veera Hiranandani (love, love, love this book)

Favorite New-to-Me Author: Ashley Hope Perez - I thoroughly enjoyed What Can't Wait and am eagerly awaiting The Knife and the Butterfly. I can't help but feel a TFA bond with Ms. Perez and I'm so thankful that teachers like her exist!

Favorite Blast from the Past: American Girl - Cecile's New Orleans series

Favorite Illustrations: Heart and Soul - The Story of America and African Americans by Kadir Nelson (Abigail Halpin is pretty fabulous too, but Kadir Nelson's paintings were just breathtaking)

Favorite Book that Brad Pitt Should Turn into a Movie: Now is the Time for Running by Michael Williams

Novels in Verse:
- Planet Middle School by Nikki Grimes
- The Firefly Letters: A Suffragette's Journey to Cuba by Margarita Engle
- Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall

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7. 2012 Olympics Book List: That’s a Wrap!

By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: August 12, 2012

As the London 2012 Olympics come to a close, you may be looking for a way to fill the void which was recently filled with hours-on-end of summer sports. However, most importantly, you may be looking for a way to wean your little television junkies who were so thrilled to be invited for additional TV time over the past couple of weeks. The following books (and one DVD—because nobody said weaning would be easy) may be just what you’re looking for; they offer samplings of ancient and early modern Olympics, gymnastics and some good, old-fashioned exploration of London.

Pop-Up London

By Jennie Maizels

Reading level: Ages 5 and up

Hardcover: 12 pages

Publisher: Candlewick; Pop edition (April 10, 2012)

Gold Medal Summer 

By Donna Freitas

Reading level: Ages 10 and up

Hardcover: 240 pages

Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books (June 1, 2012)

A Passion for Victory: The Story of the Olympics in Ancient and Early…

By Benson Bobrick

Reading level: Ages 10 and up

Hardcover: 160 pages

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (June 26, 2012)

G is for Gold Medal: An Olympics Alphabet

By Brad Herzog; Illustrated by Doug Bowles

Reading level: Ages 4-8

Hardcover: 32 pages

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press (September 1, 2011)

An American Girl: McKenna Shoots For The Stars

Cast: Cathy Rigby, Nia Vardalos, Ian Ziering

Directed By: Vince Marcello

Based on the &ld

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8. Fusenews: I’m going back to Indiana! Indiana here I come!

Those of you familiar with the Jackson 5 song I’ve referenced in my title are probably now throwing virtual rotten fruit in my general direction.  Still, I can’t say it isn’t accurate.  This weekend I am pleased to be a speaker at the SCBWI Indiana conference in Zionsville, IN.  I haven’t been back in Indiana since my last college reunion in 2010.  It’ll be good for me to fill the lungs with some pure uncut Midwestern air once more.  A gal need to fill up before heading back into the NYC fray.  While you read this I may be zooming up into the clouds above, so enjoy some ephemera in my absence.

  • ReadingNet 300x174 Fusenews: Im going back to Indiana!  Indiana here I come!Sure.  On the one hand Spain’s reading net, highlighted by Boing Boing this week, looks AMAZING.  But while it may work well for Spanish children, you just know that our kids would be leaping and jumping all over that thing within seconds.  Plus, there appears to be a gigantic hole in it that’s just asking for trouble.  Or maybe that’s how you get in.  That would make sense.
  • Views From the Tesseract has reached its 100th post and as a result Stephanie came up with What Stories Have Taught Me in 100 Small Lessons.  It’s nice without being sentimental.  Plus, if you’re in the market for good quotes from children’s books, this here’s the place to go for your one stop shopping!
  • My l’il sis is at it again.  This time she came up with a way to create comic book shoes.  I cannot help but think that this might be possible with old Advanced Readers Copies.  Or YA craft programs.  Yeah.  I think you can tell that the next time I go to the Newbery/Caldecott Banquet I’m recruiting Kate to help me with my outfit.  She made one shoe superheroes and one supervillains.

SupervillainShoe Fusenews: Im going back to Indiana!  Indiana here I come!

For the record, she also did a post on how to make a hollow book.  If you read it, just remember that the world is FULL of extra Harry Potter 7s.  One or two less isn’t gonna hurt anything.

  • And while we’re feeling crafty, Delightful Children’s Books has come up with such a good idea: a Bookish Advent Calendar.  Genius!  I may have to steal this idea myself.  If I do, though, I’d better get cracking.  Start placing holds now.  December is practically nigh!
  • On the more serious side of things, Marjorie Ingall writes great posts no matter where she is, but it’s her titles that consistently blow me away.  At the blog Modern Loss (a site for “navigating your life after a death”) Marjorie wrote 5 Kids Books That Go There: The best of the ‘talking to kids about death’ genre (drumroll, please).  It’s a strong five.  I’m trying to think what I might add.  This year’s Missing Mommy by Rebecca Cobb, maybe.  That book ripped my heart from my chest and danced a tarantella on the remains.
  • *sigh*  Well, if nothing else, this clarifies for me who exactly “McKenna” is and why folks keep asking me to buy her books.  And Saige, for that matter.  Alexandra Petri writes a rather amusing piece on what has happened to American Girl.

WhatFoxSay 232x300 Fusenews: Im going back to Indiana!  Indiana here I come!I’m far less upset about the fact that they’re turning What Does the Fox Say? into a picture book.  For one thing, I’m weirdly thrilled that the Norwegian YouTube hit sensation has a Norwegian illustrator.  And one that clearly has a sense of humor.  Hey!  Whatever it takes to get some new names from overseas into the American market.  At the very least, I want to see it (though I’m fairly certain it is NOT the first picture book to be based on a YouTube sensation).  Thanks to Playing By the Book and Matt for the info.

  • Daily Image:

Today, I show something I may have shown before.  It’s lithographs of famous books where the text from the story makes up the image itself.  Here are some examples:

A Christmas Carol

ChristmasCarol 500x324 Fusenews: Im going back to Indiana!  Indiana here I come!

Alice in Wonderland

Wonderland 500x324 Fusenews: Im going back to Indiana!  Indiana here I come!

A Little Princess

LittlePrincess 500x324 Fusenews: Im going back to Indiana!  Indiana here I come!

Thanks to Marci for the link!


printfriendly Fusenews: Im going back to Indiana!  Indiana here I come!email Fusenews: Im going back to Indiana!  Indiana here I come!twitter Fusenews: Im going back to Indiana!  Indiana here I come!facebook Fusenews: Im going back to Indiana!  Indiana here I come!google plus Fusenews: Im going back to Indiana!  Indiana here I come!tumblr Fusenews: Im going back to Indiana!  Indiana here I come!share save 171 16 Fusenews: Im going back to Indiana!  Indiana here I come!

11 Comments on Fusenews: I’m going back to Indiana! Indiana here I come!, last added: 11/18/2013
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9. Best New Kids Stories | January 2015

Popular series, a new addition to the American Girl conglomerate, and a Disney Frozen book make this month's selection of best new kids books totally a kids' choice list!

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10. Just Mom and Me from American Girl

Reviewed by Suzanne Lieurance

Just mom and me coverTitle: Just Mom and Me: The tear-out, punch out, fill-out book of fun for girls and their moms

Reading Level: Ages 9-12

Publisher: American Girl

Publication Date: March 2008

ISBN-10: 1593693400

ISBN-13: 978-1593693404

Format: Spiral Bound

Suggested Retail Price: $9.95

Here’s a great new book, just in time for Mother’s Day because it will make the perfect gift for any young girl to give her mom. The book is full of fun activities that will help mother and daughter really get to know each other better and enjoy themselves in the process. For example, they can write a story together, or plant a garden, or just create an at-home spa and enjoy some “girl time” without the men in the family.

The book includes recipes, fun surveys for mother and daughter to take together, spots for photographs, and all sorts of ideas for both silly and serious activities that are bound to become traditional rituals for women with daughters. Punch out door hangers, bookmarks, coupons, and CD case covers add to the fun.

, , ,

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11. The National Book Award Finalists are announced and Samantha retires

This Wednesday the National Book Award Finalists were announced. The books are:

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
The Underneath by Kathi Appelt
What I Saw and how I lied by Judy Blundell
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks By E. Lockhart
The Spectacular Now by Tom Tharp.

I have, alas, only read and reviewed one of these titles, The Underneath, which I thought was quite remarkable. If you have read any of these books please let me know what you thought of them. The winner will be announced on November 19 at the National Book Awards in New York City. For more information about the National Book Awards please visit the National Book Foundation website.

Another piece of news that I would like to share with you is that American Girl's Samantha is officially retiring. Her books will still be available but that doll that has charmed doll lovers of all ages since 1986 will no longer be for sale in the American Girl stores and on the American Girl website. American Girl has put a "Share your Samantha Memories" page on their website for everyone who has enjoyed having Samantha in their lives.

“As one of American Girl’s most beloved characters, Samantha has been a friend and role model for millions of girls since her debut in 1986,” says Ellen L. Brothers, president of American Girl. “Moving Samantha to the American Girl Archives allows us to preserve her honored place in American Girl’s history and make it possible for us to introduce new characters and product offerings for our customers to enjoy.”

"Samantha, a kindhearted girl of privilege living with her wealthy grandmother in 1904, has captured girls’ imaginations with her compelling story of compassion and friendship in turn-of-the-century America. Although Samantha will be moved to the American Girl Archives, she retains her place within American Girl’s family of historical characters—nine-year-old heroines that give girls today a glimpse of what life was like growing up during important times in America’s past."

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12. Ypulse Essentials: 8% Teens Watch TV Online, Student Newspaper Archives Online, Colleges Explore 3 Year Degrees

- Rebecca Rubin (the first Jewish American Girl. Plus, a look at the economic and psychological effects of little girls' 'princess' phase) (New York Times, reg. required) (AP) - Only 8% of teens watch TV online (as opposed to on a regular... Read the rest of this post

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13. What The Rebecca Rubin Doll Means For Real Jewish American Girls

Earlier this week details were revealed about Rebecca Rubin, the first Jewish American Girl doll, and the latest addition to the company's steadily growing line of historical characters who hail from different ethnic backgrounds. Like those who came... Read the rest of this post

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14. Outing Jon Stewart [Leibowitz]

As I mentioned in my post about "Prom Night In Mississippi," and as long-time Ypulse readers know, I grew up in Nashville, TN. My family is Jewish, and throughout my adolescence, this is something I experienced with a mixture of pride and occasional... Read the rest of this post

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15. Ypulse Essentials: eReader Wars, YA Goes To 'Heck', Pepsi's Ultimate Refresh Campaign

eReader Wars (Seeking Alpha speculates on whether Apple's upcoming iTablet will change the game by roping younger readers. Plus Samsung makes a play for the youth mobile market with the new Colby line, as does Microsoft with chubby 'Pink'... Read the rest of this post

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16. Ypulse Essentials: Levi's Lifecycle, What Teens Want @ Web 2.0, 'Cougar Town' Vs. 'Glee'

Green jeans (as part of an effort to encourage reuse, Levi's adds a "donate to Goodwill" icon to their clothing’s care tags. Plus American Eagle launches a kids line) (PSFK) (MediaPost, reg. required) - New brands, latest tech, hybrids (is what... Read the rest of this post

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17. Ypulse Essentials: American Girl 'Shine On Now', 'Social Network' On Twitter, Do Something! Awards On VH1

Mattel launches 'Shine On Now' (The girl-powered pro-social promotion for the American Girl line will promote charitable fundraising, volunteer work.. and the new AG virtual world) (MediaPost, reg. required) - Sony advertises 'Social Network'.. on... Read the rest of this post

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18. An American Girl mentally stimulating diversion. Sort of.

Any other Sporcle players out there? I love it when I can stimulate my mind, which Sporcle claims their games do, and test my kiddielit knowledge at the same time. So, how many American Girls, and their best friends, can you name? I got them all. Can you name the American Girl Historical Characters? - sporcle

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19. Welcome to Molly’s World 1944: Growing Up in World War Two America by Catherine Gourley

When Allison was two year old, I bought her an American Girl doll. At the time, 1990, there weren’t so many to choose from and I picked Molly because her historical period was my area of interest and I liked the idea of a doll from a specific period in history, along with some accurate accessories and novels that entertain and inform. But I also bought Molly because I was afraid the idea of a historical doll wouldn’t catch on. So much for my business sense!

Welcome to Molly’s World 1944 is a companion book to the whole Molly project. However, unlike the novels about Molly, this book is a social history providing a look at life during the war as a young person might have experienced it. The American Girls collection included this same type of book for each of their historical dolls, though much of their historical material and even some dolls have now been retired. These are truly wonderful books for familiarizing young readers with the major components of each period, and in the case of World War II, that also includes a basic introduction to the horrors of that war – the fighting and its resulting casualties, the Holocaust in Europe and the Atomic Bombs in Japan – without overwhelming them or scaring them away from ever wanting to know more. Each section includes a minimal amount of explanatory text and a collage of topical photographs, maps, letters, telegrams and other types of documents to provide a real sense of life at the time.

But words never seem to do real justice to pictorial books and so I am letting some of the pages from Welcome to Molly’s World speak for themselves.

Each chapter looks at a different feature of the war and is divided into a variety of relevant sections. For example, Chapter Three “Taking Charge” covers the wide variety of things adults and children on the home front could do to help support the war. The next section describes the different kinds of jobs women took and the ways in which their daily lives changed because of those jobs – think Rosie the Riveter. There is a section on women in uniform, with a detailed look at the contents of a foot locker issued by the Women’s Army Corps (WAC). This is followed by a section on women in aviation, including an up close look at all the dials and instruments in the cockpit of a B-25 Bomber, which a female pilot in the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASPS) would have to know all about in order to fly the plane. There is even a section on how pet dogs were volunteered by their owners to work in defense and the different jobs they performed.  Dogs for Defense is a little known facet of the war nowadays, but at the time, there were a number of books written for kids on the topic.

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20. American Girl's 2011 Girl of the Year.

A few years ago I got my daughter her first American Girl doll. She chose Samantha, a doll whose stories take place in the Edwardian era. We collected the books that go with the doll, which I read to her, and had a blast finding outfits and accessories that suited Samantha's time. I was able to use the doll to teach my daughter about what it would have been like to live in America at the turn of the century. We talked about women's rights, the treatment of working class people, and the class system that existed then.

A few years after we got Samantha, someone gave my daughter their Molly doll and I was able to share the history of the WWII years with her through Molly's stories.

This year American Girl is launching a new doll. Her name is Kanani, and her stories will focus on the need to care for others. Here is the press release about this new doll, her books, and America Girl's partnership with  the National Wildlife Federation.

—National Campaign Encourages Girls to Share the Aloha Spirit of Helping Others—
This January, kicking off American Girl’s 25th birthday celebration, is the debut of Kanani Akina, the 2011 Girl of the Year®, whose story takes place in the lush tropical paradise of Hawai‘i. A warm and cheerful girl, Kanani loves her town’s beautiful beaches, tropical sunsets, and fun lu‘aus, but most of all, she and her family love sharing the aloha spirit—a desire to welcome and care for others with an open heart. Through Kanani, girls will discover that everyone has something to share that can make life better for someone else.
Kanani is available for one year and will launch with two books that tell her story, a beautiful 18-inch Kanani doll (featuring long, wavy medium-brown hair and hazel eyes), and an array of outfits and accessories such

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21. Well, Hello Dollies!

Guess who came to the local-ish American Girl store the other day?
None other than Lisa Yee! She wrote the latest Girl of the Year Books about Kanani, a Hawaiian girl. She also wrote Millicent Min, Girl Genius, and the subsequent stories relating to it. Oh, and also, she’s awesome. Add to that a few kids who are both American Girl and Lisa Yee fans, and you have the ideal day trip!

Lisa is from California, so it was great to get to see her on our coast! Here she is with the Dubois girls. Amazingly, she is still smiling after having met with approximately five thousand (mostly) little girls, with another thousand still to follow.

Poking around in the American Girl store, we couldn’t help but notice that our pal Mary Beth’s new book was on the shelves there, too! Check out the Paper Shaper Forest Friends, a make-it-yourself book of adorable animals in MB’s signature style.

Yes, Millie thought you should see what the back of the book looks like, too!

I bought some stylin’ shoes while we were there, too.
Doll shoes. Unbearably cute saddle shoes!

They do not fit me. But so help me, I will find the ideal miniature feet for them to fit on.
It’s a shame we don’t have any cats anymore!

5 Comments on Well, Hello Dollies!, last added: 3/2/2011
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