American Girl Exceeds Expectations With Expanded Bitty Baby Line!

American Girl Exceeds Expectations With Expanded Bitty Baby Line!

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Well, American Girl has done it again! Introduced a new line of dolls that exceeds expectations! Actually, it’s not a new line, per se, but an expanded one: Bitty Baby®. American Girl has come out with 11 different Bitty Baby dolls with various skin tones and hair- and eye-color combinations. Now your youngest child can have a look alike doll of her own!

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Last month, I was invited to a party hosted by Jenny Ingram & Danielle Smith at the flagship store, American Girl Place, in Chicago. The party was held after hours in the café and, as an added bonus, attendees were invited to shop. Realizing that Lulu’s 10th birthday is coming up this month, I decided to pick up a few things for her collection. (By the way, so did Adam!) We may have actually gone a bit overboard with the shopping.

Party Goers Unite: Adam, Jenny, Danielle & Me!

Party Goers Unite: Adam, Jenny, Danielle & Me!

What I bought Lulu:

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What Adam bought her:

Saige's Hot Air Balloon!

Saige’s Hot Air Balloon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Windy City Momma bought Me:

mollyFine, fine, I’ll admit it! I bought the Molly McIntyre doll. But I have a good reason! The Molly line will be archived at the end of the year. Look, I understand that I am an adult and have NO NEED for American Girl dolls but to my defense, I am still a little heartbroken that I didn’t buy the Samantha doll when I had the chance.

 

 

Little did I know that the express purpose of the party was to unveil the updated line of Bitty Babies!

So after I got the shopping spree under control and felt that I could focus on the party, I was immediately distracted by the impressive collection of bitty babies lining the table. “That’s funny,” I thought, “when we bought Lulu’s Bitty Baby few years ago, there weren’t so many choices of dolls.” Seven years ago, we selected the dark haired doll with a light complexion and brown eyes  because that was the doll that most closely resembled our daughter.   Now look at them!

As of TODAY (!) August 27th, 2013, families will have more choices for their younger children (recommended for ages 3 and up). With so many new options to choose from, children can experience that very special moment when he or she selects a Bitty Baby doll that’s just right—no settling for one that’s almost perfect. (I know that the dolls are marketed to girls but, to be quite honest, I don’t see a reason that a little boy can’t love a Bitty Baby as much or more than little girls, can you?) Also, the Bitty Baby doll comes dressed in a signature sleeper and has a special “wishing star” keepsake toy. As an added bonus, the Bitty Baby package also contains a book, “Bitty Baby and Me” the first in a series of five hardcover picture books that inspire fun ways to play.

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If you are familiar with the previous line of Bitty Baby books, you may remember that they were really small (perfect for little hands) but not so easy to manage by Moms and Dads. It’s hard to read a story to a toddler when you can barely turn the page! Now, the Bitty Baby line of books has been revamped and includes beautiful illustrations. These larger picture books are filled with heartwarming adventures and are the perfect addition to any young child’s library.

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So, did I get a new Bitty Baby? Yes, I did. This one has light brown hair, green eyes and is fair skinned. He looks remarkably like what I imagined Adam looked like when he was a baby. As soon as I saw that doll, I couldn’t help but fall in love with it. Wouldn’t you?

For more information, on the awesome things going on this summer and fall, please visit the American Girl website: americangirl.com

I was not paid for this post. But, I did receive one of the new Bitty Babies as a gift from attending the event.

 

Why American Girl Dolls & Their Stories Are Important To Girls

Why American Girl Dolls & Their Stories Are Important To Girls

A Little Bit About My Daughter

My daughter loves her American Girl (AG) dolls.  Part of the admiration comes from the awe that she feels when she shops at one of the AG stores.  She saves her money all year so she can purchase all sorts of  outfits for her dolls (many of which can be purchased with the matching outfit for her).  It all seems a bit materialistic until you look past the purchasing component and see the truth:  it’s the dolls’ stories that keep my daughter coming back for more.

My daughter, K, has 4 American Girl dolls.  If that seems like a lot, we understand.  But she wound up winning Kit and her best friend, Ruthie, in a school raffle, so we don’t feel as guilty as we might have had K’s grandparents purchased all 4 of the dolls separately.

K & Marie Grace are ready for their night on the town.

What we enjoy about K’s dolls is that each one has a story associated with it.  The purpose of these characters is to show girls today that they can do great things if they believe in themselves and in each other. From a Native American girl living in the Northwest in 1764 to a contemporary girl who uses her strengths to turn challenges into triumphs, the characters in every story illustrate the power of determination, imagination, courage, and hope—the same spirit that inspires modern American girls. It’s also a great way to learn American history!

Historical Characters Make Learning About History Fun

The historical characters’ stories give girls a glimpse into important times in America’s past. Each character’s story is told in a series of compelling books, focusing on such themes as family, school, holiday, birthday, summer, and winter adventures.  Each book has vivid descriptions of time period that the  girl lived in, identifies the variety of challenges a girl living in that specific time would encounter and, finally, how she resolves these conflicts.  Ultimately, the books seem to ignite a passion for life and enthusiasm for “girl power.”

The Samantha Doll or, for me, the One That Got Away

Can You Believe It?  We met AG Writer, Valerie Tripp!

Realizing how much we love the AG stories, you can imagine our excitement when K and I were invited to The American Girl Place (Chicago) by Priceless Chicago and Digital Megaphone to meet the writer of many of the American Girl books, Valerie Tripp.  Ms. Tripp has written many of the initial dolls’ stories including the six books in each of the Felicity, Josefina, Kit and Molly book series, as well as three of Samantha books. (Note: Samantha is my favorite doll and historical period.)

Priceless Chicago treated us to a delicious brunch where we heard Tripp speak about a variety of topics.

The author looks a lot like KIT!

Early in the presentation, Tripp told the audience that regardless of the time period, the first step to writing a successful AG book is to ensure that the reader actually cares about characters and wants to befriend the character. Only then does Tripp start researching the time period.  She seemingly injects herself into the time period and will read about the it, travel to the various places where the action takes place and even take cooking lessons if knowing how the character cooked and ate is an important part of her story.

If the time period forms part of the characters’ personalities, then the specific challenges she faces shape the rest.  According to Tripp: “The goal is to distill major social problems in the period. The characters are an allegory or metaphor for the major social and political problems.” For instance, when she created Kit Kittredge, the author wanted to communicate the girl’s “grit and determination to overcome the economic hardship” of the Depression era.

One of the significant messages of all AG books is: nothing stays the same and that change is inevitable (Remember: You can’t change the wind but you can adjust your sails?)  The books gently help girls understand they have everything that the need to face and overcome their challenges. In the Chrissa, stories, which were not written by Tripp, the author tackles the topic of  bullying. Through Chrissa’s story, the reader learns about the different facets of bullying (isolating and threatening the victim) and follows the main character as she is bullied and ultimately learns how to face her oppressor and solve her seemingly insurmountable problems. (Even as an adult, I learned a few lessons from reading the Chrissa story.)

As Tripp told the audience “The stories are gentle life lessons, humorous, sad, and an honest portrayal.”

What a relief to be aware of places (and authors) whose professional focus remains on ensuring that our daughters have all sorts of positive role models from all different time periods who share essential personality traits like integrity, honesty, humor and an overall appreciation for being a girl.