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I grew up a huge American Girl fan, the brand was still under the Pleasant Company umbrella when I started received the monthly catalogs and collecting the different story books about Kirsten, Samantha and Molly. I even received the American Girl Magazine, a bimonthly magazine that included articles, recipes, advice columns, fiction, arts and crafts, and activity ideas. My favorite part of the magazine was the pop-out paper doll where real “American Girls” could be made into their own 2D version with cutout dresses and accessories from their ancestors.

American Girl Dolls

American Girl Samantha Parkington loves helping others

Samantha was my favorite American Girl, she was an only child growing up during the Victorian period in New York. Her life was a complete opposite of my life growing up in Southern California, and it is interesting that I now live in New York. She was an orphan and raised by her wealthy grandmother. Samantha becomes friends with a poor servant girl named Nellie and they have many adventures together. The themes of Samantha’s books included women’s suffrage, child labor, and classism. When I turned ten I received my first American Girl doll, it was Samantha, and I was over the moon.

Samantha American Girl Doll

Bitty Baby is a little kids perfect first doll

I could not wait to share this tradition of stories, history and dolls with my daughter. So, this past Christmas we introduced lilStrange to her first doll from the American Girl Company, because lil’ is only two years old, we went with a Bitty Baby. The Bitty Baby doll is 15″ tall, with eyes that open and close. She has a cuddly cloth body, and her head and limbs are made of smooth vinyl. Bitty Baby is a little kids perfect first doll and lilStrange was instantly in love with “Bitty”.

Bitty Baby American Girl

Bitty Baby for Christmas

Lea Clark Girl of the Year, 2016

Every year American Girl introduces a new doll as the “Girl of the Year”. For 2016 the Girl of the Year is named Lea Clark, a talented photographer with a love for animals, who discovers a wide world of possibilities on a family trip to Brazil. Her adventurous spirit and desire to live life to the fullest leads her to explore the Amazon rainforest during her visit.

Available for only one year, Lea’s American Girl collection includes three books that tell her story, a beautiful 18-inch Lea doll, and an array of Brazilian- inspired outfits and accessories.

American Girl of the Year Lea

Giving Back with American Girl of the Year Lea

To show girls that, together, they can help protect animals and their habitats, American Girl has created Wild at Art, a year-long fund-raising initiative in support of World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Click here to join the Wild At Art campaign.

Thank you American Girl for providing a doll to help facilitate this review, as always all opinions expressed here are my own.