Do you remember your first beloved doll? It might not have been the first one you ever were given, but the one with which you were inseparable?
My seven-year old has found that doll.
A bit of an admission, one that makes this all the more delightful - my all-out girly-girl, be-glittered, be-sequined, “there is no such thing as too much pink/ruffles/sparkles” daughter has never been much for playing with dolls. She writes and draws, makes up dances, plays “moms and dads” with her friends on the playground and all other kinds of like-minded games involving her wildly creative imagination, but her dolls tend to be creatively placed around the room, mostly in napping position.
Her American Girl changing table formerly stored her vast collection of purses. I kid you not.
I’m no stranger to American Girl, as all of my nieces love their American Girl dolls (and I’m good for an accessory or two at Christmastime/birthdays). I’ve been a huge fan of the American Girl line because I admire how they present their (historical) dolls, each with a well-developed back story that shows girls in a positive light – strong, fierce, loyal, kind, dedicated, brave – and I appreciate how the dolls in conjunction with the books help foster an interest in different periods of American history.
Last month I attended a blogger event at the Chicago American Girl store, during which they announced the re-launch of their Bitty Baby line. (I don’t care how old you are, wandering through the store you can’t help but feel like a little girl again.)
That evening, they had the full Bitty Baby line on display.
What is great about the re-launched line of dolls is that they are now offered in even more skin-tones and eye- and hair-color combinations – 11 babies in total - so I could find a Bitty Baby that looked just like Pea. I was delighted to learn was that they were also releasing a series of picture books that follow a little girl and her Bitty Baby as they have new adventures together (my girl and I are both avid readers). The first of the books, “Bitty Baby and Me”, was included with the Bitty Baby that Pea received.
The day Bitty Rose arrived, well, I had one excited little girl. The box was quickly opened…
…and much hugging and ooh-ing and ahh-ing, and squealing followed. I will be honest, while she was excited to be getting a new Bitty Baby, I honestly hadn’t expected THIS strong of a reaction from her, given her past engagement with baby dolls.
Bitty Rose (as she has been named) goes with Pea EVERYWHERE. And I mean everywhere, despite the fact that she does not yet have a car seat to ride in, a point that my rule-following daughter has expressly pointed out. Over and over again. Here, Rose models a blue ballerina outfit that was in the American Girl Bitty Baby line (although not the NEW fairy outfit, which Pea has found on the website and has already added to her Christmas list).
Bitty Rose is a very patient shopper.
I confess that she probably also watched more tv than a doll should be allowed to watch, although I presume the glazed over look in her eyes was not caused by the “Jessie” marathon they partook in.
Bitty Rose is also generally the most well-behaved, erm, child at the table when we go out to eat.
I don’t think I have seen a toy of any kind affect her as much as this one has. The purses on the changing table have been relegated to the closet, her old doll evicted from the crib so that Bitty Rose has a place to sleep. I have had to draw the line at scheduling errands around Bitty Rose’s nap times, however.
I think Bitty Rose will be joined by an American Girl doll this Christmas – Pea is anxiously debating between the soon-to-retire Girl of the Year, “Saige” and the yet-to-be-announced 2014 Girl of the Year (via a Christmas I-O-U.)
The relaunched line of dolls will be available today, August 27, on the American Girl website, in the catalogs and in stores. Along with the dolls they are releasing new clothes, a line of books by Newbury Honor Award author Kirby Larson, plush animals and a keepsake line of wood furniture – just like the big girls have.
I’m delighted that Pea has found a doll that she connects with, and I’m really tickled to watch this relationship between her and her new friend grow. If you follow me on Instagram, I’m sure you will see even more adventures of Pea and Rose over the coming days.
The disclaimer: The Bitty Baby doll shown above was provided to me for free by American Girl, but the opinions expressed in this post are all my own, and the response of Pea is all hers.