Friday, November 30, 2012

Holiday Gift Ideas -- American Girl Dolls, Books and More (Review)

It wasn't until I had nieces and now daughters of my own that I learned about the popular American Girl dolls.

american girl dolls

My daughter, Savannah, became a fan of American Girl when she was given the McKenna doll and movie for her birthday last year.  Even though she is too young to understand and truly appreciate the stories of each of the dolls in the American Girl collection, she does noticed and understand how they each are different and special.  So, when I was contacted by the folks at American Girl to review some of their products for my holiday gift guide, I knew who I could reach out to help with this feature -- my daughters and nieces.  You should have seen how excited they were when I told them the news.  This came on the heels of the recent announcment of the new American Girl doll, Caroline.  I didn't tell the girls which items I would be receiving, as I wanted them to be excited.

Following the news of this review opportunity, I had my daughter, Savannah and neice Olivia asking me each day if the doll had arrived.  And, once they saw the box from American Girl, they went crazy dancing around the living room, hooting and hollering.  As I opened the box, they were right up against me, trying to catch a glimpse into the box, as I pulled out the samples to review.  When my niece saw the American Girl Caroline doll, she exclaimed, "Oh my goodness, she is so beautiful."  Savannah followed with "ohhh, ahhh."  They weren't expecting me to pull anything else out of the box, but when I took out the Bitty Twins Dolls and Book, Bound for Snow paperback book and the new Meet Caroline hardcover book, they were shocked and amazed. 

It was like Christmas came early at our house.  I asked them to sit on the couch, and that I would bring the dolls over to play with.  You should have seen how fast they moved, and how quietly they sat, with their hands in their laps.  If only they did this every time I asked them to. :-)

Caroline was a hit amongst the girls.  And, as they played together on the floor, I read the new book about Caroline to them, which my neice loved.  She told me that one thing she liked most about the American Girl collection is how each girls' story is unique, and how you can learn more about them through these books, as well as movies.  Back in July, I had a movie viewing party for my daughters, neices and their friends, and they all viewed the McKenna Shoots for the Stars movie. 

Each girl brought their favorite American Girl doll to the party, and we went around the room, having them share about their doll and what made them so special.  It was great hearing all the stories, and seeing how the girls loved learning about each of American Girls.  Even though I had bought American Girl dolls for my neice prior to the party, it wasn't until I saw how excited the girls were when showing off their dolls and talking about them like they were real people, that I realized why American Girl is so popular among girls of all ages.  Even adults are collecting their dolls, and adding them to their growing doll collections.  I remember as a child that the Cabbage Patch Kids dolls were popular to collect.  But, now with today's generation, girls are asking for American Girl dolls.  And, once you see these beautifully handcrafted dolls up close, you will understand why.

Bitty Twins. Fun times two

I waited to share the Bitty Twins dolls with Savannah and Arabella, as Arabella was sleeping when the package arrived.  As soon as Arabella saw these dolls, her eyes lit up (as did her sister and niece's).  Then, Savannah took her hand and led her to the couch, where they waited for me to bring the dolls over.  I was amazed at how Arabella took to the doll.  She is only 1 yrs. old, but already has a large collection of dolls, including American Girl ones.  And, with each new doll, she cradles and cares for them, as if she was the mommy -- which just amazes me.  I guess it is a female instinct that we are born with to want to nurture and care for things like dolls and babies.  

Here are just a handful of photos I took of my daughters playing with their Bitty Twins dolls.  You will notice Savannah getting ready to take a nap with hers.  Usually Savannah doesn't let anyone touch her security blanket, but when she climbed up on the couch to nap, she made sure her doll was warm, and used her blanket to cover her up.  :-)

So, with the holiday shopping season in full motion, why not surprise that special girl in your life with the new Caroline doll or other dolls and products from American Girl?  If your daughters don't have an American Girl doll yet, this would be a great time to introduce them to this popular doll collection.  And, make sure you check out the books (available in paperback and hardcover), DVDs, clothes and accessories to go along with the dolls.  My niece loves getting matching pajamas she can wear with her American girl dolls.  It is so cute to see this, as you don't expect to find matching doll and child pajama sets like these, as well as other outfits.  Now little girls can not only enjoy playing with their American Girl dolls, but they can dress like them, too!  

Stay tuned next month when I will be sharing a fun giveaway thanks to the folks at American Girl.  Will it be a giveaway for a doll, movie, book, or magazine subscription?  You will have to keep an eye out, as I am not telling until then. :-)

"Follow Your Inner Star!"

---BUY NOW---

You can purchase American Girl dolls and accessories online through the American Girl website (, as well as at American Girl stores located nationwide.  Click here to use the online store locator to find an American Girl store near you ---

About American Girl

American Girl Brands, LLC, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT,, the world's leading toy company. Since American Girl's inception in 1986, the company has devoted its entire business to celebrating the potential of girls ages 3 to 12. American Girl encourages girls to dream, to grow, to aspire, to create, and to imagine through a wide range of engaging and insightful books, age-appropriate and educational products, and unforgettable experiences. In meeting its mission with a vigilant eye toward quality and service, American Girl has earned the loyal following of millions of girls and the praise and trust of parents and educators. To learn more about American Girl or to request a free catalogue, call 1-800-845-0005 or visit 

Disclosure: I was sent samples from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  The views above are mine and mine alone.

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