American Girl Dolls, A Historical Toy
American Girl Dolls is a little girl phenomenon. The dolls are not of my generation, so I never played with them; however, the generation after me has fond memories of American Girl. (I’m from the Cabbage Patch Kid generation.) I found out about the dolls last Christmas when my fiance’s little cousins were playing with them. They showed me the books that come with each doll. I was shocked to see that one doll, Molly, was growing up in World War II. Kit was another doll in crisis; she watches her father lose his job during the Great Depression and she must save the family’s home. These are pretty heavy subjects for little girls. I remember playing in a worry-less wonderland with my vapid Barbies.
I like that these dolls have a back story and that children are encouraged to read and learn about history. I find it even more fascinating in this world of the Wii, X-box, Internet and a thousand channels of brain-rotting TV, the dolls seem to be thriving. Writer Katy Kelleher reminisces about her childhood with her American Girl Doll named Kirsten in our latest feature article: Of Dreams and Dolls: American Girls and the Spirit of Exploration.