This past Friday night, I was invited to be one of a select group of Bloggers to take part in a first-of-its-kind event at American Girl Place in Chicago. It was a celebration - a baby shower of sorts - to announce American Girl's new arrival: The Brand-New World of Bitty Baby. On August 27, 2013, the newly-enhanced Bitty Baby line of 15-inch dolls, clothing, and accessories for girls ages 3+ will make it's public debut at American Girl stores, and online at AmericanGirl.com.
The new line features 11 different dolls, each with different skin tones, hair colors, and eye color combinations, alongside furniture crafted of real wood, cute accessories, plush animals, and matching outfits for little girls and their Bitty Baby dolls. A new collection of books written by Kirby Larson and illustrated by Sue Cornelison will also be released, "heartwarming tales help little girls shine bright by encouraging curiosity, generosity, confidence, and kindness." The books also include a special “For Parents” section that "focuses on the social and emotional experience of preschoolers and offers parents tips to help their little girls become more confident, patient, and independent."
Looking at the new line in person, the first thing that struck me is how much the Bitty Baby and Me book reminds me of my two daughters, Addie and Finn. The dolls are adorable (as expected), but I'm a sucker for the outfits and accessories. Each Bitty Baby doll comes dressed in a signature sleeper, along with a special “wishing star” keepsake toy and the Bitty Baby and Me book.
Bitty Baby Books...
Bitty Baby and Me
In this first story, a little girl introduces her new doll, Bitty Baby, to her family, including her prickly big sister. At nap time, the little girl tells Bitty Baby a story about a magical mermaid adventure—but the best magic of all is the creative way the girl makes her wish come true and gets her older sister to play with her. Includes a “For Parents” section that focuses on the social and emotional experience of preschoolers and offers parenting tips.
Bitty Baby at the Ballet
In this story, a little girl and her Bitty Baby doll are getting ready for a ballet recital. To calm her pre-performance jitters, the little girl tells Bitty Baby a story about a bunny who overcomes stage fright to win a hopping contest. Includes a “For Parents” section that looks at different ways to support children’s interests and talents.
Bitty Baby Loves the Snow
A little girl takes her Bitty Baby doll outside to play in the snow, but her big brother is too busy sledding to help build a snowman. As she waits, the girl tells a story about Bitty Baby and a polar bear and how they learn to play together. When her brother finally arrives, she has solved her own problem. Includes a “For Parents” section that provides insight and tips on encouraging positive social play.
Bitty Baby the Brave
A little girl and her Bitty Baby doll hear a scary noise in the basement when they visit Grammy and Grampa’s new house. To calm her fears, the little girl tells Bitty Baby a story about overcoming fear with friendship. In the story, Bitty Baby goes on a n imaginary adventure and meets a gorilla, a boa, and an elephant. Includes a “For Parents” section that offers insight and tips on traveling with young children.
Princess Bitty Baby
A little girl and her Bitty Baby doll are all ready for bed and can’t wait for a bedtime story. So the girl tells one of her own—about Princess Bitty Baby, a dragon, and an enchanted frog—and discovers the power of her own storytelling. Includes a “For Parents” section that looks at the power of imagination—and how it can help children cope with a challenge.
At the end of our champagne-and-cookie-filled celebration, the crew at American Girl revealed that all of the Bloggers in attendance would be receiving a Bitty Baby of their own. After going through the combinations in detail, I carefully chose what I believe will be a treasured companion for my oldest daughter, Addie. In a few weeks, when our Bitty Baby arrives here at Rock Father HQ, I'll introduce her to the world right here on the site.
In the meantime, while American Girl Place was closed to the public for our event, they did let us shop... and I couldn't leave without a little something for my own "American Girl" --
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About James: A work-from-home Dad with a pair of daughters (Released in 2009 and 2012) - James Zahn is THE ROCK FATHER™.
Bringing over two decades of experience in the entertainment industry into the family realm, Zahn is an Illinois-based Entertainment Writer, Media Personality and Commentator.
He serves as a PBS KIDS VIP (Very Involved Parent), has made guest appearances as a member of the Sprout Kindness Crew, was featured in the Father's Day issue of Lake County Magazine, and is a former contributor to Chicago Parent.
Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for the likes of FEAR FACTORY, DIRGE WITHIN, PRODUCT OF HATE, ARCANIUM and others, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands.
James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Blogcritics, Fangoria, Starlog, The River Cities' Reader. Slowfish, Oil, and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360, and in 2013 he's been quoted on CNN, Babble, The Huffington Post, and The Good Men Project, in addition to making appearances on ABC News and WGN.
Learn more here.