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Thursday, December 31 2015 23:00

Introducing Lea Clark, AMERICAN GIRL's 2016 "Girl of the Year!"

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It's January 1st, 2016, and that means it's time to debut American Girl’s 2016 Girl of the Year, Lea Clark. Lea is described as "a talented photographer with a love for animals, who discovers a wide world of possibilities when she embarks on a faraway adventure to Brazil." As always, the Girl of the Year is only available for 12 months, and Lea’s collection includes the 18" Lea doll featuring long wavy hair and warm hazel eyes, plus several tropical-inspired outfits, accessories, and toys that reflect her Brazilian travels—including Lea’s Rainforest House with over 30 pieces and accessories. This summer, Lea will be the subject of an all-new, action-adventure film, arriving on DVD via Universal Studios Home Entertainment. Check out an assortment of photos and the full details on American Girl's Lea Clark launch below!

More from the Official Announcement:

Lea Clark Books

Written by award-winning author Lisa Yee, the 2016 Girl of the Year books—Lea Dives In, Lea Leads the Way, and Lea and Camila—introduce girls to a curious ten-year-old girl with an adventurous spirit. On a family trip to Brazil to visit her older brother, Zac, who is studying the Amazon rainforest, Lea is excited to capture everything she sees with her camera. Soon Lea makes some incredible discoveries, but she also faces unexpected challenges, including a fear of the ocean, tension with Zac, and finding a baby sloth that has been gravely injured. With the help of her family, her new Brazilian friend, Camila, and her late grandmother’s guiding inspiration, Lea finds the inner strength and confidence to live her new adventures to the fullest.

Lea Rainforest Lifestyle LR

Bonus: Check out our feature on the most recent BeForever Doll, Maryellen Larkin!

Giving Back with Lea

To show girls that, together, they can make a difference in helping protect animals and their habitats, American Girl has created Wild at Art, a year-long fund-raising campaign in support of World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Starting January 1, American Girl is encouraging girls to use their artistic abilities to host an art sale and donate the proceeds to WWF. To launch the campaign, American Girl has made a $50,000 donation to WWF and also invites customers to contribute at American Girl retail stores and americangirl.com. Parents can visit americangirl.com/wildatart to learn more and register for Wild at Art, plus get animal-themed craft ideas, and be entered into a sweepstakes for the chance to win one of 17 Lea prize packages.

Lea Clark Images

In addition, from January 1 through December 31, 2016, for every purchase of one of the three plush animals in Lea’s collection—the margay, sea turtle, or sloth—American Girl will donate $1 (up to a maximum of $100,000) to WWF.

Other Lea-related initiatives being held throughout the year include the following:

  • Lea Born for Adventure Paid App and Online Play: Girls can join Lea in Brazil for an adventure of a lifetime with this paid app, featuring beautiful graphics, exclusive content, and endless play. The app retails for $1.99 and is available for download on americangirl.com/girloftheyear. Girls can also visit the Lea-dedicated site for book excerpts, movie-related content, games and quizzes, wallpaper and e-cards, and much more.

Lea Clark - Craft

  • Lea Retail Events: On January 1, American Girl stores are hosting Lea’s Debut Event, where girls will get a first look at her full product collection, plus enjoy in-store activities, colorful crafts, giveaways, and a fun photo opportunity. Girls can also take part in free and paid Lea-related events throughout the year. For more details on the in-store events, visit americangirl.com/stores.

Lea Clark Images

The Lea collection is available on January 1, 2016 through American Girl’s catalogue; at americangirl.com; at all American Girl retail locations nationwide; and at American Girl specialty boutiques at select Indigo and Chapters in Canada and El Palacio de Hierro locations in Mexico City. The Lea books can also be purchased through retail and online booksellers. 

James Zahn

James Zahn is not a journalist, nor a blogger, though he may be credited as such by others, or even accept the title... depending on the circumstance.  Instead, he considers himself largely to be an "entertainment and lifestyle writer," bringing 25+ years of experience in the entertainment and publishing industries into the family realm as THE ROCK FATHER™.

As a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur, James now finds himself raising a pair young girls - The Rock Daughters™ - along with his wife from their Illinois home.

He is a member of The Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board, has contributed to The Toy Book and writes a regular Star Wars column - Transmissions from a Galaxy Far, Far Away for The Pop Insider. He also regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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