Waiting for Nanea – Author Kirby Larson

There is just over a month until the release of Nanea Mitchell (August 24th), a Hawaiian girl living at the time of Pearl Harbor.  Nanea’s books are written by distinguished author Kirby Larson.

Prior to writing Nanea’s books, Larson wrote about the Pearl Harbor-era in her book Dear America – The Diary of Piper Davis: The Fences Between Us.  The book opens in Seattle, 1941, with Piper’s brother Hank departing for his naval base in Pearl Harbor.  Piper’s father is a Baptist minister who serves the Japanese-American community in Seattle.

The book focuses on the after-effects of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, namely the war with Japan and relocation/imprisonment of innocent Japanese-Americans living on the west coast.  This story about an attack leading to war and racial profiling of U.S. citizens seems terribly timely and familiar.

Before the war, Piper is just a regular 13 year-old girl upset because she is a “PK” (Preacher’s Kid) and therefore she isn’t allowed to wear lipstick.

Monday, November 10, 1941

It’s not fair!  I bought that tube of Tangee lipstick with my own money, and Pop won’t let me wear it.  He wants me to be such a Goody Two-shoes. . . . All I know for sure is that I am the only girl in the seventh grade with naked lips.

After the bombing, Piper finds herself with a first-hand view of the conditions experienced by innocent Japanese-Americans who were relocated to remote deserts and incarcerated: no sewer, no coal to heat with, extremely poor food, and no running water.

I was able to visit one of the Japanese camps in California many years ago.  Manzanar was one of 10 camps used to relocate and imprison Japanese-Americans because of their ethnicity.  It is in a very remote part of California near the Mojave desert.


My photo of Manzanar.  I believe this is the Guard Station at the entrance to the camp.

Larson’s Dear America book brings to life many timely ethical issues, which I will leave to you to ponder should you pick up the book.  I recommend the book 5th grade and up based on the complex social issues of this era.

Brianna adds . . . 

Another great World War II book written by Kirby Larson is called Dash.  Eleven year-old Mitsi Kashino, a Japanese – American, has lived a pretty normal life with her parents, siblings, and beloved dog Dash. That was up until the attack on Pearl Harbor and the terrifying anti – Japanese sentiment. Many of her friends and classmates begin to turn on her.

Mitsi and her family are sent to a scary, big incarceration camp. The worst part is that Mitsi is separated from her dog, Dash. All Mitsi wants is to find her beloved dog again.

I (Brianna) recommend this book for kids in 5th – 6th grade. I remember reading it in the early part of 5th grade as an AR (Accelerated Reader) book. It was amazing!

We hope you look into these books by award-winning author Kirby Larson this summer before the release of Nanea!


Maryellen’s Sewing Worries

Excerpted from Maryellen’s second book ‘Taking Off’ by Valerie Tripp (no spoilers).  Slight changes have been made for clarity. Kit plays Maryellen’s friend Karen, and Dakota plays Maryellen’s Italian friend Angela.  Maryellen wants to have a movie star-themed birthday and wear her bridesmaid dress to make her look like Debbie Reynolds.

“I can’t wait to see your bridesmaid dress,” said Karen. “I bet it’s gorgeous.  What does it look like?”

“Well,” said Maryellen. “It will be gorgeous, when it’s finished.  Mom’s making it.”

“Oh,” said the girls.  They hesitated for a teeny, tiny second.  “Good.”

Maryellen knew what her friends were thinking, because she was thinking the same thing, too.  They’d all had unfortunate experiences with their mothers making dresses as part of do-it-yourself crazes.  Maryellen knew that her friends were too polite to say so, but dresses made by mothers did not always turn out very well.

Angela was the first one to think of something optimistic to say.  “Since your mom is making it, your dress will fit you perfectly,” she said.

Maryellen grinned gratefully.  “I certainly hope so,” she said.  “Or else the movie star I’ll look like at my birthday party will be the scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz!”

Have you had any sewing mishaps?  In high school my mom and I tried to sew a skirt for me out of a lightweight navy polka dot fabric.  The skirt turned out so small we turned it into a scarf!  I’m blaming the pattern because my mom is terrific at sewing and crafts.

You’ll have to read Maryellen’s books to find out more about her dress . . .

Create Your Own in Late July

The latest AG catalog app has initial images of the Create Your Own dolls.


I note that some of the accessories available include a doll Fitbit, Starbucks’-style coffee cup, and a Nalgene-style water bottle.

IMG_0985You can also visit the AG website to view initial images http://www.americangirl.com/shop/ag/create-your-own

I thought it was funny that the label “One of a Kind Doll” is qualified with a statement that there are actually 1.3 million possibilities.  See, there is a use for probability and statistics!


Rummage Treasures Wrap Up!

Final installment of the Great Rummage Haul!

This is the t-shirt that goes with the In-line skate outfit from 1996.  There was no sign of the rest of the outfit.  I believe the shirt was .50 cents.  It was designed be worn with bike shorts.  Look how long the shirt is!  AG hasn’t used this much fabric on a t-shirt since I don’t know when!


Josefina says, “Why do I have to wear this big t-shirt?!”

Josefina – you look ready to head to a “New Edition” concert!

Next up is the Birthday Outfit from 1998.  It did not have the purple scrunchie or the white t-shirt with purple trim.  Who needs that when you have purple jelly shoes!



Again, a lot of fabric!  The dress has a very loose fit.  Note to self – see if there is a National Fruit Salad Day and a schedule blog post with this dress.

Next up, Kit’s hat and purse. Fifty cents and .25 cents, respectively.


Finally we have some boots – sort of an AG version of Doc Martens.  What sold me on these was the wonderful natural lug sole.  These were $2.00.


Addy looking pretty!



Cool soles, Addy!

These boots were a part of the 1996 School Jumper outfit.  At this sale, most of the shoes were separated from the outfits, probably from lack of knowledge.  I thought these would be great for selling on eBay but I’m not sure I can part with them.  I just love the detail.

Are you ready for the things I passed on?  I’m afraid to tell you!

  • Samantha’s school desk, no accessories, still there on second day for 7.50
  • Another desk… not sure if it was AG or not
  • Samantha’s hat and muff
  • 1996 Violin
  • 1998 Holiday Bibs, which I was tempted by but not in good condition
  • Snowflake jumper outfit
  • First Day outfit (might regret that…)
  • Year 2000 outfit – we already have the recent PwP outfit made from the same sparkly purple material
  • Molly’s pajamas
  • Other PC Samantha outfits.  Had it been Kirsten I would have bought it all.

I also picked up Kailey’s book at another rummage this past weekend.  I have never read that one and look forward to it.

Brianna is at camp this week, which leaves me plenty of time to play.  I am working on a photo story for Maryellen, naturally, and will be back with you very soon!


Seen in Stores: Bits and Bobs

Hello friends.  I was at Michaels (craft store) recently and saw a few items that I thought could work for Logan.  I know many Logan-owners eagerly waiting for a bigger wardrobe for this fellow.

I thought the nature lover/dragonfly outfit was particularly cute.  The soccer uniform is blue on top and black on the bottom.  Xyra recently had some dye transfer issues with another brand of doll clothing, so do beware.

If you are looking to see the American Girl new releases with commentary from someone who was there in person, check out The Mouse Lair.  I noted that her close up picture of the hotel’s guide to local restaurants includes Grace’s cafe,  a 50s diner, AG cafe, and a pizzeria.  Could a pizzeria be in the pipeline?

Are you familiar with The Queen’s Treasures?  The make high quality 18″ doll items and also have a line of Little House of the Prairie 18″ doll items.  This weekend they are having a sale amounting to 50% off most everything.  To see the prices you need to create an account.  This fall they are also coming out with a 2-story, foldable 18″ doll house (sturdy wood construction) which will be terrific I think.  I’m ordering a few things for Christmas (for me – insert blushing emoji here!).

Final thought – this week a doll enthusiast found that the AG doll hospital no longer can offer a new head for Lindsey.  If you have an old GOTY and have been waiting for the right time to get her repaired, now may be that time.  This will certainly impact the eBay business for some of the earlier dolls.

Lindsey AG Photo

Hope your Sunday is terrific and you have time to play today!





American Girl Summer Update

Hi All, today Brianna and I are coming to you from our local coffeeshop.  It’s a muggy day here and threatening rain, so how better to pass some time than studying American Girl’s new summer releases!  Thanks to Heather for tipping us off to the new release date!

All photos are from the American Girl website.

Our first item is the ombre sunglasses.

B: I really like the ombre sunglasses, and if they made them for girls I would totally buy them. I think the yellow, orange, and pink color scheme is really nice, as well.

J:I like these too.  Nice price, easy to say “yes” to.  I would like to see them on Julie.

Our second item is the Starry Doll Holder.

B: I think that this item is very useful but I think the price is a little high.

J: Doll storage is always an issue!  These are easier for small kids to use than doll stands.  A good product but not one we would purchase.


Our next item is the new Coconut Graphic Tee.

B: I love this item! They also have it for girls and I would definitely wear it. I like how the graphic image is easy to see.

J:LOVE this.  If there were free shipping it would be on its way to me right now.  Definite win.


Our next item is the new School Lunch Set.

B: This item is okay. It’s a neat new item that AG thought of but it’s not something I need. AG also has a new Doodle Backpack Set. I already have the old one and I prefer it to this new one.

J: The school lunch tacos tug at my heartstrings a bit.  If you have the other school lunch tray, it would be hard to spend the money on this one because it is as rehash of an prior product.  Same with the locker.


Our next item is the Pet Bath Outfit.

B: This item is awesome! It’s so adorable once you put it on the pet. I definitely would want this!

J: The terrycloth is a nice fabric.  All of the pet offerings seem nicely designed.  Do any readers have Grace’s dog Bonbon?  Could this dog be the same pattern or does the new French bulldog seem substantially different?

Our next item is Grand Hotel Food Set.

B: I think this item is really neat. I like the daisies and the orange juice. The menu is neat as well. Does anyone else think that the waffle looks like a pizza slice though?

J:One word:  salt and pepper shakers.  OK, that is more than one word.  Love them!  They look exactly like what you would see in a fine hotel.  Not sure about the pink vase.  I would rather see something that looks like crystal.

Our next item is the Grand Hotel.

B: I like the grand hotel because of the reversible sides. There is a lot of detail as well, which I really enjoy. The window scenes also are interchangeable to show day and night. What confuses me a bit is that the day scene is on a beach and the night scene is in the city.

J: I applaud AG for giving us a truly new item.  It’s not a bakery/juice hut!  This item has the glass vase that I was hoping for on the room service tray.  This item is HUGE!  I recommend watching the designer’s video on the AG website.  A lot of thought went into this unique item — not unlike Maryellen’s diner.  At $275, no it won’t be coming home to our house.


B: I love the corduroy dress! The ankle boots are like Grace’s just a different color. I think this outfit is really nice!

J: Terrific print and I like the contrast trim.  Corduroy?  With short sleeves?  Have you ever seen a corduroy summer dress?  There must have been a sale on corduroy.

B: I don’t really like this outfit. I think a younger girl (3rd grade or so?) would enjoy this outfit but for an older girl not really. The pieces don’t match as well as I would like them to.

J: Pass.  This is an outfit made from about .40 cents worth of fabric.

B: I don’t really like the top or bottoms separately but together is even worse. The moccasins are cute though!

J: I am at a loss for words.

B: I think the top is awesome! But the shorts are horrific, especially with the purple tights. Anybody who wears that to school is most likely going to get teased.

J: Pretty doll and pretty top. The shorts remind me of the pattern on chef’s pants.  I feel the clothing selections are saying “I’m a edgy fashionable teenager” except I haven’t really seen any girls dress this way.

B: White tulle skirt, pink knit sweater, turquoise moccasins? THESE DO NOT GO TOGETHER!

J: Skirt could be a big seller with kids.  They need to get something different on top to sell this outfit.  This outfit is trying to cross summer with fall – it might work in fashion “early fall collection” but kids hitting AG on vacation this summer aren’t likely looking to buy a chunky sweater.

That is most of the items in the new release. The Truly Me’s also got a new outfit in this release. Gabriela got McKenna’s loft bed.  Jen: I am a little sad that there wasn’t anything for the historical this go-around, but they did get quite a few outfits in the spring release.

We hope you enjoyed this post and would love to hear your thoughts on the new items.  Anything you will have on your wish-list?




Wellie’s Ship Free – 2017

I was looking at the revamp of the American Girl website and it seems Wellie Wishers and their accompanying outfits will ship free for the rest of 2017.

I wasn’t logged in to my account, so anyone should be able to see this promotion.

Have you reset your password?  Any problems?