You know what the American Girl company is good at doing? Getting the hard earned money out of the pocketbooks of parents of young girls. And in a brand new ploy to win the hearts of daughters, granddaughter’s, and nieces comes not one but two brand new American Girl Dolls of the historical genre. Let me introduce you to Cécile and Marie-Grace. Who are they and where do these new characters come from?
Now, before I go on, I should confess right about here that my daughter and I have become American Girl fans. We both get totally into the historical context that comes with the dolls and I for one appreciate the strength and character that is always present in their back stories. Needless to say we both get a wee bit giddy when a new character is introduced. And now there are two, which kind of doubles the gitty. (Also, I was provided these dolls for the purpose of review but that did not influence my opinion of them…I just really like ‘em).
So, back to Cécile and Marie-Grace. The best friends are from New Orleans circa 1853. The African American Cécile is a “daring girl who learns to make a difference in the beloved city she’s always called home.” Marie-Grace is a “caring girl who discovers her voice in the exciting city she now calls home.” The third character? The city of New Orleans which plays a big part.
The first books in their series – that are included with the dolls – tells the tale of how the girl’s friendship was forged and is interwoven with New Orleans lore such as Madri Gras and the unique style of the town. It is a lovely homage to New Orleans today still in the midst of being rebuilt to be celebrated in such away. The history provided in the book, subtly through the tale, and also in the real’ history lesson in the back of the books, gives a sense of the town as they may not have known before.
The dolls are adorned with historically accurate clothing and have super fancy hair dos, which my daughter would love to have me replicate on her, but sadly I’m not that talented with the brush and comb. Both doll are gorgeous, and the line of clothing, accessories and furniture? It’s all pretty stellar (but pricey).
I’m particularly fond of Cécile, who is the second African American historical doll that American Girl has produced (the other was Addy circa 1864). Her family was a well-to-do society family which although not common in most of America back in 1853, it was in New Orleans. While slavery was still commonplace, in New Orleans some African Americans were business owners, friend and neighbors with their white fellow citizens. With that kind of historical texture, Cécile and Marie-Grace are great additions to the brand. The dolls won’t be available until August, 30, 2011.
You can check out more about the new American Girl dolls here.