American Girls' newest dolls: Cecile and Marie-Grace

Let's give a big, warm welcome to American Girls' latest characters, Cécile Rey and Marie-Grace Gardner!
American Girl introduces two different historical characters, Cécile Rey and Marie-Grace Gardner, in one six-book series set in 1850s New Orleans . The new characters, one African American and one Caucasian, show the power of friendship and community as they reach across the boundaries of race and class to help their families, friends, and city during a time of great need.
I'm really loving American Girls' two latest dolls, Cecile and Marie-Grace, for several reasons:

* First of all, it's high time they added a girl of color to their historical line-up. They now have two African-American dolls (Addie and Cecile), a Native American doll (Kaya) and an Asian doll (Ivy). The Pea thinks Cecile is by far the prettiest of the four, so I was thrilled when American girl sent us Cecile and Marie-Grace, so she could add some diversity to her AG collection. I'm still waiting for more ethnic Girls of the Year -- how about a Filipina girl who recently immigrated to the US? That would be awesome!

* I also think it was a great idea to introduce the two dolls as equal "partners in crime", in a single book series. Previously, the historical character would have a best friend -- like Julie's friend Ivy, or Samantha's friend Nellie, or Kit's friend Ruthie -- with a book telling her story, but the focus was always on the main character, and the best friend played a supporting role. Having two main characters sends the message that no one girl's story is more important than the other. Moreover, Cecile and Marie-Grace's specific storyline sends the message that friendships can cross the boundaries of race, class and culture. What a great example to set for girls everywhere!

* I love how American Girl has tied the introduction of Cecile and Marie-Grace with community involvement themed with the story. They've partnered with Harry Connick, Jr. and his daughter to help out the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music in New Orleans (Cecile and Marie-Grace's story is set in New Orleans). Here's how you and your daughter can get involved:

To celebrate Cécile and Marie-Grace's debut and the rich musical tradition of New Orleans , American Girl has partnered with 13-year-old Kate Connick and her father, world-renowned musician and actor Harry Connick, Jr., to create an original song "A Lot Like Me", with all proceeds benefiting the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music in New Orleans .

You can download the song on the American Girl website or go directly to iTunes.

* Finally, Cecile and Marie-Grace are two very pretty dolls, and The Pea is thrilled to have them join the gang! Here are some photos I took of the latest additions to our American Girl family:

Marie-Grace and MiaHere's Marie-Grace with Coconut and Mia, the Girl of the Year 2008. Mia has crossed the boundaries of time and space to be with Marie-Grace, but she doesn't want to stick out like a sore thumb, so she is wearing one of Felicity's dresses.

Natalia (Just Like Me doll), Cecile and Marie-GraceIt's a slumber party! Alfie made this bunk bed for Mia and Natalia (that's The Pea's Just Like Me doll), but now he might have to make another bunk bed for Marie-Grace and Cecile!

Cecile and Marie-GraceThree gorgeous girls. 'Nuff said.

You can now purchase Cecile and Marie-Grace dolls, accessories and books at Stay tuned for more review posts and detailed photos of Cecile and Marie-Grace!

Disclosure: American Girl sent me a Cecile and Marie-Grace doll. Product information is provided by the featured company/product and is indicated in italics. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

3 Comments, Leave yours here:

Laptop TV Mom on September 27, 2011 at 1:00 PM said...

I totally want these dolls. Er I mean, I think my daughter will love these dolls and the story. My kid is obsessed with New Orleans after seeing Princess and the Frog... and these dolls seem like a great way to keep her love of NOLA thriving!

bonggamom on September 27, 2011 at 3:12 PM said...

Haha LTVMom, I don't know who was happier to be doing this review, my daughter or I! Hope everything is going well with you!!

Anonymous said...

I love those dolls. I have Marie-Grace, and six other American Girl dolls. Your daughter is beautiful. And her dolls too!

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