Celebrating Girls and all they can be

Fall 2013

American Girl E-News

Bitty Baby shines bright with an all-new world

When American Girl decided to take a fresh look at how Bitty Baby could become even more engaging for little girls, we knew it meant major changes for the content we create. Our historical character and Girl of the Year® dolls come with a fictional book series about the nine-year-old girl that each doll represents. The stories entertain and inspire by offering gentle life lessons, positive role models, and strong values for girls. Why, we asked ourselves, shouldn't our youngest fans get these same benefits with a Bitty Baby doll?

Now they will. Each new Bitty Baby doll comes with a beautifully illustrated picture book, Bitty Baby and Me, that tells the story of a little girl who finds a way to win over her prickly older sister. Four additional titles are also available:

We dug a little deeper to find out what girls worry about, what challenges they need help with. They told us—and moms confirmed—that girls today find it difficult to "be your best self," to find the confidence to stand up to others and to ignore peer pressure. That information inspired us to create a character who could be a role model to readers, a ten–year–old who struggles with the same issues many girls struggle with, but finds a way to overcome them.

In Bitty Baby the Brave, the girl and her Bitty Baby doll have a thrilling jungle adventure in her grandparents' dark and slightly scary basement.
In Princess Bitty Baby, the girl discovers that although she can't yet read a bedtime story, she can make one up that's just as good.
In Bitty Baby at the Ballet, with the help of a bunny, the girl overcomes her ballet-recital jitters by dancing just for Bitty Baby.
In Bitty Baby Loves the Snow, the girl and Bitty Baby want to build a snowman, but can't do it by themselves so they build a snow caterpillar instead.

"Each story is about a four-year-old girl who faces an everyday challenge, something that causes mild anxiety or frustration," explains Executive Editor Jennifer Hirsch. "The girl deals with her problem by making up a story that she tells to her doll. In the story, Bitty Baby comes to life, and through her adventure, a solution emerges to the real-world problem the girl is facing." She adds, "We hope these stories will empower and inspire young girls to approach their daily challenges with creativity and confidence."

At the back of each book is a section for parents, which discusses aspects of a young child's social-emotional development that are reflected in the story. It offers practical tips for common situations parents encounter, such as attending first playdates, learning to wait, traveling to new places, or overcoming a fear. Discover more content parents and their daughters can learn from together.

The Bitty Baby books are written by Kirby Larson, who won a 2007 Newbery Honor Award for her historical novel Hattie Big Sky. "It's so much fun trying to channel my inner four-year-old," says Kirby, who recently became a grandmother for the first time. "I can't wait to read the stories to my granddaughter!" Each imaginative story is complemented by whimsical, colorful illustrations from award-winning artist Sue Cornelison.

Both Kirby and Sue were chosen by audition. A select list of authors and illustrators were invited to submit sample manuscripts and art. "The minute the submissions came in, we knew right away who we wanted," says Hirsch. "Sue's little girls and animals are so exuberant and just overflow with personality, and Kirby intuitively understood the kind of stories we were looking for. She submitted two stories, saying she wasn't quite sure what we wanted. Both hit the mark!" Her audition manuscripts became Bitty Baby the Brave and Princess Bitty Baby.

All of the titles are available as hardcover picture books and also as enhanced e-books with a read-aloud option and interactive elements on each page. An app, Time for a Story, Bitty Baby, provides simple games and activities featuring Bitty Baby and her animal friends. Plus, our Play @ American Girl site has introduced Bitty Baby adventures just for little girls.