Monday, November 12, 2012

The Woman Behind the Girls

Linnea and author Valerie Tripp
I have confessed to a lot of things in this blog over the past few years.  I suppose I can confess to something else.  I own an American Girl doll.  This isn't a doll from my childhood, either.  This is one my niece got for me in my dotage one snowy Christmas a few years ago.

It's a Molly McIntyre doll, in case you are wondering.

For those of you who don't know, the American Girl dolls were created many years ago as an alternative to Barbie and other high fashion dolls which promote a distorted self image for impressionable young girls.  In contrast, American Girl dolls look very much like wholesome little girls.

They are great, by the way!  Their clothes and accessories reflect real girls' lives and activities.

To see them, you need only click on the Pleasant Piper link to the right.  My niece Linnea has a wonderful way with these dolls and her photos and stories about her AG doll, Piper and friends, will delight you!

So, when Linnea had the opportunity to meet America Girl story author Valerie Tripp recently, she was thrilled.

Valerie Tripp graduated from Yale University in 1973 and went on to receive a Masters of Education from Harvard University, where she focused on writing for children and reading education.  She has been a writer for reading textbooks for three decades.

Ms. Tripp has authored 27 American Girl books, including the six books about Felicity, who lived in Williamsburg, Virginia during colonial times.
Felicity is one of my favorites of the AG dolls.  I think she has the best furniture, anyway, and a riding outfit and cloak that are to die for!
But then, I'm partial to that time period (late 1700s, early 1800s) and all the wonderful people who lived at that time, including our Founding Fathers (and Mothers!).

Ms. Tripp has also authored the six books about Josefina, an Hispanic girl who grew up in New Mexico in 1824...
 ... and six books about Kit, who lived during America's Great Depression (as opposed to the current depression - now in color!  Just kidding.  I think.)

Linnea admits Kit is one of her favorites!
And finally, Ms. Tripp has written the six books about Molly, who lived on the home front here in America during World War II.


Molly isn't that far removed in time from my own childhood, and my mom was a teenager during the German occupation of Norway during WWII, so I grew up on WWII stories.  In that way, I feel a kinship of sorts with Molly.  

As a totally off the wall side note, Molly's glasses fit my cat, Jack, perfectly.  

The only reason I haven't posted any pictures of him wearing them, are because he slips them off as soon as I slip them on.  He's no dummy.  He knows he doesn't need glasses and he doesn't want the neighborhood kitties calling him 'four eyes' or any other derogatory epithets!  (Yes, I'm sure that's why he won't leave them on!)


American Girl dolls are a great way to learn about history, but they are also just plain fun.  I think my Molly doll already has more clothes than I do.  

But I digress...

It's always exciting to meet  your favorite authors, and Valerie Tripp has had a great influence for good on several generations of little girls.  That makes her a real hero in my book!


Kirsti said...

Linnea told me that it was delightful to meet Valerie Tripp, she is so kind and nice!

Linnea said...

I like this post. :)

Felicity is one of my favorites too - she has such great clothes. Even though I don't have a Felicity doll, I have quite a few of her outfits!