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Holiday Wish Guide: AMERICAN GIRL’s Maryellen Larkin – A Bridge between Past and Present…


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For nearly 30 years, AMERICAN GIRL has been the premiere line of 18″ Dolls that kids want to have. Our girls’ path has been one traveled by many others, starting with the 15″ Bitty Baby collection geared toward kids 3+ (Addie has had one since 2013, and we just bought Finn her first at Mall of America this summer) and moving toward the larger dolls with more detailed backstories. Aside from being beautifully-detailed and built to be a lifelong companion, American Girl Dolls can teach, and the relaunched Historical line, now called BeForever, features a full assortment of dolls, accessories and books that delve into important eras throughout history. For 2015, American Girl released a doll based in a decade long-requested by fans and families – the 1950s – with the debut of Maryellen Larkin (previewed here), who is a featured pick in my 2015 Holiday Wish Guide here on THE ROCK FATHER Magazine!

Addie and Grandma

When our doll arrived earlier this Fall, I couldn’t think of a better way to introduce her to Addie than to go to someone who was actually there in the decade from which the doll was inspired – my Mom, Grandma Cindy. With the doll hidden in the car, we took a  trip to Grandma’s house where Maryellen Larkin would inspire a conversation on what it was like to be a little girl growing up in the 50’s vs. being a little girl growing up in 2015.

Fun at Grandma's House

One of the most important factors in American Girl is the companion books, and while we haven’t yet spent much time exploring that aspect with Maryellen, here’s what the folks at American Girl have to say…

American Girl Books

Maryellen Larkin“Written by award-winning American Girl author Valerie Tripp, the Maryellen stories introduce readers ages 8 and up to a key cultural theme of the 1950s: conformity versus individuality. While Maryellen feels the pressure to conform to social standards, she also strives to stand out and be true to herself, even when that means going against expectations. Through Maryellen, Tripp shows how trends of the 1950s—such as the burgeoning of suburbia, “the baby boom,” geographic and economic mobility, new technology (like TV and rockets), rock ‘n’ roll, and lingering postwar prejudice—shape the life of one girl.”

One thing that getting out the old photo albums really drove home is how much our girls look like my Mom and her sister back in the 50s…


Maryellen Larkin is available exclusively at American Girl Place stores and online here in the U.S., and is also available at American Girl specialty boutiques at select Indigo™ and Chapters™ locations in Canada; and at El Palacio de Hierro in Mexico City.

Bonus: While these aren’t official American Girl costumes, Maryellen Larkin has become a part of the normal routine here at Rock Father HQ, and that means playing Superhero on occasion… like Wonder Woman!


https://www.instagram.com/p/7VOmRix-t9/” style=” color:#000; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none; word-wrap:break-word;” target=”_blank”>Good Morning from #RockFatherHQ! Addie is playing #WonderWoman, and her new @americangirlbrand #MaryellenLarkin doll is in on the action. #Adventure #AmericanGirl #DCComics #ootd #SidewalkFashionShow

A photo posted by James Zahn (@therockfather) on



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