*Last call to enter to win McKenna, the rockin' gymnast American Girl Doll of The Year. ChiIL Mama will announce our winner tomorrow 3/31/12! Enter through midnight tonight 3/30 for your chance to win.
It was our great pleasure to meet author, Mary Casanova, at The American Girl Place in Chicago at The Watertower Mall. She was absolutely gracious, friendly, and personable and took time to chat with every child, despite a good sized line of fans waiting to get their books signed. My 11 year old son was one of the few boys in line with his little sis, and she took time to get to know him as well. She signed a book mark for him and told him that she has other chapter books that might appeal to him. He was stoked to check out The Klipfish Code, a historical adventure set in Norway that she suggested to him.
She's a prolific, talented writer with a wide range of books for early readers through older pre-teens. She's written other American Girl books featuring Jess, Chrissa and Cecile. You can find a full listing of her works and more at Mary Casanova's site here.
The book signing was such a rare treat. We love to meet the authors behind the words of stories we enjoy. This time the fans were fun as well. We met an actual, real life gymnast named McKenna, and a set of twins, like the American Girl McKenna's little sisters. Of course, my own daughter, Sage, was there too, with her coincidences. (She's also a level 4 gymnast, entering 4th grade this year, with a Grandma Peg(gy), who spent time with crutches and a cast for a broken ankle. She has cousins Kenna and McCall, and has a last name, Mara!)
American Girl Place rocks! Each time we've gone, we've met girls who came in from several states away to visit the store, or drove hours to get there. We're so lucky to live nearby! We had a ball at McKenna's release party, and book signing. We recently promoted a visit March 10th from American Ballet Theatre, who taught dance at the store, in conjunction with their production of Giselle 3/22-25. We loved learning hula and Hawaiian culture at the store with a delegation that flew in from half way around the world. It's truly a multicultural gathering place, and an empowering girlcentric space.
Check out the site for American Girl Place Chicago for more special events, guest appearances, merch and more.
We were also super stoked to get a package of new American Girl Doll books in the mail. There are some excellent new releases just out! We'll have a full set of book reviews in the near future. Check in with ChiIL Mama like we vote in Chi, IL...early and often. Here's a sampler of the new releases and where you can buy them, too.
I was thrilled that my reluctant reader got super excited and engaged with the books and has been carrying them with her everywhere and devouring them. American Girl is committed to not only entertaining but educating girls and helping them grow intellectually, physically, and emotionally.
We are giving away two copies of McKenna's book, signed by author, Mary Casanova!
One lucky reader will also get a copy of The Take the Challenge book.
Good luck with the sweepstakes! For our past McKenna coverage, check out the links below.
McKenna launch party at The AmericanGirl Doll Store at Water Tower Place, Chicago.
McKenna visits with gymnasts from The Chicago Comets competition team.
Farewell to Kanani, Hawaiian American Girl Doll of the Year, 2011 and welcome McKenna.
Bonnie Kenaz-Mara is a writer-photographer-potter-painter-actress-animal wrangler-general creatrix and Mama to two amazing kiddos.
See more of Bonnie's stories here.