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
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
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.
a sampler of the new releases and where you can buy them,
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
We are giving away two copies of McKenna's
book, signed by author, Mary
One lucky reader will also get a copy of The Take
the Challenge book.
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
McKenna visits with gymnasts from The Chicago Comets
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.
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