Lea, Girl of the Year 2016, is another destination character like Grace Thomas Girl of the Year 2015. This time, the destination is tropical Brazil.
Lea Clark, the 2016 Girl of the Year, dives in to
new adventures and explores what’s in her heart.
She discovers it takes courage to do something you’ve never done before.
Lea’s interests are animals and photography.
Lea Dives In: In her second book, Lea Clark is all set for an animal-discovery adventure! She’s never been to a rainforest before, and her mind is filled with exciting thoughts about the animals she’ll get to see—and the pictures she’ll get to take deep in the jungle. During a hike with her brother through the Amazon rainforest, they discover a baby sloth that is badly injured. Lea quickly decides she must do all she can to help the little sloth survive. But as she learns more, she wonders: Is that the right thing to do?
Lea Leads the Way: Lea Clark is all set for an animal-discovery adventure! She’s never been to a rainforest before, and her mind is filled with exciting thoughts about the animals she’ll get to see—and the pictures she’ll get to take deep in the jungle. During a hike with her brother through the Amazon rainforest, they discover a baby sloth that is badly injured. Lea quickly decides she must do all she can to help the little sloth survive. But as she learns more, she wonders: “Is that the right thing to do?”
Lea and Camila: For spring break, Lea Clark has invited her Brazilian friend Camila to St. Louis for a stateside adventure. They find a stray kitten and make a mysterious discovery while visiting a grand but crumbling mansion. Lea is determined to uncover the secrets of her discovery, but in her search for clues she forgets to be a good host to Camila. And when Lea’s best friend, Abby, becomes fast friends with Camila, Lea feels a little left out. Can she find a way to reconnect with her friends—and solve the mystery, too?
Lea will encourage your girl to face her fears, explore the world around her, and open her mind. These stories inspire girls to have new experiences.
A movie will accompany her collection in the summer. Unlike movies that have come out before for other American Girl dolls, this movie will not be based on the books (or rather a re-telling of the books) and will be the “fourth” story. American Girl announced that it will continue Lea’s adventures in the rainforest.
“An unexpected twist sends Lea back to the rainforest for an all-new movie adventure!”
Her collection includes:
I know. I’m late. Lea has been out for 9 days now, and I’m just now posting this. See, the thing is I thought I’d already posted this. My issue was I was so excited about Melody, I forgot to post this for those interested in Lea.
And I must admit it: I am not one of those people.
Don’t get me wrong. She is pretty. I like the combination of her hair and skin color. I’m tired of the hazel eyes trend, though.
Still, there is just something so BORING about her. Is it just me or is American Girl Girl of the Year suddenly…uninspiring? It’s starting to feel like they are repeating the same dolls over and over again. And I’m not talking about the way she looks. I’m sure a lot of people are disappointed that she is another white, blonde character. That doesn’t quite disappoint me. Maybe it’s because I’m not as interested in the Girl of the Year as the Beforever collection. Still, when I see a GOTY I just really love, a doll I can’t resist, she must really be amazing. That’s how I felt about Grace last year. That’s not how I feel about Lea. In fact, the only other doll that bored me this much was Isabelle and for the same reason. There are several things that bore me about this collection.
Haven’t we done the tropical destination theme before?
I understand eventually American Girl will run out of ideas, but they haven’t even covered the SCOPE of ideas before settling with something they’ve already done before. Placing a movie with Lea’s collection will not resolve this issue. Lea seems like a last-minute character. They borrowed some ideas from old collections and put her in a familiar tropical environment.
What about a chess player? A musician, like a pianist or violinist or guitarist? I would’ve thought they would even try a singer or model before doing something over. What about a cheerleader? What about a girl football player?
Why don’t they make all the science items they failed to make for Maryellen and place them with the Girl of the Year?
But NOOO. That would be too original.
Girl of the Year has done this tropical theme TWICE, along with Kailey’s beach theme. Lea’s collection lacks identity.
Let’s just observe this boring collection closely for a moment…
I already have my Kayak from Jess’s collection.
Why would I be interested in Lea’s Kayak? BOOORRRIINNNG. YAWN. I like the inflatable feel of Jess’s Kayak versus the plastic piece of junk in Lea’s collection. It’s not tempting. But I guess it’s easier for bath-time use.
I’m also tired of the tie-dyed look as well. I’m feeling a Jess vibe from that, too.
And it’s not that the styles are anything alike, but Lea’s theme is so redundant. It has been done too many times. It’s bad enough I’m not a big fan of tie-dye. It’s worse that they’ve done this more than once.
I’m interested in the rainforest house a bit, but it does not make me long for Lea. It suits my Jess perfectly. Jess looks more unique than Lea does, so I see no need to add Lea to my collection for any reason, not even because a rainforest house was mentioned in her story and is supposed to be a part of her collection. I have no interest in reinventing Lea’s stories.
Berry Banana Stand
The Berry Banana stand reminds me of the Shave Ice stand from Kanani’s collection. Another tropical-themed collection. Though I actually prefer the Banana-berry stand, I already have a stand. I don’t feel the need to have both.
Kanani may have been a repeat of Jess for me (as well as Kailey), but at least she had better fashion sense, cultural pieces, and different accessories in her collection at the time.
I can combine all of the collection pieces I already HAVE and create Lea’s collection.
American Girl has had TONS of hazel-eyed dolls, and the sandy-haired types, too.
What can I gain from this Girl of the Year?
Girl of the Year has had enough tropical swimsuits to make my head spin.
I understand they are all from different years. I understand that girls today probably don’t remember Kailey and Jess and weren’t able to get their wardrobes when they were available. I get it. Still, I’ve had enough. I’m not interested in purchasing any more of this tropical junk, not for me or anyone else.
If you keep revamping ideas just to give old ideas to the new kiddies, when will you give kids some new stuff? When will you be more creative American Girl? American Girl is a company that has the potential to step outside of these basic ideas. They can do more with their resources than they used to when Girl of the Year first arrived on the scene. So why not broaden the Girl of the Year brand with a more unique destination? Why didn’t they try Africa? I mean, that IS where they filmed the movie!
I don’t even think her books are all that interesting. I’m not interested in learning about the rainforest as I feel the novelty wore off after Jess’s story.
Isabelle was the same way for me. Why would I be interested in a ballerina when I already have Marisol? But at least I was interested in Isabelle’s sewing set. Lea bores me all the way around.
After Grace, I thought American Girl had finally come to their senses. How foolish I was to think that this company would ever live up to my personal expectations.
So, no, Lea isn’t come home. Not one item in her collection is coming home. I’m not even interested in her movie. The fact that she isn’t even Brazilian is worse. I’ll pass. For those of you interested in Brazil or didn’t get a chance to get the other tropical characters, go for Lea.
As for me, I’m more excited for Melody and Girl of the Year 2017.
Leave me a comment and let me know what you think! Do you think I’m being too harsh? Do you like Lea Clark? What would you add in your collection? Or do you think she’s boring as well? I want to know!