Gabriela McBride, American Girl, GIveaway, Girl Mom

Gabriela McBride American Girl of the Year 2017 Giveaway

by Deborah Cruz

My girls are growing up fast. Faster than I could have ever imagined back when they were learning to crawl backwards and walk then talk. Everything used to feel like it took an eternity. Now, everything is so fast. Now, I’m the one saying, “Wait up! Stop this train. I want to get off.”

The girls are no longer toddlers and preschoolers but elementary aged girls headed straight for that awkward in-between age. You know that time where kids look like puppies with overgrown paws? You know they are going to eventually grow into themselves but they still have that dang baby face that you just want to smother them with kisses. That is until they roll their eyes at you. I swear I spend a lot of time talking about rolling eyeballs on this blog lately. My mom used to wish a daughter “just like” me on me when I was a teen. Now, I get it. I’ll have two.

Anyways, in a lot of ways they are growing up. They can do a lot of stuff on their own. Heck, I even let them play outside in the yard with no supervision these days. (why yes, I am a recovering helicopter mom.) They have their own phones and they can have real conversations about the world but, in many ways, they are still my babies.

I love seeing them develop into the kind of people they are going to be someday. I see interests and issues that they love and support. They are thinkers and doers and that makes me proud. One loves to write and the other draw. One loves to dance and the other do gymnastics. They are similar but so different. Their personalities are really emerging at this age and it’s a beautiful thing to watch. I feel like one day I will be able to say, I was there when.

One minute they are making music.lys and the next they are playing with American Girl dolls. One minute they are telling me, “No mom, I can do it myself.” And the next, they are coming in hot for mommy time. Hey, I’ll take it. I’m not complaining. I know these moments are fleeting. Yes, even the eye rolls. I’m sure one day, I will even miss those.

So, I really appreciate it when there are toys that they can play with and love but at the same time love and learn from. It’s rare that you find that because toys these days are either strictly for flexing the brain or completely pointless other than wasting your money and maybe giving your kids a few hours of entertainment. Yes, I realize those smiles are priceless.

I’ve always been a fan of dolls. Maybe because I’m a girl. Maybe because I have girls or maybe I just like the idea of a toy that teaches a child to be nurturing and compassionate; a “toy” that teaches your child to care for something else. It’s even more so when it is relateable to the child. Shared physical traits or, in the case of American Girl dolls which have their own backstory, shared interests and books to elaborate on that kinship.

This year’s American Girl of the Year is Gabriela McBride. Gabriela (the doll) is a quiet and creative girl growing up in a family of artists. In her story, Gabriela struggles with stuttering, but uses the power of poetry to find her voice and gain the confidence to make a difference in her community. I can relate to this because I was a clutterer and writing has always been my way of expressing myself.

Gabriela McBride, American Girl, GIveaway, Girl MomThe first book Gabriela, hits shelves in January and tells the story of a quiet and creative girl growing up in a family of artists. Gabriela inherited a love of the arts from her parents, especially her mother, but spoken word poetry is becoming her own passion. Although Gabriela often finds herself in a battle with her own words because of her stuttering, she discovers that her poetry, filled with wit and honesty, helps her speech flow more easily and gives her the confidence to find her voice to help save her beloved community arts center from being torn down.

As many of you know, I have my own Gabi who also happens to be a creative. She dances and loves to scribble on her drawing pad or in her journal and when she’s not doing that, she is making music.lys. You see, my Gabi is also a quiet girl who is an old soul. She is very observant and loves anything artistic and animals, more than just about anything else. She’s quite shy when around new people but through music.ly, she has opened up by being able to express herself without someone looking directly at her and she has been blossoming. Her music.lys are pretty hilarious. I just love seeing her enjoy herself and double bonus when she and her sister do them together because that means they are not bickering, as they so often do lately.

 

Gabriela McBride, American Girl, GIveaway, Girl Mom

The 18”Gabriela doll has curly dark-brown hair and warm brown eyes. The first thing my daughters said when they saw her was, “Look mama, she looks like you!” It’s true, we both have some pretty awesome curly hair and warm chocolate eyes. Only, I wish I was a dancer.

My Gabi fell in love with Gabriela McBride the moment she saw her. She loves that Gabriela is musically inclined and has cool accessories that she can use further personalize her experience to Gabriela like the performance case and the creative studio.

The performance case has everything Gabriela needs to set a performance or mix music. The case includes a laptop with a retractable cord for her drum pad and microphone, as well as 3 reversible and interchangeable screens. The drum pad can be plugged into the computer for sound mixing and comes with drumsticks. The case also includes a stylish pair of stylish rhinestone headphones so she can tune everybody out and prepare for a performance.

Gabriela loves nothing more than to dance, create and dream in the studio at her community center, much like my Gabriella and her beloved ballet studio. The creative studio comes with a metal barre that’s perfect for practicing moves from her ballet board and a reversible backdrop with the interior and exterior of the studio. It also comes with a water bottle, because every dancer needs to stay hydrated and a soft yellow towel because every dancer knows after a hard class, you sweat. Your tiny dancer or future YouTube, music.ly or funimate star will adore these add-ons for Gabriela.

Additional Gabriela products and books will be available starting this spring and, for the first time ever, the Girl of the Year collection will be available for a full 12 months and beyond!

To connect both boys and girls with Gabby’s inspiring message, American Girl is partnering with Scholastic, the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books and leader in comprehensive educational materials, to create and distribute Express Yourself, a custom curriculum program that teaches 3rd-5th grade students how to use poetry as a tool for self-expression. The free materials will be available on www.scholastic.com starting March 1, 2017, and include teacher lessons and corresponding classroom activities, a poetry poster, plus parent tips and learning ideas to do at home. In addition, to celebrate National Poetry Month, the program also features a poetry contest for students that will run throughout the month of April. The Express Yourself program will encourage all students to find their creative voices and share their own personal stories, while building confidence along the way.

To learn more about Gabriela and the Girl of the Year line, go to americangirl.com, Facebook at facebook.com/americangirl, Twitter at twitter.com/american_girl, Pinterest at pinterest.com/agofficial, and American Girl’s Instagram page at instagram.com/americangirlbrand.

Gabriela McBride, American Girl, GIveaway, Girl MomI was provided a doll for review by American Girl and they are letting me give one away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment on who your favorite American Girl doll is and why below in the comments section and enter via the rafflecopter entry.

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44 comments

Tammy Horn 2017/02/21 - 5:41 pm

I love all the American Girl dolls, but my favorite is Lea Clark. She reminds me of my niece, in looks and personality.

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Jessica 2017/02/21 - 6:07 pm

My favorite has always been Kiersten. Hers were the first AG books I read in the 3rd grade. From the current line up I really love Julie because of all the fun 70’s accessories she has.

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Tasheena @ SimplyTasheena.com 2017/02/21 - 6:23 pm

Gabriela doll is my new favorite doll. She’s my favorite because this is such inspiration for girls that look up to her.

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Stephanie 2017/02/21 - 6:40 pm

My favorite is probably Nellie. Her book about how she was so brave in the face of danger and how she was so willing to do anything to protect her little sisters resonated with me as an older sister myself.

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Joy 2017/02/21 - 7:58 pm

I like Samantha because I always wanted her when I was little. I love the time period, her books, and the movie!

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Kate 2017/02/21 - 8:03 pm

My favorite doll is Addy! I loved how I learned so much about that time period through her books. It helped me learn about slavery, their quest for freedom and what they experienced in the north.

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Dana Brown 2017/02/21 - 8:26 pm

Logan, because they finally have boys!

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Dana FRICKE 2017/02/21 - 9:37 pm

My favorite has always been Addy! I have always been intrigued with her story, and my daughter has followed in my footsteps! We love American girl stories, and the dolls are adorable!

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Sarah Hayes 2017/02/21 - 9:39 pm

my favorite is Nanea that hasnt been released yet. I really hope I can get her for my LO. Gabriela is one of my favs too. I like her personality

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Beth Minyard 2017/02/21 - 10:21 pm

My favorite is Samantha because she reminds me of my childhood

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BrandieK 2017/02/21 - 10:21 pm

My daughter and I are new to the world of American Girl, with the little we know about the characters our favorite would have to be Melody. We watched Melody’s movie on Amazon, and my daughter was so compelled by her story, and it opened the door to some great conversations. Also, Melody has a plush elephant, and my daughter loves elephants as well.

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Kristen 2017/02/21 - 10:51 pm

I like Willa because she reminds me of a girl I knew when I was a kid.

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Kelly Moran 2017/02/22 - 12:07 am

Gabriela is our favorite thus far. She’s from
Our hometown Philadelphia and my daughter feels like she can relate to her the most!

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Jill K 2017/02/22 - 12:21 am

My favorite doll is Kit. Love her stories & spunkiness.

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Carissa 2017/02/22 - 1:56 am

Maryellen is definitely my favorite! She’s the redhead I always wanted growing up.

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Caryn s 2017/02/22 - 7:55 am

We love grace thomas as she shares the same name as her and they look a like too!

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Jessica Peterson 2017/02/22 - 11:14 am

My favorite doll is Samantha, because I grew up with her and her stories.. my daughter doesn’t have a favorite, she loves all of them equally and can’t wait to get Gabi!!

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Tiffany Banks 2017/02/22 - 11:38 am

I love the Ashlyn doll! She reminds me so much of my youngest daughter!

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Colleen P 2017/02/22 - 11:56 am

I like Kaya because she has wonderful adventures that have inspired my girls to be kind and learn more about her time period.

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Jeanna 2017/02/22 - 1:58 pm

Julie is our favorite! We really enjoy her story!

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Seim 2017/02/22 - 3:15 pm

Ivy, although I believe she has been discontinued, was always my daughters’ and my favorite doll. It was really cool to see a doll who was of our ethnicity.

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Shelly Dixon 2017/02/22 - 3:18 pm

I like historical dolls because it teaches girls about history. My daughter’s favorite doll is Gabriella because she’s from Philly.

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Seim 2017/02/22 - 3:23 pm

Ivy, although I believe she has been discontinued, was both my daughters’ and my favorite doll. It was really cool seeing a doll of a different ethnicity such as our own.

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Diana Simkins 2017/02/22 - 9:08 pm

I just love Julie she is soooo beautiful!

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Jess Thompson 2017/02/23 - 12:09 am

my favorite is Molly. I recieved her when I was 9 and just recently passed her on to my nine year old!
my girls are American Girl obsessed. thank you for this opportunity!

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Nicole Sender 2017/02/23 - 12:45 am

I like Julie! Love her long hair and “hippy, flower girl ” vibe!

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lee dixon 2017/02/23 - 1:05 am

My favorite american girl doll is Logan because my son is a boy!

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annak 2017/02/23 - 11:58 am

Samantha. Beautiful doll

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Mindy 2017/02/24 - 7:02 pm

I love Mary Ellen, strawberry blonde hair is my fav, and her outfits are the best!

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Jacqui Odell 2017/02/24 - 8:45 pm

Honestly I don’t have any they are all my favorite.

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Amber Cheras 2017/02/25 - 1:54 pm

My favorite is gabriela because she encourages others to follow their dreams no matter what.

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Ella Mahony 2017/02/25 - 5:08 pm

My favourite is Maryellen becuase of her hair!

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Ella Mahony 2017/02/25 - 5:08 pm

My favourite is Maryellen becuase of her hair!

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T.A.D. 2017/02/25 - 5:52 pm

My favorite is Addy. I like her school desk.

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Jill 2017/02/26 - 6:07 pm

Molly is our favorite doll because we have a Molly! Her stories are so fun!

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Christina 2017/02/27 - 3:12 pm

Our favorite is Grace, my Daughter and I love baking together!

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Brenda Freiger 2017/02/27 - 3:13 pm

My Favorite is Molly. Theres something about the very hard times and how they brought so many people together. I was blessed to grow up in a very loving and close family and her stories make me think of such great childhood memories.

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Haley 2017/02/27 - 6:47 pm

We don’t have many AG dolls YET because our girls just started getting into them last summer. Yep, we are hooked now 🙂 Anyways, Lea will always have our heart because she was the 1st 18″ doll we got! She’s lovely, and we’d love to add Gabriella also! Thanks!

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Alex 2017/02/27 - 8:13 pm

I love Rebecca because she was my first doll. The doll itself is gorgeous, and the time period is so interesting.

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Asma. S. 2017/02/28 - 1:35 am

My favorite is Felicity, she is my first American Girl Doll.

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Susan Biddle 2017/02/28 - 10:31 am

My favorite is Maryellen because my daughter likes her and she has such a cute outfit!

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amanda whitley 2017/02/28 - 2:39 pm

i like mary ellen because of her era.

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Kristen F. 2017/02/28 - 10:34 pm

Hello, I’ll be honest, I’m not hip to the AG yet. I did not grow up with one in fact didn’t really know of them. My daughter is 3 and she is getting into dolls in particular AG dolls. We get the magazine in the mail and she points to them all! I would love to start this tradition with her. Gabriela would be a perfect start for her due to the fact that she resembles Gabriela the most with the curly hair!

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Sara 2017/02/28 - 10:43 pm

Currently I’m all about the new boy doll! So excited that’s meow an option.

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