American Girl has just announced its 2021 “Girl of the Year” and she’s smart, sporty and a big advocate for wildlife conservation and the environment. According to AG, Kira Bailey is “a nurturing and inquisitive 10-year-old who cares deeply for animals and the environment.” Kira™ joins American Girl’s line of contemporary characters that inspires children to make a positive difference in the world. With long wavy blonde hair and green eyes, AG’s “Girl of the Year” can be found protecting wildlife and confronting critical ecological issues. Whether she’s caring for an orphaned koala joey or facing a bushfire that’s threatening her great-aunts’ wildlife sanctuary in Australia, Kira is ready to face the issues that are now more relevant to our planet than ever.
“As American Girl kicks off its 35th year, Kira joins our lineup of diverse and purposeful characters who star in stories that reflect the realities of the times – whether it’s historical or modern-day,” says Jamie Cygielman, General Manager of American Girl. “As we all witnessed the bushfires rage in Australia last year and start up again this September, and the devastating wildfires in the western United States, we knew it was important to focus Kira’s story on the major conservation and climate challenges facing our planet today – causes that are extremely important to today’s youth. Through Kira, we hope our fans will learn that we all have a part to play in taking positive action for our planet.”
To support Kira’s message, American Girl is partnering with NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service, Inc. (WIRES), Australia’s largest wildlife rescue organization dedicated to rescuing and caring for sick, injured and orphaned animals, including those impacted by bushfires and drought.
A special team worked with American Girl to create Kira, including author Erin Teagan, who holds a master’s degree in science and traveled to Australia to gain a deeper understanding of Kira’s experiences. Dr. Alison Bee, a veterinarian and owner of Magnetic Island Animal Hospital, a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation facility for sick, injured and orphaned koalas in North Queensland, Australia also consulted, as did Tassin Barnard, owner and manager of the Australian Walkabout Wildlife Park, a wildlife preserve on the central coast of New South Wales.
In the two-book series, Kira is excited to leave her home state of Michigan and spend her summer abroad at her great-aunts’ Mamie and Lynette’s wildlife sanctuary and vet clinic in Queensland, Australia. There she learns to care for injured or orphaned animals with her new friend Alexis.
The 18-inch Kira doll is one that your child will want to keep forever. She comes dressed in a tie-dye tank, sporty skirt and lace-up boots perfect for bushwalking. Kira’s signature accessories include an outdoor backpack with koala keychain and a wide-brimmed hat to protect her from the Australian sun.
You can watch Kira-inspired videos on American Girl’s YouTube channel. The Kira doll and book retails for $110 and is available online at americangirl.com and at all American Girl retail locations nationwide.