The popular American Girl doll universe will say “aloha” Monday to its newest member: a 9-year-old Hawaiian girl Nanea Mitchell who is growing up on Oahu in 1941.
The 18-inch doll, priced at $115, is part of the Mattel-owned doll company’s BeForever line. It was made from an all-new face mold and has brown skin, hazel eyes and long, dark brown hair. Her wardrobe includes 1940s-era outfits and hula attire. Among the accessories are a wooden family store complete with miniature cans of Spam.
Nanea’s story is told through a series of three paperback books, “Growing Up with Aloha,” “Hula for the Homefront” and “Prints in the Sand: My Journey with Nanea” ($9.99 each) by Newberry Honor Award-winning author Kirby Larson. According to American Girl, Nanea demonstrates courage, kokua and the aloha spirit in the aftermath of the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor, “showing how one girl can make a meaningful difference in the face of big change.”
A five-member advisory board helped ensure historical accuracy and cultural authenticity, the company said. The members were Linda Arthur Bradley, a professor of apparel, design, merchandising and textiles at Washington State University and author of “Aloha Attire”; Bishop Museum historian DeSoto Brown; hula and quilting expert Patricia Lei Murray; hula authority and eye witness to the Pearl Harbor bombing Dorinda Makanaonalani Nicholson; and Hawaiian cultural expert and University of Hawaii professor Puakea Nogelmeier.
To celebrate Nanea’s launch, American Girl will be collecting donations for the American Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces through the end of the year, matching every dollar made at its website and stores up to $75,000.
To buy Nanea products and for information on related events, videos, online play, learning materials and more, go to americangirl.com.