Will Girl of the Year 2021 Kira Bailey be Lanie 2.0?
Updated: Dec 13, 2020
I was just thinking this earlier: Kira Bailey, American Girl's 2021 Girl of the Year, seems to have an interest in pets, animals and the Earth according to her book author and the guide books that will release in February 2021. Does that sound familiar?
Longtime American Girl fans will recognize this description as Lanie Holland, 2010's Girl of the Year. In 2021, Lanie will be eleven years old- older than American Girl's target audience- so it seems fitting that Lanie may be similar to Kira. Today on AGDN, we're talking Lanie to take the basic concepts of her story and collection and see how they'd work with Kira!
Lanie had two books, Lanie and Lanie's Real Adventures. For those of you who don't recall Lanie, or *shudders* weren't even alive when Lanie was GOTY, here's the book descriptions. I bolded all the concepts in the story that weren't specific so we can figure out what Kira may be like.
"Lanie is an "outside" girl who is stuck with an "inside" family. She longs to go camping, explore the outdoors, and have real adventures, but no one else in her family is interested. To make matters worse, Lanie's best friend is far away and living out their dreams of becoming wildlife biologists---without her! When Lanie's aunt comes to stay with them, Lanie finds a kindred spirit and embarks on an exciting project--planting a wild garden---but she faces competition with her younger sister Emily for their aunt's attention. Then her aunt leaves, and Lanie again feels alone & abandoned once again. Gradually, after a blowup with her younger sister, she finds support for her interests where she least expects it--within her own family. Likewise, she discovers the beauty and wonder of nature where she didn't expect to find it--right in her own backyard."
"Lanie is delighted that her aunt has returned and her wild garden is taking off--but her next door neighbor is not happy that Lanie is growing a "weed garden" right in their suburban neighborhood, next to her prize roses. She threatens to report Lanie and her family to the neighborhood association for violating the landscaping rules. Meanwhile, Lanie is horrified that the neighbor is using poison sprays in her garden, right next to where Lanie is trying to attract butterflies. Lanie wants to spread the word in her community about the benefits of natural gardening and nontoxic pest control, but when an opportunity arises, she falls short. Discouraged at first, Lanie finds another way, as she and her friends plan a garden festival at the Community Garden where she's been volunteering. Despite their initial lack of interest in her outdoor pursuits, her whole family pitches in to support the festival. On the day of the festival, Lanie and her neighbor find common ground--and a creative solution to their garden problem."
Here's a list of what I bolded, and an alternative way of thinking this may fit for Kira:
*go camping, explore the outdoors: Lanie dreams of doing this, but Kira might be able to ACTUALLY do it. She might take her family camping, might go on outdoor adventures, and basically do all the things Lanie dreams of doing.
*planting a wild garden: Okay, this might fall under 'specific'. But Kira might have her own special project with animals and Earth she embarks on to make a change.
*discovers the beauty and wonder of nature: An overarching theme Kira might have is to get people to discover and protect our planet. Blaire had the not-so-subtle 'get off your phone' theme, but it wasn't that specific or effective. In 2019, when AG planned Kira, they probably realized this and discovered that telling girls to be interested in nature is a better concept.
*horrified that the neighbor is using poison sprays in her garden: This is another specific one, but Kira might have to deal with a small obstacle in the path of her Earth activism, such as the neighbor spraying poison in Lanie's stories.
*spread the word in her community: Now that social media is a powerful tool, Kira might harness that to inform people about the Earth and nature. But if she doesn't use that, she can always find a way to spread the word in her community!
*plan a garden festival: Yet another specific, but the garden festival in Lanie's Real Adventures was a tangible tool Lanie had to make a difference. Maybe Kira can have one, too...
Now, let's take a look at Lanie's collection:
Lanie's collection was mostly outdoors-themed, aligning with her love of it. She had animal-themed pajamas, outfits, nature-themed accessories, multiple animals, and even a camper in her collection. What we can expect from Kira's collection if Kira is like Lanie is more animals, outdoorsy-animal themed outfits, accessories that she can use in her adventures and a big-ticket item set for adventure. (Maybe a camper... just kidding.)
What do you think? Do you believe the rumors and theories that Kira will be like Lanie?