American Girl has unveiled its 2021 Girl of the Year, Kira Bailey. Kira—a nurturing and inquisitive 10-year-old who cares deeply for animals and the environment—joins American Girl’s line of contemporary characters that inspires children to make a positive difference in the world. Whether she’s caring for an orphaned koala joey or facing a bushfire that’s threatening her great-aunts’ wildlife sanctuary in Australia, Kira confronts critical ecological issues, such as wildlife protection and the threat of climate change, that are more relevant to our planet than ever.
To further 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. Today through December 30, 2021, American Girl is supporting the organization’s mission to rehabilitate and preserve Australian wildlife by matching customer donations dollar for dollar up to a maximum of $25,000. To learn more about how American Girl is helping WIRES, visit http://www.americangirl.com/kira.
To create Kira, American Girl worked hand in hand with author Erin Teagan, who holds a master’s degree in science and traveled to Australia to gain a deeper understanding of Kira’s experiences. Other consultants specializing in Australian wildlife and culture reviewed all aspects of Kira’s world—from manuscripts to products—to help ensure every detail was rooted in real practices and science, with the following two experts playing an integral role:
Dr. Alison Bee — Veterinarian, owner and manager of Magnetic Island Animal Hospital, a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation facility for sick, injured, and orphaned koalas in North Queensland, Australia.
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. But when a roving predator and a raging bushfire threaten the sanctuary, Kira must rise to the challenge to protect her family and the animals she loves. In the end, Kira learns you can’t let the fear of the worst keep you from living your best.
Bringing the stories to life is a beautiful 18-inch Kira doll, featuring green eyes and long, wavy blonde hair, that 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.
Girls can choose from several other Australian-inspired outfits, including Kira’s girl-and-doll koala PJs, as well as adorable plush animals like a kangaroo and joey, koala, and a wombat (part of Kira’s Wildlife Rescue Set). To extend the play further, there’s Kira’s Animal Exam Table and Comfy Platform Tent—both with over 20 authentic accessories—to fuel girls’ imaginations.
The Kira collection is available at americangirl.com and at all American Girl retail locations nationwide. The Kira doll and book retails for $110 and the Kira books ($7.99 each) can also be purchased through retail and online booksellers.