Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Cecile and Marie-Grace Best Friends Collection

Cecile and Marie-Grace Best Friends Collection

Fall 2011 Toys
Ages: 8 & Up
Manufacturer: American Girl
Price: $234.00

Like all American Girl dolls, these are very well made dolls with hair that is easy to style and re-style. Cecile has curly hair, and Marie-Grace comes with straight hair curled into ringlets at the sides. Marie-Grace (white) and Cecile (African-American) are best friends in 1853 New Orleans, and each comes with a book describing her life. They both have light colored eyes. Their outfits are elaborate recreations of looks appropriate for the time period. Each doll has a dress, pantaloons, high boots, a hat and a necklace. Marie-Grace also has white gloves and a fan. Having 2 dolls in the set made it easy to invite a friend over to play with them, and my daughter and her friend both enjoyed fanning with the fan.

Their historical setting encourages regular creative doll play, but also encourages the girls to think about life in this particular historical setting. Testers realized with surprise after playing for a while that these girls would not have had phones. One tester was very interested in the fact that French was spoken in New Orleans (highlighted in the book), and she also loved reading about the spectacle of Mardi Gras.

Girls enjoyed having two separate characters from the same era, and reading the books that told the same events from two perspectives. One reader commented that the book emphasizes how similar life was for people of different races at that time in New Orleans in comparison to other places in America. She is asking enthusiastically for other books in the series!

Rachel Schiff   ©2011 Parents' Choice

Look for this product at:
American Girl

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