Meet Corinne and Gwynn Tan, Chinese American sisters (and dolls!) who share a bedroom in bucolic Aspen, Colorado, but who also face the challenges of a blended family and the weight of xenophobia.
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American Girl
Credit: American Girl

Welcome winter, hello 2022, and nice to meet you, Corinne Tan, the latest American Girl Girl of the Year! We're especially excited to find out that Corinne has a sister, Gwynn, an adorable 14-and-a-half-inch doll to go along with Corinne, who is the traditional 18-inch size.

Each year, American Girl puts out a new character and her companion book. Whereas the original historical dolls of yore, rereleased last spring, help teach lessons of the past through historical fiction, the dolls created in the last decade have been more about modern problems. The previous American Girl doll, Kira, one of the kid-tested Parents Best Toys of 2021, was helping her Australian relatives combat climate change, for instance.

Corinne's challenges are more difficult for some families to talk about in the open, which makes her story all the more compelling for young readers. She lives in Aspen, loves to ski, and is training a cute puppy to be a search-and-rescue dog. But she's also adjusting to a blended family—that is sensitive topic number one. Harder, Corinne, a Chinese American, faces xenophobic comments, and must find the courage to stay positive and help move the world forward.

Corinne
Credit: American Girl

To buy: Corinne Tan doll and book, $110, and Gwynn Tan, $65, americangirl.com

Author Wendy Wan-Long Shang, who wrote both Corinne and Corinne to the Rescue, released this statement about her stories: "What I really hope is that there is some part of Corinne's story that makes readers feel seen, whether it's because they are Asian American, or because they're part of a blended family, or they love skiing. I think when readers feel seen, they realize that they matter and their experiences matter, and that they are meant to be the stars of their own stories!"

Furthermore, American Girl is donating $25,000 toward the ONE/180 pledge, a student-led nonprofit from AAPI Youth Rising (AYR). It's bringing awareness to the rise in xenophobia against Asians in the U.S. and calling for positive change through education. American Girl is challenging teachers across the country to include at least one classroom lesson about Asian American and Pacific Islander history and culture during the school year.

The Corinne doll has newly created eyes and long, straight black hair with very on-trend turquoise highlights. She comes dressed for winter, and (hold onto your wallet) the collection includes an astounding 35-piece bedroom set that has the sisters' shared room on one side, and a doll-size ski slope on the other. There's also a Ski & Snack Shop that's a bit of a bargain in comparison.

All American Girl products are meant for ages 8 and up and are at americangirl.com and in the brand's retail stores.