The American Girl Doll Company extends its line of historical characters with a peek into another one of our country’s bygone eras. Joining the ranks of Felicity from the Colonial period, Kit from the Great Depression, and Molly from World War II, it’s Olivia — a young girl who grew up during the time of the coronavirus.
Meet Olivia, An American Girl
For Olivia Smith-Cohen, life has just taken a surprising turn. It’s 2020, and families like Olivia’s have to shelter-in-place due to the global pandemic. Olivia’s father is busy working from home for his nonprofit, and her mother works long shifts as a doctor. Olivia has taken on the care of her little brother, Jackson, and she’s beginning to develop into what psychologists would label a “parentified child.” She makes Jackson wash his hands so frequently that they start to bleed, but Olivia makes sure her parents aren’t bothered with this medical emergency since they both seem so stressed out already. Olivia is the only one there when Jackson says his first words, which are “you’re muted.”
The “Meet Olivia” set includes Olivia’s homemade face mask and a bottle of doll-sized hand sanitizer.
Olivia Learns a Lesson, a School Story
Olivia’s school has transitioned to distance learning, and Olivia strives to keep up with Ms. Murchie’s haphazard lesson plans. Her classmates have begun to play pranks on Ms. Murchie by putting in pictures of themselves paying attention, then skipping class, distributing the class Zoom link to friends who don’t even attend their school and seeing how long it takes Ms. Murchie to notice, and making their virtual backgrounds Chernobyl. When Olivia is assigned to a group project in a break-out room with some of these disruptive boys, she learns a valuable lesson about what it’s like to have a panic attack in third grade.
The “Olivia at School” set includes a login for Google Classroom and the old family iPad that won’t hold a charge and needs to be plugged in to work.
Happy Birthday, Olivia! A Springtime Story
Olivia has invited all her friends to a virtual birthday party! On the big day, she wakes up to a surprise… Olivia’s mother has been assigned her first round of shifts treating COVID patients in the ICU and will have to isolate from the family. Olivia says a tearful goodbye to her mom before hopping on the Zoom link for her party. She plasters on a smile at her friends’ haunting, cacophonous attempt to sing “Happy Birthday” with lag time and fakes joy as she blows out the candle on her Oreo cookie (there was no flour for a cake this year). Olivia’s spirits may not have really been lifted, but she sure has learned to compartmentalize.
The “Olivia’s Birthday” set includes the party decorations leftover from Jackson’s Iron Man birthday and a purchase code for “Trolls: World Tour.”
Olivia Saves the Day, a Summer Story
In an abundance of caution, all of Olivia’s summer camp programs have already been canceled. Olivia and Jackson decide to make their own fun. They complete a sidewalk chalk masterpiece in the driveway using masking tape, make their own bubble solution to create giant bubbles and run through the sprinklers on the front lawn. After drying off, they come inside and declare that they’re bored. It’s June 3rd.
The “Olivia’s Summer” set includes screen time. A lot of it. More than any parent thought they would ever allow.
Changes for Olivia, an Autumn Story
Olivia’s hometown in Connecticut is entering Phase 3 of reopening. When Olivia’s family ventures to their favorite Thai restaurant for their first meal out of the house in months, Olivia discovers she’s developed something called “agoraphobia.” Along with this condition, she has also absorbed all of her parents’ anxiety about the upcoming election. When Ms. Murchie welcomes her students back to school, she shows Olivia all the ways they can sanitize the classroom’s desks, chairs, and even the “Calm Down Corner.” Olivia spends the rest of the semester in the “Calm Down Corner,” clutching a bottle of Clorox wipes.
The “Changes for Olivia,” set includes a “Vote-By-Mail” Instagram infographic and a faint shadow of the world as it once was.
Olivia’s Surprise, A Christmas Story
Olivia has lost all sense of time, but apparently, it’s Christmas? She is plagued by the question of whether Santa’s Workshop has been considered an essential business or whether they have permanently closed all of the locally-owned toy stores in the neighborhood. On Christmas morning, Olivia’s family attempts to open presents with grandparents and cousins over FaceTime, but Jackson has a tantrum, and Olivia needs to take him to the other room because she is now the only parent Jackson recognizes.
The “Olivia’s Christmas” set includes a letter to Santa, begging for a vaccine.