OCEANSIDE — Close to 40 mothers, daughters and grandmothers attended the annual American Girl Tea Party at the Civic Center Library on May 5. Children were invited to bring along their favorite dolls or stuffed animals. Activities ranged from sitting down to tea and cookies, to hearing an “American Girl” story chapter, and going on a scavenger hunt throughout the library.
“It’s a special experience for mothers and daughters to share,” Marie Town, senior librarian of children’s services, said.
Town added that boys and dads were welcome too.
Five-year-old Ambrielle Anton of Oceanside attended the tea party. She wore a dress and pearl necklace and brought her plastic rhinoceros to the tea.
“She really likes tea parties,” her mother said.
Charlene Williamson, library trustee and president of the Oceanside Public Library Foundation, attended the tea with her daughter-in-law and two granddaughters.
“Today I’m a grandmother playing with dolls,” Williamson said.
This year’s tea focused on Marie-Grace Gardner and Cecile Rye, two dolls and fictional characters in the 22-book “American Girl Mystery” series who grew up in New Orleans in the 1850s.
In the stories Marie-Grace and Cecile help others with yellow fever, which historically reached an epidemic in New Orleans in the 1850s.
“American Girl” characters introduce young readers to different time periods, historical milestones, and locations in the United States. Books contain a “looking back” chapter that explains more about the story time period and location. The book series targets readers ages 6 to 12.
Occasionally the “American Girl” characters run into a historical figure in their story.
“‘American Girl’ characters live in a certain time period,” Town said. “Children learn what was going on in real life, what things they wore, the games they played.
Moms and grandmas said they lived through the same history as some of the current “American Girl” characters, like the 1940s Girl Scout, or 1970s modern girl.
“The books teach important lessons about general history and women’s history,” Town said. “It’s a positive series especially for young girls.”