Random House Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, will launch a new publishing program with American Girl, a cornerstone in the Mattel portfolio of purposeful brands, announced by Chris Angelilli, Vice President & Editor-in-Chief, Licensed Publishing. The books will be available in Little Golden Book and leveled reader formats, for children aged 2 to 5 and 5 to 8 respectively, bringing American Girl’s stories to the youngest generation of readers.
The first release in the iconic Little Golden Book format, ‘Happy Birthday!’ (American Girl), will publish on August 10, 2021. A celebration of the brand’s 35th anniversary, ‘Happy Birthday!’ will feature ten of American Girl’s popular historical characters, including Courtney, Melody, Molly, Nanea, Rebecca, Samantha, Addy, Kirsten, Josefina, and Felicity, showing how they celebrated their own birthdays during unique periods of U.S. history.
‘Samantha Helps a Friend’ (American Girl) and ‘Freedom for Addy’ (American Girl) will be the first releases in Random House Children’s Books’ Step into Reading leveled readers format, respectively publishing on July 13 and August 24, 2021. Looking to fall, there are two holiday-themed titles both publishing on September 7, 2021: ‘Happy Holidays!’ (Little Golden Book) and ‘Molly’s Christmas Surprise’ (Step into Reading). Within ‘Happy Holidays!’, readers will find nostalgic spreads depicting Kaya’s 1764 Winter Spirit Dances, Rebecca’s 1914 Hanukkah, and Julie’s best friend’s 1974 Chinese New Year celebration.
“American Girl is proud to partner with Random House Books for Young Readers to publish new stories featuring our iconic historical characters,” said Jodi Goldberg, head of content development for American Girl. “We are thrilled with the addition of these charming adaptations of our classic stories in a format that’s just right for children beginning to read. Together, American Girl and Random House have delighted children with over a century of storytelling—nurturing a love of reading for a lifetime.”
“We’re excited to be working with American Girl on this new line of books,” says Angelilli. “American Girl is an iconic brand that has introduced generations of children to important moments throughout American history. We’re eager to share these stories even more widely with these new books.”
Introduced in 1986, American Girl’s flagship line of historical characters features 18-inch dolls, books, and accessories that help girls ages 8 and up understand the role women and girls played in shaping the U.S. American Girl’s characters represent over 200 years of U.S. history, from 1764 to the 1980s. Each signature doll comes packaged with a book about the character and her time period.