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American Girl's 2021 Girl of the Year is Kira, a 10-year-old who loves animals and the environment, and spends time abroad visiting her great aunts' wildlife sanctuary and veterinary clinic in Australia.
And yes, there are adorable koala bears in her storyline.
"Whether she’s caring for an orphaned koala joey or facing a bushfire that’s threatening her great-aunts’ wildlife sanctuary in Australia, Kira confronts critical ecological issues, such as wildlife protection and the threat of climate change, that are more relevant to our planet than ever," American Girl explained in a press release.
Kira will also bring awareness to NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service (WIRES) in Australia, a wildlife organization dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating sick and injured animals, including those affected by wildfires and drought. American Girl will match customer donations to the organization dollar-for-dollar up to $25,000 through the end of 2021.
Kyla Shelley, chief operating officer for WIRES, says Kira's storyline couldn't have come at a better time.
"Last year, Australia's fire season was unlike anything previously experienced in terms of scale and severity, with fires destroying millions of hectares (a metric unit of square measure) of land — much of which was threatened-species habitat,” said Shelley. "Just like Kira discovers, everyone can get involved in wildlife rescue and protection, and it's not too late to make a difference wherever you live."
Like all American Girl dolls, Kira's accessories are on point.
The doll comes with a tie-dye tank, sporty skirt, and lace-up boots perfect for hiking. In her Wildlife Rescue Set, animals like a kangaroo and joey, koala and wombat can be added to her accessories. There's also an animal exam table, so Kira can practice the animal care skills she learns from her great aunts.
A two-book series will also detail Kira's Australian adventures, and, to round out the series, American Girl will release a nonfiction advice book, "Love the Earth," themed around how kids can help with issues like climate change and live a more earth-friendly life.
The Kira collection will be available on Dec. 31, 2020 on americangirl.com and in American Girl stores on Jan. 1, 2021.
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