‘Tea party’ held for girls and dolls

By Scott Appleton - Staff Writer
Norwich - posted Tue., Jan. 25, 2011
Akira brought her Just-Like-Me-Doll, ‘Starr.'
Akira brought her Just-Like-Me-Doll, ‘Starr,’ to the American Girl doll tea party at Otis Library last weekend. Photos by Scott Appleton.

The American Girl doll has become a national phenomenon. Little girls across the country collect the dolls, which are influenced by specific historical periods and can be matched with elaborate wardrobes and accessories.
Lois Taylor, chair of the Friends of the Otis Library, arranged the annual tea party for girls between the ages of 6 and 12, which was held Jan. 22 in the library. The participants could bring their dolls with them, and were required to sign up prior to the event. Any empty seats were given out on a first-come, first-served basis.
Shirley Bower started this event in 2005. Barbara Bergman, who coordinated the food, said, “If you look around, you’ll see we’ve done a lot of work to get this arranged.” The room was decorated colorfully and a table loaded with prize bags stood by the entrance.
Around 40 girls attended the tea party with their dolls. Many of them had taken great care to either match – or dress as similar as possible to – their doll’s outfit.
Taylor said that she finds the American Girl dolls exciting because of the historical background given to each doll. Each American Girl doll’s outfit is inspired by a particular time period.
Cynthia Strouse welcomed the girls to Saturday’s event with a smile. She indicated the prize table next to the door and saw to the distribution of Bingo boards to every girl. The Bingo pieces were pink and white M&M candies. During the game, Strouse called out names of places, dates and other things related to the American Girl dolls. Several women walked among the tables, helping the girls play the game and announcing when one of them had won a round. The winners received a prize bag.
Cassie was at the library with her doll, Elizabeth. She said this was her first year at the party, but she was greatly enjoying it. At another table, Akira sat down with her doll, Starr. “I got her for Christmas from my uncle,” she said. “It’s a 'Just-Like-Me-Doll.' This event is good. It isn’t as packed as it was last year, but it’s good.”

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