Book Group–Meet Cecile!

It’s that time again, and this month we are going to talk about Meet Cecile.  This book is unique because it’s one of the few situations where one of the BeForever/Historical friends actually had a good bit of a story revolve around her instead of just the main character.  Yes, Julie had Ivy, Samantha had Nelly and some of the other girls had friends, but I don’t think any of them were given quite the prominence as Cecile.  I’m still sad that these girls are gone from the American Girl line too because they were both such great characters.

I was very excited to read this book as I absolutely loved Meet Marie-Grace.  What I didn’t realize is Meet Cecile was not written by the same person!!  I was surprised to learn that, but the story didn’t suffer because of it.

Meet Cecile has it’s similarities to Meet Marie-Grace in it’s setting and some of the places discussed such as the Marketplace, the place where both girls take their music lessons and some of the others, but overall, the book has a very different feel to it.  I love the use of many French words, I took several years of French in school and it was fun to see how much of it I remembered.

The family dynamic is totally different for Cecile too, she comes from a busy household with several servants and a brother who is away in Paris.  The two stories come together though with the tale of the adventure the girls have at the Children’s Ball, but told from a different perspective.  There doesn’t seem to be quite as much about the developing friendship between the two girls though, much more of Meet Cecile is devoted to her family preparing for her brother to come home from Paris.  There is also an antagonistic character, but much like the one in Meet Marie-Grace, it’s very fleeting, not like some of the ones in other books.

Meet Cecile also goes into a lot of detail about the Free People Of Color with a very interesting part of the story devoted to it, as well as a whole section in the back of the book that explains more about it.  I think this is something very relevant to what is going on in our world today, and I’m very glad that someone thought it needed discussing when they worked on the concept for these books.

Overall, I liked Meet Cecile, not quite as much as Meet Marie-Grace though.  I do have the rest of the series and will be reading it eventually.  If anyone would be interested in continuing with these books for book group later on, please let me know in the comments!

What did you think of Meet Cecile?

The book for February will be Grace, March will be Meet Felicity.  I hope everyone can get their hands on these before then and participate in the discussion!

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Meet Josh!

Not too long ago, I mentioned that I had someone new join the gang.  It actually happened a couple of months ago, but with everything I had going on, I’m just now getting around to writing about it.

Roll back to February 2016, and some of the girls were getting ready to go to the Snowball Dance.  Several of the girls mentioned a young man named Josh Montgomery and how they thought for sure he would be crowned King of the Snowball Dance.  Funny how mention of something as simple as an unseen character can spark an idea.

A box arrived not long after my birthday in September 2017.  Sharry from Julie Newman’s Time Capsule told me that there was a package coming.  I was not prepared for what it was though.  You can imagine my surprise when I opened it up and there was a boy doll!  I immediately called her, and she said that she decided I needed Josh to come to life!!

I’m not 100% sure exactly who makes Josh.  He has no tags, and while I found several dolls that looked like him online, they were sold by several different companies, so that didn’t help.  He’s well made though, close to AG quality, definitely better than some of the other brands I’ve seen.

Josh likes to skateboard.  He is the youngest of 3, his brother and sister are quite a bit older and have since moved out and into their own homes, so he’s by himself.  However, Ryan is pleased as punch to have a friend.  He was getting tired of being bossed about by his sister Jenny and her friends!!

Josh is just slightly shorter than AG dolls, you can see here beside Ryan there is a very slight difference.  Otherwise, the AG clothing fits him just fine.  I may change his hairstyle a bit, still not sure exactly what I want to do, and haven’t had much time to do it!  I think it will be fun coming up with some boy type stories for these two though.  Thanks again Sharry!!!

Speaking of gifts–Xyra from Tea Time With Melody Q sent me some lovely doll sized goodies for Christmas.  My favorite though was a prairie style hat, reminiscent of those that Laura Ingalls Wilder wore.  It reminded me of the prairie outfits my mom used to make for Barbie dolls.  However, as I was checking it out, I realized that it might fit someone else…

Review of the Wellie Wishers Festive Gingerbread House Set

Yes, I do realize Christmas is already done and dusted, but I thought perhaps it would be a good idea to review this anyhow, just in case someone sees it on sale in the coming months.  It’s a very nice little set, and I just happened to get it when it was on sale for $18 instead of the regular price of $24.  Plus, free shipping on Wellie Wishers goodies!  (I wonder how long that is going to continue for?)

In all honesty, the set is basically a scaled down re-release of the Sugar and Spice Baking set.  I think someone at American Girl has realized that smaller, more reasonably priced sets sell better overall.  The Sugar and Spice Baking set retailed for $58, and I looked at it several times, but just couldn’t make the jump for that price.  Yes, it did have more pieces, but they were items that were expendable in my opinion.

One thing I do like with the new packaging is how the items are in a single bag with dividers.  Less likely to lose something, or worse yet, have it stolen because it’s an in demand item.

The house itself is really cute, and very detailed.  My only complaint is I would have liked the plastic to have had a matte finish, much more like a real gingerbread house.

The frosting bag is so cute!! It’s squishy too, so it will be easy to position on doll hands for realistic photos.

Two jars of sprinkles to decorate with as well.  I have another one of these floating around somewhere, I think I need to do a spice jar project in the not so distant future…

And of course, candy canes!  The candy canes are not removable from the box, but in this case, I agree with that decision.  Can you imagine stepping on one of those?  Or the dog finding it and eating it???

Overall, I think this is a very cute set, and I like the fact that American Girl decided to release it again at a new price point, with fewer items.  Definitely worth picking up, especially if you frequently do Christmas scenes.  The scale is still the same too, so it would work for either 18 inch or the smaller scale Wellie Wishers and similar dolls.  This was a set that I thought was a necessity for my collection, perhaps the girls will have a holiday scene in the bakery?