VCBF to host American Girl event

Published 4:05 pm Thursday, March 17, 2022

She’s the talk of the town, and she’s only 18 inches tall.

Her name is Corinne Tan, the 2022 American Girl Doll of the Year, and she’s coming to the Virginia Children’s Book Festival (VCBF) office in Farmville on March 26, at 11 a.m.

As if that weren’t enough, author and VCBF alumna Wendy Shang, who wrote the Corinne Tan books that details the Chinese-American girl’s life, will be in Farmville to read excerpts from her books and share stories of Corinne with attendees (and give away American Girl Doll books and more).

“We are happy to kick off programming in our High Street building with an American Girl event,” said Juanita Giles, executive director of the Virginia Children’s Book Festival. “These dolls are so popular, especially because authors like Wendy Shang fill out their backstories and make them real people who deal with real problems. We know there are a lot of young readers out there who will see a lot of themselves in Corinne.”

Corinne is a girl who grows up in Aspen, Colorado, in a family that is split by divorce. As she and her sister, Gwynn, enjoy the natural beauty and outdoor winter sports of the area like skiing and ice skating, she deals with a new place to live, racist comments, and worries about sharing her feelings as she navigates life in a blended family. 

“What I really hope is that there is some part of Corinne’s story that makes readers feel seen, whether it’s because they are Asian American, or they love skiing, or because they’re part of a blended family,” said Shang in an American Girl interview about the books. “I think when readers feel seen, they realize that they matter and their experiences matter, and that they are meant to be the stars of their own stories! I also hope that all the readers who meet Corinne are inspired to go outside and take in the beauty of the outdoors, a place of renewal and wonder and comfort.”

The Virginia Children’s Book Festival building is located at 104 High St., near Bandidos restaurant. The American Girl Corinne event will begin at 11 a.m. on March 26.

Space is limited and will fill up quickly, so visit the VCBF’s Facebook page for registration now to secure your spot and meet Wendy Shang and Corinne.

“We are planning for a return to an in-person festival this fall,” said Giles. “This is a good way to dip our toes in that water and start welcoming children and teens into our space. We can’t wait to host more events and workshops here in the coming months!”