By Mary N. DiZazzo

American Girl . . . She's Not Just a Doll.

Ciao bella,

She's a do-it-at-home kinder finishing school consisting of beautifully made products for each stage of a young girl's development, from her preschool days of baby dolls and fantasy play through her 'tween years of self-expression and individuality.

American Girl previewed in 1985 by a former educator Pleasant T. Rowland. The A.G. Collection was based on nine-year-old fictional heroines who lived during important times in America's past. There are eight unique characters from the era and they have brought history alive for millions of children. It's a girl-sized view of historical events that helped shape our country.

It was a real treat to take a trip to New York's Fifth Avenue and visit the American Girl Collection Store and stroll the four floors of dolly clothing and accessories --A little girl's heaven for sure. Accessories range anywhere from the American Girl's dolly or pet dog or musical instruments in abundance including other hobbies.

Their library of books for purchase included not only caring and styling for your hair, but your doll's hair. The Fifth Avenue store also has a doll hairdresser, where you can bring your dolls to have their tresses cleaned and coiffed. Books include Skin and Nails...Care Tips for Young Girls, A Babysitter's Business Kit, The Care and Keeping of Friends, The Feelings Book and Journal, and many more inspiring titles.

You'll find a personal shopping department for the dad who has no idea where to start his journey, especially if he has more than one daughter.

You can also take your American Doll to lunch there with a special cafe with a seat for her. On a recent trip with young cousins Lauren and Natalie, I truly realized what a wonderful influence this (now owned by Mattel) company has had on their young development.

Samantha, one of the dolls that Lauren, now 15 years old, grew up with is now keeping her younger sister Natalie company. Samantha had a twisted leg so we went up to the doll hospital and she was wheeled away in her wheelchair and blanket. A few weeks later the doll arrived good as new. But it was explained in a note that she needed at least one week of rest, which Natalie decided to do by putting her in the comfort of the family's laundry basket.

Beauty can't be sweeter!

Buona giornata and God bless the United States of America!


Have you missed any of Mary's columns in the Post-Gazette? Read prior weeks' "All That Zazz" columns on her website She is a third-generation cosmetologist and owner of Mary for Nails, etc. natural nailcare salon in Andover, and a Massachusetts distributor of Kosmea brand rose hip oil products. She may be contacted at (978) 470-8183. She also sees select clients by appointment in Boston at (617) 742-6881.