If you know American Girl, then you know Valerie Tripp.
The author has penned countless books for the company, all the way back to the original books for those first historical dolls that became all the rage decades ago.
Now, Tripp is bringing a new generation of American Girls to life with the company’s WellieWishers line, targeted at readers ages 5 to 7. Like all AG dolls, WellieWishers come with an accompanying book series, written by Tripp, as well as an animated series, with episodes for each character – a first for the company.
The line centers on a group of three friends – Willa, Kendall, Ashlyn, Emerson and Camille – who set off to improve the world around them through friendship, kindness, respect and of course, a little creativity. And as you might expect from the name, all of the dolls wear Wellington boots – also known as wellies.
“It was very important to me that these are real little girls who use their imaginations,” Tripp tells PEOPLE of the new series. “I wanted to empower my readers that through your own imagination, creativity and hard work, you can transform something.”
WellieWishers is a departure from the bulk of Tripp’s work with AG, which has been writing for the “BeForever” line of historical dolls. Without the historical context to help shape characters and their storylines, Tripp created the backstories through imaging various facts about these girls – from their dream home locations to their favorite scents.
Though the WellieWishers books are set in the modern era, Tripp applied the same sort of thinking she used when writing the stories of original dolls like Samantha and Felicity to WellieWishers.
“When you read American Girl, when you met Felicity, the issues of the American Revolution mattered to you, because you had a friend living through it,” Tripp says.
Tripp hopes readers feel the same when they pick up a WellieWishers, and have readers feel like they are a part of the group of five friends.
“I didn’t want to make them super girls,” she says. “I wanted them to be regular, curious, bouncy, messy 5- and 6-year-old girls. I wanted to be honest and authentic about what this age is like.”
WellieWishers dolls and their accessories are available now on AmericanGirl.com.