Using Barbie dolls to make diverse book characters

I will be explaining how I am customizing Barbie dolls to make them into my book characters, Bekki the Fairy and Geeky Mikita.  I will be using Chelsea and Skipper to make my characters.   I want STE companies to see the importance of diversity – all my girls are science superstars as well as baby-sitters.   Details to follow.

Fairy doll in a package with a cellophane front that shows the doll against an imaginative package.
We will take a Sharpies to the hair

It is important for children to see themselves in books, toys, TV shows and popular culture. I love what Barbie does to represent as many girls as she can in this multicultural world. Barbie also does her bit to show girls doing science and STEM jobs. My book A Fairy in the Family Again – the School Science Competition is about babysitters doing STEM. Girls of African descent star in the book.

Black Barbie sister doll with school science accessories
STEM role model Stacie

I have got some Stacie and Skipper dolls and I will be customizing them to make them look like my STEM Lovin’ baby-sitters book characters. I am especially happy with a Stacie doll who is dressed for science. i got her on ebay and she is in Compton now! She left Redondo Beach a few days ago, so the tracking info tells me. She will arrive in ireland to do her bit to represent black girls in STEM.

Corona crisis, Covid-19, cancelled, Communion

First Holy Communions in ireland and around the world have been postponed. Can you imagine being eight years old and having to miss the big day out and possibly  a party in your honour?  My story was written before the crisis and shows a little girl and her chaotic family in Cork dealing with the messy business of the First Holy Communion.

Most people remember their First Holy Communion day warmly. Even in moden times the day has a great significance for families acknowledging their part in a wider community. Here is my nostalgic story about a Cork family caught up in the fun and fuss of dress buying.

Kathleen and the Communion Copter was named after my aunt and godmother, Kathleen, a gracious and generous woman.

Here is a spin-off story about Aine and her chatterbox baby brother

Multi-cultural Farming and Gardening books – diversity with “A Barbie and a Book”

Doll with afro puff and wicker basket and wellies
Let’s play urban gardeners

Is there anything nicer than an Amazon package with a new book?  Yes, a new book PAIRED with a dolly.

While I was involved with Multi-Cultural Book Day I reviewed a book about African elephants and my review had a suggestion of buying toy animals too.

Diverse books are needed as much as ever. Dolls and books have a very important role in REPRESENTATION. Imagine reading a book like “The Sugar Plum Ballerinas ” and then having a ballet doll to act out the scenes!   Heaven!!   Imaginative play, books and dolls all work together. 

I am going to kick off with a post about Farming and Urban Gardening to tie in with the new Sweet  Orchard Farm Barbie dolls.  I have a FABULOUS  global list of Multi-Cultural Farming books  that  I am linking to.  The list is from America so there’s a rich  mix of cultures and plants. Barbie dolls are multi-cultural and affordable.

I am selecting two books “Lola Plants a Garden”

Little black girl looking at seeds growing in her garden
Lola has many books for little kids

and “Green, Green – A Community Gardening Story” 

Book cover with little black girl in a garden
Dolls enjoy playing in the garden

I used to live in London so I want to share the idea of gardening in small spaces and urban settings.

Here come the dolls. 

I am showcasing the  Sweet Orchard Farm series of dolls, animal and play items.  I live in a rural Irish village so I love that Barbie has a tractor as well as a truck.

To pair with Lola Plants a Garden and Green Green  I think Chelsea is perfect.   Chelsea in Barbie’s little baby sister and she comes with a little yellow chick. 

Brunety curly doll in wellies
Chelsea on the farm. is she Lola today?

Barbie gets the best accessories but her pals and siblings have some sweet outfits, animals  and props too.   The brown skinned  dolls, apart from Chelsea are adult sized, with one male and two female dolls in jolly coloured wellies.    I have linked to US Amazon where possible.

Barbie with afro puff and wicker basket in packaging
Sweet Orchard Farm has a dress code

barbie in blue wellies and watering can
Sweet Orchard Farm Barbie, an urban gardener

Planting time on Sweet Orchard Farm