New American Girl Doll teaches life lesson

MADISON, Wis (WMTV) -- A unique American Girl Doll is hitting the shelves and teaching kids life lessons.

The new "girl of the year" sports a surfboard and a hearing aid. The doll's name is Joss Kendrick. She’s a fierce athlete born with a disability.

A Lake Geneva family said the concept of Joss shows kids early on how to be inclusive and comfortable with diversity.

Nine-year-old Holly Enright steps into a world of imagination when she plays with dolls.

"We were bringing them in the boat to go on vacation and then we came back. Now they're asleep because they're really tired," she said.

She names them and takes care of them as if they're her own.

"They just look so much like us and we could pretend their babies," she said.

She’s playing pretend, but adopting qualities of compassion and acceptance in real life.

"She does play with them all as if they're the same and she does ask for the person with the broken leg and the person in the wheelchair," Brian Enright, Holly’s dad said.

Holly's parents say they buy her dolls that don't look like her on purpose.

"We want her to fully immerse herself in different cultures, races and people with learning disabilities," she said.

Holly said the new 18-inch American Girl Doll could put a smile on someone's face.

"If one girl has a hearing aid she would kind of be sad if her doll didn't. It would be nice if other girls could be like her," Holly sad.

Brian said they're raising holly to be inclusive and kind and to treat everyone the same because it's okay to be different.

"There's no difference between people that are in their class or people they meet in the community. They shouldn't have to turn their heads like why is that person different," Brian said.

Deb Gilpin, Madison Children's Museum President and CEO, said the concept of the doll also shows children it's okay to need help.

"This is a really important doll moment for them to actually have a doll that needs to use a hearing aid to be successful. It's a wonderful moment for kids to see we all need help," she said.

Joss is a first-of-her kind doll. She is available now in stores and online.