Z Yang’s “Summer Staycation,” and an American Girl doll giveaway contest

Spoiler alert: I’ve posted an amazing prize giveaway contest at the bottom of this entry. Enjoy! Enter! Share the link with your friends and family!

Suzie “Z” Yang is American Girl’s newest character doll– a Korean-American beauty from Seattle. She has warm brown eyes that open and close, sleek brown hair, and a beauty mark on her left cheek. Her outfit’s camera-ready.

©American Girl. Used with permission.

Z’s a visual storyteller–a photographer who enjoys videography and blogging. In her companion book (THE REAL Z, by Jen Calonita), she learns how to use her creative voice in new ways:

Explore the world from different vantage points.

Do you, but don’t be afraid to try new things.

Snap selfies, but also look for the magic beyond your front door.

A short while back, Instagram user @5HensandaCockatiel (aka Sydney) put the spotlight on Z in her hometown of Seattle. That inspired me to create a video of my own.

What was I thinking??? Mastering new software, combining images with audio, creating a story board, and blending several images into one …fun stuff!! See also: huge challenge! But I took to heart the advice offered to Z by her biggest fan. “Trying new things allows the filmmaking magic to happen,” Z’s mother said.

I had a support crew, same as Z.

Collaborative image, ©Donna Sullivan & Melodye Shore

They encouraged me to experiment…proving that yes, you can teach an older puppy new tricks! Sneak peek–I used iFake Text Message for this:

I’m not a pro, but I had fun with this project and hope you enjoy watching it!

And now…drum roll please! Thanks to Mattel’s generosity, I’m hosting a Z doll giveaway contest! To qualify, please post a comment to this entry, answering one of two questions:

1) What do you like best about Z Yang?


2) What’s the coolest picture you’ve ever created with your camera?

All entries must be submitted by midnight on Thursday, July 13 (Pacific). I’ll post the winning entry on Friday, July 14th, so be sure your sign-in includes an easy way to reach you. Good luck, everyone!


  1. Janet Clare F.

    #1 What I like best is that Z is Korean-American. I have three wonderful and close Korean friends. They are among the best and kindest people I know. What I love about Z as well is that she is creative and has attitude. She figures a way to solve her problem rather than just be defeated by her situation. I love how she has decided to have each of her AG friends look around and share what is neat about her hometown. Should I be lucky enough to win this doll, she will be gifted to our granddaughter who will come to know how much we value our Korean friends, creativity and strong people who work in positive ways to solve the problems in their lives and in the world.

  2. Dan Seale

    Z is an outdoor young lady that loves nature in all of her beauty and is determined to capture this beauty for the future generations.

  3. Sheryll Fong

    Thanks for introducing the new American Girl doll Z Yang. She’s a great example to her friends of how she takes the talents she has and uses them to find beauty and fun, capture them and then share through photography and video.
    My favorite photo was one I took on Independence Day a few years ago. The full moon’s light was set against and among the backdrop of colorful starburst fireworks

  4. Arielle Lujan

    I really enjoy that Z Yang is a great example of a girl finding her passion and sharing it with the world. She is a great example for my daughters to see. It’s an amazing gift to find joy in what you do. It is my hope that my girls will find their own passion and follow it.

  5. Stephanie

    I love that Z Yang loves telling stories, and she has so much imagination in telling them. Her determination and creativity are a huge part of her personality, and I admire that about her. She not only dreams big, but she’s willing to do the work to get there.

  6. Erin Wyllie

    I love her because she’s a doll my daughter can relate too because she’s passionate and determined. She’s such a wonderful creative doll that’s inspirational for both of my girls! As a photographer and artist I love seeing a doll that helps to instill these qualities in my little girls. She would be a wonderful addition to our doll collection. Using my cameras my girls love to do photo shoots of each other. They also love animals and love taking pictures of them.

  7. Carol Baldwin

    Cute video, Melodye. Sure you had fun making her. I have 2 Korean-American young friends so Z Yang reminds me of them.

  8. Daisy l.

    Z is very creative!! I love her hobbies which includes photography and movie making. My niece also had the same hobbies and z reminds me of her!!

  9. wai oi

    The coolest picture created from my camera is a family picture with everyone included. We are never in the same location and we are in different states. We had a family reunion last yr and we took a pix around the xmas tree. Everyone looked really nice!! I hang that picture up. Makes me smile!!

  10. Lillian C.

    I’m almost 10 and what I like best about Z Yang is that she is Korean-American. That relates to me because I’m Asian-American myself and she actually looks a little like me, too. I think Z is very special because not a lot of dolls are Asian in the way she is; she is just like every American girl since she’s Korean-American (she probably doesn’t use chopsticks all the time). I also like that she loves to make movies and videos and she would be an amazing doll to have. (Also, I think every girl deserves a doll that looks like them!)

  11. Haley

    I love Z’s “look”… her long dark hair and beauty mark are lovely! But I really like that despite her creativity with her gadgets, she is learning to look beyond the screen and live in the ‘real’ moment! Guess that’s why she’s called the ‘real Z!’. Our girls would love this doll!

  12. John Tae

    My childhood was about cars, trucks, and guns as I grew up with only boys but these past 4 years, God has blessed me with 2 girls that are all about pink, princesses and tiaras. My girls are special. Not only are they Asian, they are half Chinese and half Korean. One is 4 and the other is 1. I would love the opportunity to win Z because of what she represents. Strong. Bold. Diverse. Adventurous. All attributes I want for my daughters. Thanks again for the opportunity! Plus I want to donate some of the princess dresses and de-clutter. Time to grow up girls! 🙂

  13. Love Zen. She’s adorable, yes, but she’s smart and creative. It takes a real leader to convince her friends to take on any project, especially so for a big project like this. It’s nice to see her diversity as a big part of her, but not the biggest part of who she is. It takes away the “being different” stigma of being part of a diverse society and allows her to be a smart, talented, strong and creative little girl. All little girls need this in this day and time.

  14. Abby Meyer

    Dear Melodye,
    My name is Abby Meyer. I watched the video about Z with my grandpa twice. She has a lot of fun on her adventures. That’s what I like best about her. We both make adventures anywhere we are. My grandpa lets me take his camera into the backyard alone. He says I take some good pictures. My favorite is a gargoyle he calls Laverne. I can send it to you if you want.
    Abby Meyer

  15. Pamela Reese

    Love Z! So creative and yet practical…and representing another wonderful facet of the melting pot that America was created to be 😀
    She reminds me of a little version of you, Melodye. Her love for the camera, her gentle but determined demeanor, her artistry.
    What a wonderfully feisty new heroine for all our girls.

  16. Mei-Ling

    I totally love the way she is “in the moment” enjoying ever aspect of what she is doing at that time. The best pictures are “in the moment”.

  17. Laurie Eisenberg

    I love how Z takes photographs. So do I! My favorite subjects are my twin granddaughters, Naomi and Leah. I’m sure they would love to play with Z! They would take Z on many adventures!

  18. Donna Sullivan

    I like to think she is a lot like I was when I was younger. I still love photography and still love sharing with friends my photography. Love to get my friends involved in my adventures the same as she does. Its always fun trying new things especially when you have great friends to do them with. Hopefully this will be a big seller for the AGD.

  19. Kim Baccellia

    I love that she’s diverse!
    The coolest thing I’ve filmed on my camera has to be the gorgeous sunsets out here in SoCal area.

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