Dolly Parton's Imagination Library has been gifting free books to children for years, and with the little ones spending so much time at home lately, Dolly Parton is looking to personally read several of her favorite titles to children on Facebook video streams. For those unaware, the program supplies one free book a month to any child, regardless of their family's income, once a month from birth until they begin school. It's proven to help immensely with developing an early interest in reading for children, and the books have been used as bedtime stories for countless families over the years.
Now, Parton is taking to the official Facebook page for Dolly Parton's Imagination Library to announce her plans to stream book readings for kids over the next several weeks. Event pages have been created by the Facebook page for the upcoming readings, which will go live every Thursday evening at 7 p.m. ET. Called Goodnight with Dolly, the "read-aloud series" will debut its first installment this week when Parton's video goes live on April 2. Calling herself "the book lady," Parton says she'll be reading some stories from the Imagination Library in a video posted to the Facebook page.
Also revealed by the Dolly Parton Imagination Library page on Facebook is the first title Parton will be reading. According to the event page for the first reading, the 9 to 5 star will be delving into the classic children's book The Little Engine That Could from author Arnold Munk, written under the pseudonym of Watty Piper. Though based on a classic fairytale which has had multiple iterations over the years, this particular book is perhaps the most well-known version of the famous story. Meant to encourage the value of optimism and hard work, The Little Engine That Could tells the story of an engine desperately trying to pull its train up over a mountain while famously repeating the phrase, "I think I can."
It appears Parton may not encounter any legal issues with publishers with her plans to read storybooks to children on Facebook. Recently, Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton similarly announced his desire to live-stream appropriate books for families during this time of crisis with so many schools closing their doors. After Burton noted the potential legal problems involved, Neil Gaiman and other authors offered their personal book catalogs for Burton to use free of charge. Book publishers like HarperCollins also followed suit, offering their children's book titles to be used for this purpose as well.
Current events have left many families struggling in some way or another, and little things like this can do a small part in making things just a little bit better. With so many children already enjoying the monthly books sent to them by Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, it only makes sense for her to get involved with streaming several of these titles to thousands of bored children at home. Frankly, with not much else to do and with many movie and television productions shutting down, many adults could certainly get some enjoyment out of the readings as well. This news comes to us from Dolly Parton's Imagination Library on Facebook.