Dolly Parton announced Monday that she will be launching a video series during which she will read bedtime stories to children in order to provide them with a “welcome distraction during a time of unrest.”
“This is something I have been wanting to do for quite a while, but the timing never felt quite right,” Parton wrote in a blog post. “I think it is pretty clear that now is the time to share a story and to share some love.”
The 10-week “Goodnight with Dolly” series is an extension of Parton’s efforts to increase childhood literacy through her initiative “Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library,” the book gifting program she established in 1995, and its first episode will air on Imagination Library’s YouTube page Thursday.
Among the books Parton plans to read during the series is the children’s classic “The Little Engine That Could,” which the nine-time Grammy winner says she has always found to be a “source of inspiration.” She will also read Sophy Henn’s “Pass It On,” Patty Lovell’s “Stand Tall Molly Lou Mellon,” Steve Breen’s “Violet the Pilot” and Matt de la Peña’s “Last Stop on Market Street” as well as two books Parton wrote herself, “Coat of Many Colors” and “I Am a Rainbow.”
“It is an honor for me to share the incredible talent of these authors and illustrators,” Parton wrote. “They make us smile, they make us laugh and they make us think.”
A documentary about Dolly’s love of literature and her formation of the Imagination Library titled “The Library That Dolly Built” was slated for release this week. However, due to the coronavirus outbreak, release of the documentary has been postponed until September.
In an Instagram video posted last week, Parton urged her fans to “keep the faith” during the global pandemic.
“I think God is in this, I really do,” she said in the video. “I think he’s trying to hold us up to the light so we can see ourselves and see each other through the eyes of love. I think that when this passes, we’re all gonna be better people.”