Dolly Parton Reads Kids Bedtime Stories as a 'Welcome Distraction' in New YouTube Series

The country superstar's new video series, "Goodnight with Dolly," aims to provide children with "a welcomed distraction during a time of unrest."

Dolly Parton at GRAMMY Awards
Photo: Dan MacMedan/Getty Images

Whether she's serving as inspiration for a modern feel-good story like Dumplin' or writing a soaring classic ballad like "I Will Always Love You," Dolly Parton has been behind heartwarming art for decades. That's why it's no surprise she's stepping up during this uncertain, trying time. The country music icon announced this week that on Thursday, April 2, she'll debut a weekly video series called "Goodnight with Dolly," featuring her reading children's stories on behalf of her Imagination Library, a literacy advocacy group.

In a short video posted to social media and in a blog post on the Imagination Library website, Dolly referred to herself as "the book lady."

The series will be 10 weeks long and is being produced with the intention of offering children "a welcomed distraction during a time of unrest and also inspire a love of reading and books in the hearts of the children who see them."

Although the nine-time Grammy winner never explicitly mentioned the global pandemic, she alluded to it in the Imagination Library blog post, "This is something I have been wanting to do for quite a while, but the timing never felt quite right. I think it is pretty clear that now is the time to share a story and to share some love."

There's no public set schedule of the stories that Dolly will read, but the series will feature several of the Imagination Library's books for young people including Watty Piper's The Little Engine That Could, There's a Hole in the Log on the Bottom of the Lake by Loren Long, Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney, I Am a Rainbow by Dolly Parton, Pass It On by Sophy Henn, Stand Tall Molly Lou Mellon by Patty Lovell, Violet the Pilot by Steve Breen, Max & The Tag-Along Moon by Floyd Cooper, Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña, and Coat of Many Colors by Dolly Parton.

“It is an honor for me to share the incredible talent of these authors and illustrators,” the singer added in the blog post. “They make us smile, they make us laugh, and they make us think.”

Later in the year, Dolly fans will get to see an in-depth look at the inception of the Imagination Library in a documentary originally slated for release this week and now bumped to September 21, reports The Huffington Post.

You can check out "Goodnight with Dolly" every Thursday at 7 p.m. ET on the Imagination Library, Dolly Parton, World Choice Investments, and Dollywood YouTube channels. The superstar noted that the series will be "free of charge but not free from obligation as the message will be to pass on the love and keep hope alive because we are all Together, You and I."

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