As the entire country is on varying degrees of lockdown, the great Dolly Parton has decided to do weekly live readings of bedtime stories for children — so there's a reason to look forward to Thursday.
Dolly has been the patron of a nonprofit that began in her home state of Tennessee 25 years ago called The Imagination Library. The organization provides free books to children, sending them by mail, and it's expanded globally in recent years to send books across the US, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia.
The "Goodnight With Dolly" live reading series begins Thursday, April 2, with The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper. Dolly will be reading the book aloud at 7 p.m. Eastern Time (4 p.m. PT), and the reading will be followed by more weekly readings for 10 weeks, with other classics from The Imagination Library. (It appears the broadcasts may be on both YouTube and Facebook, though the exact channels are unclear.)
As she said this week in a statement on the organization website, "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. It is an honor for me to share the incredible talent of these authors and illustrators. They make us smile, they make us laugh and they make us think."
In related news, and because she's a saint, Dolly announced today that she's donating $1 million to Vanderbilt University for coronavirus research.
Upcoming children's titles that Dolly plans to read include There’s a Hole in the Log on the Bottom of the Lake by Loren Long, Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney, and Dolly's own opus, I Am a Rainbow.
Dolly Parton reads "The Little Engine That Could" in the first video of her new read-aloud series, "Goodnight with...Posted by Dolly Parton's Imagination Library on Monday, March 30, 2020
This should be a good stress reliever for young and old — especially as parents struggle to explain the extraordinary circumstance we're in to young kids who've been cooped up indoors for two weeks or more.