Dolly Parton to Read Children Bedtime Stories Online in Weekly 'Goodnight With Dolly' Series

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Dolly Parton

The legendary country singer's 10-week series aims to provide "a welcome distraction during a time of unrest and also inspire a love of reading and books."

Dolly Parton is doing her part in entertaining children amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. 

The country singer will launch a weekly series in which she reads a children's book to an online audience at bedtime, selecting books from her popular Imagination Library project. The nonprofit says the goal for Goodnight With Dolly is to provide "a welcome distraction during a time of unrest and also inspire a love of reading and books."

"The read-alongs will be a personal gift from Dolly to all families. 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," Imagination Library said in a press release on its 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," said Parton. "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."

The first book to be read by Parton in the 10-week series presented by Dollywood, Abramorama and The Dollywood Foundation will be Watty Piper's The Little Engine That Could

The other books to be read in include: 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 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 Parton.

Starting Thursday, the singer's readings will be posted on her Imagination Library's YouTube channel, as well as across her Dolly Parton, World Choice Investments and Dollywood channels.

While known as a legend in country music, Parton is also recognized by children as "the Book Lady" after starting her Imagination Library in 1995 in Tennessee. The international book-gifting program launched to a national level in 2000, having delivered more than 130 million free books to children. The organization has shipped books to families in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia and the Republic of Ireland.

Goodnight With Dolly will launch Thursday at 7 p.m. ET.