January Mailing Brings Total Free Books Mailed To Over 86 Million

January Mailing Brings Total Free Books Mailed To Over 86 Million

Happy New Year!

It’s a new year and a new month and we are very excited to send this selection of books to over one million children around the world. In January, we are sent 1,021,498 books, which brings the total number of free books mailed to 86,440,498! You can inspire a love of reading, one page at a time, by reading these books to your children again and again!

Welcome Book
First Book Children Receive

The Little Engine That Could - Penguin Random House

“The Little Engine That Could”
By Watty Piper & Illustrated by George & Doris Hauman

Welcome Book – First book sent to registered children
Canada – “The Little Engine That Could” – 1/3/17
United Kingdom – “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” – 10/1/17
USA – “The Little Engine That Could” – 12/30/16

Group 2
Children Born in 2016

“Corduroy’s Shapes”

Group 2 – Registered Children Born in 2016
Canada – “Corduroy’s Shapes” – 1/3/17
United Kingdom – “Peppa goes to the Library” – 10/1/17
USA – “Corduroy’s Shapes” – 1/11/17

Group 3
Children Born in 2015

“Following Papa’s Song”
By Gianna Marino

Group 3 – Registered Children Born in 2015
Canada – “Following Papa’s Song” – 1/3/17
United Kingdom – “Hairy Maclary’s Bone” – 10/1/17
USA – “Following Papa’s Song” – 1/9/17

Group 4
Children Born in 2014

“Old Bear and His Cub”
By Olivier Dunrea

Group 4 – Registered Children Born in 2014
Canada – “Old Bear and His Cub” – 1/3/17
United Kingdom – “Peas” – 10/1/17
USA – “Old Bear and His Cub” – 1/5/17

Group 5
Children Born in 2013

“Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon”
By Patty Lovell; Illustrated By David Catrow

Group 5 – Registered Children Born in 2013
Canada – “Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon” – 1/3/17
United Kingdom – “Stuck in the Mud” – 10/1/17
USA – “Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon” – 1/6/17

Group 6
Children Born in 2012

“Last Stop On Market Street”
Words By Matt de la Peña & Pictures By Christian Robinson

Group 6 – Registered Children Born in 2012
Canada – “Last Stop On Market Street” – 1/3/17
United Kingdom – “Worried Arthur: The Noisy Night” – 10/1/17
USA – “Last Stop On Market Street” – 1/3/17

Graduation Book
Last Book Children Receive

“Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come!”
By Nancy Carlson

Graduation Book – Last book children receive when they graduate from the program
Canada – “Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come!” – 1/3/17
United Kingdom – “Just Imagine” – 10/1/17
USA – “Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come!” – 12/30/16

New to the Imagination Library?

You can check availability in your area to register a child, sign up to receive a notification when the Imagination Library becomes available to you or learn more about how to Start A Program in your area.

Opryland Tree Earns Over $5K For Imagination Library

Opryland Tree Earns Over $5K For Imagination Library

Dolly Parton inspired tree at Opryland’s Parade of Trees earns over $5,000 for the Imagination Library!

Opryland’s Parade of Trees auction included a beautifully decorated Dolly Parton-inspired tree benefiting her Imagination Library. “Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love” provided the theme for the 2016 tree.

The online auction opened on Nov. 11 and closed on Dec. 31. The highest bid came in at $5,025.00. The lucky bidder will receive the Dolly Parton sponsored tree, the decorations and a host of prizes including:

  • 2-night stay in Dolly’s luxurious penthouse apartment at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa
    Admission for 2 to Dollywood
  • $200 Gift Card to the spa at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa
  • 2 tickets to Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede
  • 2 limited edition Coat of Many Colors ornaments
  • 2 signed copies of Dolly’s new children’s book “Coat of Many Colors”
  • 2 signed copies of “Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors” DVDs

Dolly Parton joined her fellow country music artists including Loretta Lynn, Diamond Rio and the Nashville Ballet in this star-studded effort to raise money and awareness for their favorite charities. Parade of Trees is part of A Country Christmas at Gaylord Opryland. This free, self-guided tour featured 14 spectacularly decorated trees throughout the resort’s nine acres of indoor gardens.

Dolly’s Pigeon Forge Concert Earned $500K For Imagination Library And Celebrated A Milestone

Dolly’s Pigeon Forge Concert Earned $500K For Imagination Library And Celebrated A Milestone

Dolly’s Pure & Simple Tour stop in Pigeon Forge raised $500,000 for the Imagination Library and celebrated the program’s One Million A Month Milestone!

Dolly Parton came home to the Smokies for a sold-out concert benefiting her Imagination Library. During the performance, Dolly celebrated the program’s “One Million a Month” milestone by giving one child, Evey Johns from Conway AR, a $30,000 College Scholarship!

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, began as a small community outreach in her native Sevier County, Tennessee. It has since evolved to become the largest literacy program in the world. In December of 2016, the “little literacy program that could” marked another impressive milestone—one million books gifted to children around the world each month.

To celebrate the unprecedented success, Evey Johns, a two-year-old from Conway, Arkansas who just enrolled in the Imagination Library, has been randomly selected to receive a $30,000 college scholarship. Dolly made the announcement during her Pure & Simple concert tour stop in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee on Nov. 15. Proceeds from the concert totaled $500,000 benefiting the Imagination Library. Dolly said,

“I thought long and hard about the best way to honor our achievement of reaching 1,000,000 children a month. The Imagination Library is all about inspiring dreams so what better way to pay tribute to this moment than by helping one special child pursue their college degree. So I am thrilled that today I can let the world know that precious, little Evey Johns of Conway, AR will receive a $30,000 scholarship for the college of her choice.”

The scholarship will be held in a special account and distributed to Evey when she enrolls in college. Over the next 16 years, the amount of scholarship should grow to approximately $50,000.

Award-Winning Authors Join In “One Million A Month” Milestone Celebrations

Award-Winning Authors Join In “One Million A Month” Milestone Celebrations

Dolly Parton commemorate the Imagination Library’s “One Million A Month” celebration with some help from a few distinguished children’s book authors.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library reached a historic milestone. As of October 2016, one million children are set to receive one free book every month! Dolly celebrated the “One Million A Month” achievement at her sold-out concert in Pigeon Forge, TN on Nov. 15.

Several award-winning authors and illustrators, whose books appear in the program, congratulated Dolly and the organization with special videos. Joining in the celebrations were Tomie dePaola (“Tomie dePaola’s Mother Goose”), Matt de la Peña (“Last Stop on Market Street”*) and Jacky Davis & David Soman (“Ladybug Girl”).

Tomie dePaola – “Tomie dePaola’s Mother Goose”

This award-winning author/illustrator has contributed his talents to nearly 250 books in his 40-year career. He discovered his love of storytelling at a young age and vowed to dedicate his life to creating beautiful books for children. His many accolades include the Smithson Medal from the Smithsonian Institution.

Matt de la Peña – “Last Stop on Market Street”*

Newbery Medal winner, Matt de la Peña is an advocate for diversity within children’s picture books. He authored several books for Young Readers before discovering his passion for children’s books after becoming a father.

Jacky Davis & David Soman – “Ladybug Girl”

Jacky Davis & David Soman are the creators of the beloved “Ladybug Girl” book series. This creative couple enjoys sharing a love of reading with their children, Lucy and Sam, who together inspired Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy.

*Matt de la Peña’s “Last Stop on Market Street” is illustrated by Christian Robinson.

Dolly Parton License Plate Benefits Imagination Library

Dolly Parton License Plate Benefits Imagination Library

Official Dolly Parton License Plate now available to Tennessee residents with proceeds benefiting the Imagination Library.

Due to the overwhelming support of Tennessee residents during pre-sales, the Dolly Parton License Plate has been approved for production by the state. The Imagination Library received over 1,000 pre-orders for the Dolly Parton Tennessee License Plate and the plates are now in production.

Pre-ordered plates should start arriving at local County Clerk’s office in early 2017. Once the pre-ordered plates have been produced by the State of Tennessee, any Tennessee resident can purchase the Dolly Parton plate at your local County Clerk’s office.

Special thanks to everyone who pre-ordered plates in support of this effort!

Penguin To Publish “Coat of Many Colors” With All-New Illustrations

Penguin To Publish “Coat of Many Colors” With All-New Illustrations

Penguin Young Readers will publish Dolly Parton’s children’s book “Coat of Many Colors” with all-new illustrations by Brooke Boynton-Hughes.

Dolly Parton will publish “Coat of Many Colors,” a picture book for young readers, with Grosset & Dunlap, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers, on October 18, 2016. The book, with all-new illustrations by Brooke Boynton Hughes, will feature “Making Fun Ain’t Funny,” a downloadable exclusive original song written by Dolly.

Using lyrics from her classic song “Coat of Many Colors,” and inspired by Dolly’s rural upbringing in the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee, the picture book tells the story of a young girl in need of a warm winter coat. When her mother sews her a coat made of rags, the girl is mocked by classmates for being poor. But Dolly’s trademark positivity carries through to the end as the girl realizes that her coat was made with love “in every stitch.”

Francesco Sedita, President and Publisher, Grosset & Dunlap, said,

“As someone who grew up listening to Dolly Parton with my family, having this very special opportunity to work on the ‘Coat of Many Colors’ picture book has been a lifelong dream come true. The book—and the song, of course—really speaks to how important family and community is. And how vital it is to respect those around us and to be grateful for what we have. I believe this book is one that will be passed down for generations to come.”

Coat of Many Colors is the latest project in Dolly’s longtime mission to foster a love of reading in children from a young age. In 1988, she began the Dollywood Foundation to inspire children in her home community to dream more, learn more, care more, and be more. The Foundation’s signature program, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, works with local affiliates to give every preschool child a book each month from birth to age five. The Imagination Library has gifted over 80 million books in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. The program has enjoyed a long-standing partnership with Penguin Random House.

Following the publication of the book, NBC will air the sequel to last year’s hit television movie “Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors.” In “Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love,” the Partons, a family of humble means living in the mountains of Tennessee, face a devastating event that challenges their will. But when they experience a bewildering Christmas miracle, the Partons are drawn closer together than ever—with deepened faith and love for one another.

This summer, Dolly will embark on her “Pure & Simple” tour traveling to 60 cities across North America. The tour includes a stop in Pigeon Forge, TN on Nov. 15 benefiting Dolly’s Imagination Library.

Brooke Boynton Hughes is an artist and illustrator originally from Loveland, Colorado. She received her BFA in Printmaking from Colorado State University and her MFA in Figurative Art from the New York Academy of Art. Brooke works on children’s books and travels around the country with her husband, Bill, and their dog, Olive.

Penguin Random House is the world’s most global trade book publisher. Its publishing lists include more than 70 Nobel Prize laureates and hundreds of the world’s most widely read authors.

Learn more about Dolly’s second children’s book “I Am a Rainbow.”

Happy International Children’s Book Day

Happy International Children’s Book Day

Today we celebrate International Children’s Book Day as we prepare to mail free books to hundreds of thousands of children around the world. Our founder, legendary icon, Dolly Parton fell in love with reading at a young age. Inspired by her father’s inability to read, Dolly launched her Imagination Library, a book gifting program for children in Sevier County, Tennessee. Her vision was to inspire a lifelong love of reading in children from birth. Dolly said,

“Because of the kindness and generosity of hundreds of local organizations and companies my little program continues to expand all around the world. You can never get enough books in the hands of enough children.”

What started as a local effort in Dolly’s home county, now spans four countries and has mailed more than 66 million free, age-appropriate books to children enrolled in the program. Titles include a multitude of popular children’s books beginning with Dolly’s personal favorite “The Little Engine That Could” by Watty Piper.
*All titles published exclusively by Penguin Random House.

As the world celebrates this day devoted to children’s books, authors, illustrators, beloved characters and the joy they all bring, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is preparing its monthly shipment of over 800,000 free children’s books.

She may be the Queen of Country Music but to millions of children, Dolly Parton is affectionately known as The Book Lady, a title that brought her father great joy.

Watch as Dolly talks about starting the program and what it meant to her father.

This year alone, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and the United States will mail over 9.5 million books.

*For a complete list of books to be mailed in 2015, click here.


 “Dream More, Learn More, Care More, Be More” –Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
Imagination Library Pick Wins Newbery Medal

Imagination Library Pick Wins Newbery Medal

“Last Stop on Market Street,” one of the many great titles in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library lineup for 2016, wins this year’s Newbery Medal, the highest honor in children’s literature.

In 2016, “Last Stop on Market Street” received the coveted Newbery Medal. Each year the American Library Association selects one book as the most distinguished American children’s book. “Last Stop on Market Street” is only the second picture book to receive the award. In addition to the Newbery, it earned a Caldecott Honor and a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor. Before any of these, the Imagination Library Blue Ribbon Book Selection Committee chose it.

Author, Matt de la Peña was pleased the Imagination Library had an early interest in the book and impressed with the program’s incredible reach. He shared his appreciation for the Imagination Library, his approach to diversity, his response to winning the Newbery and much more in an in-depth interview.

Quick facts about author, Matt de la Peña
He went to college on a basketball scholarship.
He has authored 10 books, but only two are picture books – the rest are novels.
He grew up in San Diego, CA and now lives in Brooklyn, NY.
He likes to read Middle Grade and Young Adult books with strong female lead characters because of his daughter.
He plays guitar.
His favorite Dolly Parton movie is Steel Magnolias – despite being a “machismo” guy.
He is the first Latino man to win the Newbery Medal.

Imagination Library Interview with Matt de la Peña

Q. From where did you get your inspiration for “Last Stop on Market Street?”
A. I was thinking about this idea that all these young kids are told what they should want and how they think life should be. Around that time, my agent, he sent me an email and said, “Hey, I want you to check out this new illustrator I’m about to sign. His name is Christian Robinson. Here’s his blog, it’s called ‘The Art of Fun.’” There were a lot of illustrations on the blog. One of them was a boy on the bus with his grandmother. I said, “Wow, I really love that one.” So I spent the next few months trying to figure out what the story would be around that illustration.

Q. How did you react when you found out “Last Stop on Market Street” received the Newbery Medal?
A. I was completely shocked, and I still am. I was unaware that picture books could even be considered. You don’t think it’s possible for those kind of things to happen to you. I believe I threatened to kiss [the committee member who delivered the news] and all the other committee members.

Q. How do you feel about being the first Latino man to receive the Newbery Medal?
A. I’m a Mexican-American person, but I’m also bi-racial, I’m half white as well. I view myself as a Mexican writer, but I also write about feeling a little less Mexican than the rest of my family. It was a really powerful moment because I’ve always wanted to feel more a part of the community and the fact that I could bring a Newbery to the community, it just made me think of the incredible Latino and Latina authors that I’ve read and how this is for our community as much as it is for me.

Q. What did you think about the honor of being picked for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library?
A. I think it’s amazing. I think the mission that you guys have is what the book’s all about.

Q. In the book, Nana shows CJ how to see the best in people and situations. In your life, who or what influenced you to see the good in people and circumstances?
A. If I had to name one person who did that, it would be my grandmother. Her first language was Spanish, so she sometimes didn’t feel super comfortable with her English, but she would always be there. If good things happened to me or if bad things happened to me, she would always do the same thing, she would pat my knee and give me this look that said: “It’s all going to be just fine.”

Q. Can you share with us your thought process in how you created CJ’s voice in the book?
A. Sure, because this was a big decision. I wanted to be authentic, and I wanted to be true to who this kid was, mostly his frustration. Here’s what I decided, I would rather record, basically onto the page, what I hear as opposed to trying to correct his English to be a teaching tool for parents and teachers. I just wanted to be as honest as possible.

Q. Can you recall a moment from your childhood when you saw something that you wanted, but it seemed as unattainable to you as the iPod was to CJ?
A. The biggest way that I felt that is college, I went to a school where nobody talked about college much. I grew up in a community where nobody talked about college. I thought people like us just didn’t go to college.

Q. How do you share your love of reading with your daughter?
A. We read to her non-stop. My daughter is a reluctant eater. She doesn’t really love food. She eats because she is supposed to eat. So we’ve developed this routine where if we read her books she’ll eat all her dinner. So we read to her for an hour during dinnertime, and we read to her before bed.

Q. Has your daughter inspired any stories that we might see in print soon?
A. She’s made me want to write more picture books because I see the magic of picture books. Watching her stare at the pictures and be hanging on every word and then watching her take the book and pretend that she’s reading by herself… it’s really one of the most incredible things about being a parent.

Q. In your essay, “Sometimes The ‘Tough Teen’ Is Quietly Writing Stories” you tell an inspiring story about your father and how books transformed him. How did you think your life would have been different had your dad found his love of reading and books when you were a child?
A. Looking back, I love the way it all evolved. My parents, I feel are lucky too because they’re still pretty young, because they had kids so young so they’re having this second life as educated people on the backend. It’s really amazing to see. One of the things my mom always says is that my dad is a better husband.

Q. The guitar player seems to bring the shift in CJ’s view of his environment. Is music a big part of your life?
A. It’s a huge part, as a matter of fact, I’ve played guitar for probably 30 years. I’m still not that good, but I play it all the time. I think music is communication without words. In an interesting way, that’s what my career is all about, the music of language.

Q. At the end of the book, we discover CJ and Nana are on their way to volunteer to serve food to others. Do you have a volunteer spirit?
A. I really wanted to show, here’s two people – they don’t have enough money to have a car, and they’re riding the bus to a soup kitchen. I wonder if the audience is going to assume that they’re going there to eat, and I wanted to flip perception and say, “hey these people who don’t have much are going to serve.” So for me personally, that super important. One of my favorite parts of my job is that I get to go to underprivileged schools and talk to kids. That’s a really really powerful part of my career.

Follow Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library for more author interviews and the latest news.

See the full list of 2016 Imagination Library books.

“Last Stop on Market Street” Text Copyright © 2015 by Matt de la Peña, Illustrations Copyright © 2015 by Christian Robinson. All rights reserved.

Publisher Credit:
“Last Stop on Market Street” is published by G. P. Putnam and Sons, a division of: Penguin Random House, 375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014. Used with Permission
Copyright Notice:
Text Copyright © 2015 by Matt de la Peña, Illustrations Copyright © 2015 by Christian Robinson. All rights reserved.

Sing, Talk And Read (STAR) – DC Public Library

Sing, Talk And Read (STAR) – DC Public Library

District of Columbia Public Library PSA “Sing, Talk And Read”

The DC Public Library’s partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library ensures all District children can have quality books in the home.

Prepare your child for a bright future by singing, talking and reading with them every day. These three simple activities can jump start your child’s brain development and get them ready to learn when they enter kindergarten.

“Sing, Talk and Read” PSA — Espanol

2015 Gold Medal Book Selections – United Kingdom

2015 Gold Medal Book Selections – United Kingdom

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library releases 2015 book selection list for the United Kingdom.

Each year, the esteemed Gold Medal Book Selection Committee, a specially selected panel of early childhood literacy experts, is responsible for reviewing hundreds of potential titles for inclusion in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library UK. With the new year’s list curated, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is proud to announce the 2015 Gold Medal Book Selections.

“My commitment to kids has always been to deliver the very best books right to their doorstep and last year we put over 9 million books in the hands of children and their families. Of course, none of this would be possible without the contributions of these talented authors, illustrators and the hundreds of local partners who love kids as much as I do,”

said Dolly Parton.

The list of selected titles include new and popular childrens books like: “Each Peach Pear Plum” by Janet and Alan Ahlberg, “Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy” by Lynley Dodd, and “Charlie and Lola: I am Really, Really Concentrating” by Lauren Child.

About Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library:
Since launching in 1995, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has become the premiere early childhood book gifting programme in the world by mailing over 66million books in Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and the United States. Currently the programme mails over 820,000 specially selected, age appropriate books monthly to registered children from birth to age 5. In 2015, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library will mail over 9.5 million books to Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and the United States. Dolly’s vision was to create a lifelong love of reading, prepare children for Kindergarten and inspire them to dream. Recent studies suggest participation in the Imagination Library program is positively and significantly associated with higher measures of early language and math development.

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