Leave it to Dolly Parton to find a warm and thoughtful way to ease fears amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
On Monday, the country music icon unveiled plans for “Goodnight with Dolly,” a weekly video series featuring her reading different children’s stories on behalf of her Imagination Library, a literacy advocacy group. The first installment will air Thursday on the Imagination Library’s YouTube page.
Calling herself “the book lady,” Parton announced the series with a short video on her Facebook page as well as a blog post on the Imagination Library’s website. “Goodnight with Dolly” will run for 10 weeks with the aim of offering children “a welcomed 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 said in the blog post. “I think it is pretty clear that now is the time to share a story and to share some love.”
The nine-time Grammy winner didn’t set out a specific schedule for the stories she’d be reading, but she did list the books. They all come from the Imagination Library’s titles for young audiences, including Parton’s own “Coat of Many Colors” and Watty Piper’s classic “The Little Engine That Could.”
“It is an honor for me to share the incredible talent of these authors and illustrators,” she added. “They make us smile, they make us laugh and they make us think.”
Parton didn’t mention the coronavirus pandemic by name in her announcement. Last week, she urged fans to “keep the faith” in a short but quirky video posted to her Instagram page.
“I think God is in this, I really do,” she said in the clip, viewable above. “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.”
The story behind her Imagination Library will be explored in “The Library That Dolly Built,” a forthcoming documentary that had originally been slated for release this week. It will now debut Sept. 21.