Imagination Library

90th Anniversary Edition of “The Little Engine That Could” With Introduction By Dolly Parton

Published September 24, 2019 / Last Updated September 24, 2019

Team Dolly

Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Senior Editor - Amanda Webb
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman

Penguin Young Readers Celebrates 90 Years Of “The Little Engine That Could”

Caldecott Award-Winner Dan Santat Illustrates 90th Anniversary Edition With Introduction By Dolly Parton

Penguin Young Readers announced today the publication of a commemorative 90th Anniversary edition of Watty Piper’s The Little Engine That Could. Scheduled for publication on April 7, 2020, as part of a 90th Anniversary publishing program, the book will feature reimagined illustrations by Caldecott Award-winner Dan Santat, and an introduction by Dolly Parton, award-winning singer-songwriter and founder of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Dolly Parton recalls the lasting impact of “The Little Engine That Could”. Dolly said,

“My memories take me way back to a little cabin in East Tennessee. This was not a place where dreams easily came true. Too often, there was talk about all of the things we couldn’t do rather than all of the things we could do. On many occasions, when my dream seemed far away, my Mama would tell me the story of the Little Engine to comfort and encourage me. While I listened to her, I would close my eyes and think of myself as the Little Engine and just start saying over and over again, ‘I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.’ It gave me strength, it gave me hope, and it gave me the courage to keep chasing my dreams.”

Caldecott Award-winning artist Dan Santat was honored to illustrate the 90th anniversary edition: “It doesn’t take much to lift a person’s spirits and make us believe that we can all possibly become more than we ever dreamed, and it’s all thanks to a little blue engine.”

Little Blue Engine

“I think I can, I think I can.” These simple words, now ubiquitous, were first uttered 90 years ago by the Little Blue Engine in the children’s classic “The Little Engine That Could.” One of the most popular and enduring picture books of the last century, “The Little Engine That Could” has sold more than 20 million copies and inspired millions of children to push their boundaries and challenge their fears. It is the first book every child receives from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which now gifts half a million copies every year. The book has been adapted for film multiple times over the years, including a 3-D adaptation in 2011 featuring the voices of Whoopi Goldberg, Jamie Lee Curtis, Alyson Stoner, and Corbin Bleu. In 2005, Penguin Young Readers published an edition illustrated by Loren Long.

Author Watty Piper

Watty Piper was a pen name of Arnold Munk, an owner of the publishing firm Platt & Munk. Arnold Munk was born in Hungary and, as a child, moved with his family to Chicago. He later moved to New York, where he died in 1957. Arnold Munk used the name Watty Piper as both an author of children’s books and as the editor of many of the books that Platt & Munk published.

Illustrator Dan Santat

Dan Santat is the author and illustrator of the Caldecott Award-winning “The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend,” as well as the New York Times Best Selling titles “Are We There Yet?”, “After the Fall”, and others. He is also the creator of Disney’s animated hit, “The Replacements.” Dan lives in Southern California with his wife, two kids, and a menagerie of pets.
Visit him at dantat.com

Team Dolly90th Anniversary Edition of “The Little Engine That Could” With Introduction By Dolly Parton

National Conference of State Legislatures 2019 Legislative Summit

Published August 8, 2019 / Last Updated August 9, 2019

Team Dolly

Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Senior Editor - Amanda Webb

Dolly addresses over 4,000 US lawmakers and legislative leaders at the annual conference

Dolly Parton appeared as a keynote speaker at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) 2019 Legislative Summit, held August 5-8 in Nashville, TN. The annual bipartisan conference aims to provide states “support, ideas, connections and a strong voice on Capitol Hill,” and Dolly took the stage to talk about literacy and her Imagination Library program.

During a Q&A segment with Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, Dolly shared how her father’s inability to read or write inspired her to launch the Imagination Library, which mails one free book each month to children from birth to age five in participating communities. What started in 1995 as a program in her hometown of Sevier County, TN, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library now spans five countries and mails over 1.4 million free books each month to children around the world.

The Imagination Library relies on local partners to secure funding for the program, and in 2004, the state of Tennessee became the first to pass legislation supporting a statewide rollout of the program. During their on-stage discussion, Gov. Lee emphasized the scientifically-proven benefits of reading to your child, while Dolly encouraged all of the legislative leaders in attendance to adopt the Imagination Library as a statewide program so that “all children in our country will have access to books.”

 “We’d like all the states to go statewide with it,” she said. “It’s not just for poor kids, but for all kids, for every child who signs up.”

Representing the Tennessee General Assembly, Lt. Gov. Randy McNally and House Speaker-select Cameron Sexton appeared on stage to present Dolly with a $25,000 check for her Dollywood Foundation, which funds the Imagination Library.

Dolly concluded her appearance with a touching performance of “Coat of Many Colors” and brought the entire audience to their feet with an inspiring rendition of “Try,” a song she wrote to celebrate her Imagination Library. Dolly left all of the conference attendees with a message of inspiration, encouraging them all to follow their dreams, to respect and love all of God’s children and to take any opportunity to work together.

Pictured Above: Dolly Parton, Toi Hutchinson (Illinois, Legislator)

Photo Credit: Kayla Schoen

Michelle Vos, Dolly Parton, Robin Vos (Wisconsin, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Scott Saiki (Hawaii, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Curtis Bramble (Utah, Legislator)
Tomee Heining, Dolly Parton, Jon Heining (Texas, Legislative Staff)
Dolly Parton, Martha Wigton (Georgia, Legislative Staff)
Dolly Parton, Chuck Truesdell (Kentucky, Legislative Staff)
Dolly Parton, Jim Hendren (Arkansas, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Matthew J. Shepherd (Arkansas, Legislator)
Matthew Moonen (Maine, Legislator), Dolly Parton, Jeremy Kennedy
Dolly Parton, Matt Huffman (Ohio, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Ronald Kouchi (Hawaii, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Nicole Jefferson (Amazon)
Dolly Parton, Mike Bell (Tennessee, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Bill Powers (Tennessee, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Ken Yager (Tennessee, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Art Swann (Tennessee, Legislator)
 
Dolly Parton, Jeff Yarbro (Tennessee, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Dolores Gresham (Tennessee, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, William Lamberth (Tennessee, Legislator)
 
Bo Watson (Tennessee, Legislator), Dolly Parton
 
Dolly Parton, Patsy Hazlewood (Tennessee, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Mary Littleton (Tennessee, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Mike Carter (Tennessee, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Jack Johnson (Tennessee, Legislator)
 
Dolly Parton, Lowell Russel (Tennessee, Legislator)
 
Dolly Parton, Scott W. Gilmer (Tennessee, Legislative Staff)
Cameron Sexton (Tennessee, Legislator), Dolly Parton
 
 
 
 
 
 
David Dotson (CEO, Dollywood Foundation), Dolly Parton, Nora Briggs (Executive Director, North America, Dollywood Foundation), Jeff Conyers (President, Dollywood Foundation)

 

Team DollyNational Conference of State Legislatures 2019 Legislative Summit

Imagination Library Documentary To Feature Actress & Author Danica McKellar

Published May 16, 2019 / Last Updated May 16, 2019

Team Dolly

Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Senior Editor - Amanda Webb
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman

Danica McKellar Records Narration For Upcoming Imagination Library Documentary

Dolly is pleased to announce that Danica McKellar will narrate the upcoming documentary, “The Library that Dolly Built.” The documentary, directed by Nick Geidner and written by Abby Bower, explores the journey of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library from a local program to an international partnership that has now gifted over 115 million books. Dolly said,

“I was thrilled that Danica agreed to narrate our documentary. She is the perfect person to help us tell our story. She is very talented and she has such a giving heart.”

Danica is an actress, mathematics writer and education advocate. Her successful acting career includes her role as Winnie Cooper on “The Wonder Years,” several notable voiceovers for animated movies and a number of well-received movies on the Hallmark Channel. Danica said,

“I’ve admired Dolly Parton since childhood, and even more so upon learning of her Imagination Library. I can’t wait for the world to learn more about the Imagination Library through this beautiful documentary, and I couldn’t be prouder to narrate it.”

In addition to her acting work, McKellar has written eight books, all encouraging children, especially young girls, to have confidence and success in mathematics. Her book, “Goodnight, Numbers,” is currently included in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

 

Dolly Parton and Dollywood Sponsored NASCAR at BMS Photo Credit: Bristol Herald Courier, David Crigger.
Dolly Parton and Dollywood Sponsored NASCAR at BMS Photo Credit: Bristol Herald Courier, David Crigger.

Photo Credit: Nick Geidner

 

“The Library That Dolly Built”

“The Library That Dolly Built” is a feature-length documentary, covering the history, impact and future of America’s largest non-governmental children’s literacy program. It features the music of Dolly Parton and includes original interviews with recipients of the books, parents, policy makers, authors, program organizers, and the legend herself, Dolly Parton. With this film, we hope to celebrate one of Tennessee’s greatest exports, the Imagination Library, shine a light on the importance of children’s literacy and put a human face on the many people who make DPIL happen.

Land Grant Films

“The Library That Dolly Built” is being produced by Land Grant Films, a documentary production program housed in the School of Journalism and Electronic Media at the University of Tennessee. Land Grant Film’s mission is to provide University of Tennessee students with real-world experience in documentary storytelling while providing local non-profit organizations with videos assets that can be used to raise awareness and funds. Land Grant Films’ documentaries have been aired on Knoxville’s NBC and PBS affiliates, screened in film festivals, and won numerous awards. All of our films are created by University of Tennessee students or involve students in key crew positions. The Library That Dolly Built was directed by journalism professor Nick Geidner, edited by video instructor Clinton Elmore, and crewed by 15 University of Tennessee students.

Team DollyImagination Library Documentary To Feature Actress & Author Danica McKellar

Dolly Parton Interview – Library Of Congress

Published March 2, 2018 / Last Updated March 2, 2018

Dolly Parton Productions

Managing Editor at Dolly Parton Productions
Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Senior Editor - Amanda Webb

Dolly talks about her Imagination Library’s 100 Million Book dedication, program affiliates and the future of the program

On February 27, Dolly dedicated her Imagination Library’s 100 Millionth Book to the Library of Congress. We sat down to talk with her about that moment, the amazing program affiliates who help make it all possible and her thoughts on the future of the program.

Dolly spoke about the dedication of the special 100 Millionth Book – “Coat of Many Colors” and how this milestone is not only a celebration of the program but also a celebration of her mother and father.

Dolly also wanted to give credit to the thousands of program affiliates around the world that help make this all possible. Many don’t know but it actually takes local affiliate organizations to help administer and fund the Imagination Library within their communities. Dolly understands clearly that they deserve equal thanks for making this amazing milestone possible.

Since launching in 1995, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has celebrated many milestones. Reaching the 100 Millionth Book Milestone is a true testament to the dedication of many, many people who work to “put more books in the hands of more children.” We asked Dolly about where she saw the Imagination Library going in the future.

 

About Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting program that mails free books to children from birth until they begin school in participating communities within Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and the United States. Inspired by her father’s inability to read and write, Dolly Parton started her Imagination Library in 1995 for the children within her home county. Today, the program has mailed over 100 million books to children around the world.

Dolly Parton ProductionsDolly Parton Interview – Library Of Congress

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library’s 100 Millionth Book Dedicated To Library Of Congress, New Story Time Announced

Published February 27, 2018 / Last Updated February 27, 2018

Team Dolly

Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Senior Editor - Amanda Webb
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman

Library of Congress and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Announce New Story Time Events During The 100 Millionth Imagination Library Book Dedication To The Library Of Congress Collection

Today Dolly Parton joined Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden for the dedication of her Imagination Library’s 100 Millionth Book to the Library of Congress collection. Dolly dedicated a special edition of her book, “Coat of Many Colors” to the world’s largest library. This honor is a monumental milestone for the program now its 22nd year. Dolly said,

“I always like to say that 100 million books have led to 100 million stories. I am so honored that our little program has now grown to such a point that we can partner with the Library of Congress to bring even more stories to children across the country.”

From its infancy in Sevier County, Tennessee, to the largest children’s literacy program in the world, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has inspired millions of children around the globe to love reading. Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said,

“Dolly Parton’s work through her Imagination Library is awe-inspiring. They have counted the number of books given away – 100 million, but there is no way to truly quantify the impact this program has had on developing young readers across America and in other parts of the world. This is an extraordinary gift to humankind.”

Story Time Events For Young Readers

The two also announced a new Library of Congress story time for young readers. On the last Friday of each month starting in March and running through August a special story time will be held at the Library of Congress. The Library will host story time in the Great Hall of the Thomas Jefferson Building. These events will be live streamed so children and parents can join the fun online. Each story time will feature a reading of a book for readers up to age 5, music and special guests. Hayden commented,

“The Library of Congress shares this passion for developing young readers and I am so pleased to announce these cooperative programs, which will provide an opportunity for children anywhere to connect with a fun, engaging reading experience.”

Monthly Story Time Details

The story times will take place the last Friday of each month for six months in March through August at 10:30 a.m. in the Great Hall of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street SE. The events are free and open to the public. No tickets are required. The programs will also be live streamed on the Library’s Facebook page and its YouTube channel (with captions).

100 Millionth Book Dedication Ceremony
Dolly Parton at 100 Millionth Book Dedication Ceremony

About The Library Of Congress

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

Team DollyDolly Parton’s Imagination Library’s 100 Millionth Book Dedicated To Library Of Congress, New Story Time Announced