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

We Are Family Foundation© To Honor Dolly Parton With Peacemaker Award

Published September 23, 2019 / Last Updated September 23, 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

Dolly Parton receiving the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Peacemaker Award from We Are Family Foundation©

We Are Family Foundation© (WAFF) will honor legendary artist Dolly Parton at its 2019 Celebration. The event will be held on Tuesday, November 5, 2019, at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. Iconic fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier will also receive honors that night.

WAFF, a not-for-profit organization founded by legendary multiple GRAMMY© Award winning musician Nile Rodgers. It’s dedicated to the vision of a global family. WAFF creates and supports programs that promote cultural diversity while nurturing the vision, talents and ideas of young people who are positively changing the world.

“We’ve wanted to recognize and honor the extraordinary accomplishments of Dolly Parton for many years. Her exemplary work as an artist, businesswoman and philanthropist is an example for us all. She symbolizes everything that is great about music and America. Jean Paul Gaultier is someone who I’m happy to call a friend. His incomparable work as an iconic fashion designer and forward thinker has changed our culture in a way the world has greatly benefitted from. We are enormously grateful to our honorees for their exceptional work to improve humanity and we warmly welcome them into our WAFF family”, said Rodgers.

Mattie J.T. Stepanek Peacemaker Award

Dolly Parton, legendary singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, actress, author, businesswoman and humanitarian will receive the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Peacemaker Award. Over the years, Parton has supported many charitable efforts, particularly in the area of literacy, primarily through the Dollywood Foundation. Her literacy program, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a part of the Dollywood Foundation, mails one book per month to each enrolled child from the time of their birth until they enter kindergarten. In August of 2019, the program and its partners gifted a book to over 1.4 million children. And to date, the organization has gifted over 125 million free books to children in five countries. In 2018, the Library of Congress honored Dolly Parton when her Imagination Library mailed its 100 millionth book.

With a record for any female artist of 26 songs reaching No. 1 on the Billboard country charts; 42 career top-10 country albums, a record for any artist; and 110 career-charted singles over the past 40 years, Parton remains one of the most-honored female country performers of all time.

“To say that I am honored would be quite an understatement. I am so humbled to be included in with such an amazing group of people. I have often said that I don’t count my awards, but this is one I will not soon forget. The Mattie J.T. Stepanek Peacemaker Award from the We Are Family Foundation represents so many of the characteristics that I strive every day to live by. I believe in family, I believe in love, and I believe that together we can change the world”, said Parton.

With this honor, Dolly joins previous honorees including President Jimmy Carter, Desmond Tutu, Roger Daltrey CBE, Paul Simon, Dr. Maya Angelou and Quincy Jones.

Humanitarian Award

Jean Paul Gaultier will receive the Humanitarian Award. Gaultier, a French couturier started an apprenticeship at 18 in the fashion house of Parisian designer Pierre Cardin and by 1976, founded his own eponymous fashion label. Gaultier started his ascent in the fashion world in the early eighties adding a men’s collection in 1984, and two years later opening his first boutique in Paris. In 1997 with his showing of his first haute couture collection, Gaultier secured his place in the fashion industry.

With Gaultier’s desire to illuminate and support human individuality and beauty, he used unconventional models for his shows. This earned him both criticism and enormous popularity. In acknowledgement of his role in reshaping popular perceptions of humanity through fashion and in redirecting the creative process, Gaultier was awarded in 2001 the title of Chevalier de la Lègion d’Honneur (“Knight of the Legion of Honor”), one of France’s highest honors, amongst many other awards and accolades he has received.

“It is with great honor that I receive the 2019 Humanitarian Award. I have always believed that all people are beautiful, no matter what their color, shape, size, creed, or sexuality. It is the inner beauty of all people and what we do for others that contributes the most to our beautiful global family”, said Jean Paul Gaultier.

Previous honorees of the Humanitarian Award include Bono, Sting & Trudie Styler, Steven Van Zandt, Nile Rodgers, Jackson Browne, Peter Gabriel and Sir Elton John. Nile Rodgers & CHIC and Dolly Parton will perform live at the event.

To purchase tickets or to contribute to We Are Family Foundation, please visit wearefamilyfoundation.org. Contributions are fully tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

We Are Family Foundation©

We Are Family Foundation is a not-for-profit organization founded by legendary musician Nile Rodgers and is dedicated to the vision of a global family by supporting and creating programs that promote cultural diversity while nurturing and mentoring the vision, talents and ideas of young people globally who are positively changing the world.

Visit We Are Family Foundation© to learn more. 

Team DollyWe Are Family Foundation© To Honor Dolly Parton With Peacemaker Award

13th Annual Fun-Filled “Whoadeo” Kids’ Event At Stampede

Published September 4, 2019 / Last Updated September 4, 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

“Whoadeo” is proudly presented by Dolly Parton’s Stampede, Pirates Voyage And Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Shows And Food City Kid’s Club

September 21, 2019 (8:30 AM – 1 PM)

Dolly Parton’s Stampede in Pigeon Forge, TN will host the 13th Annual Fun-Filled “Whoadeo” Kids’ Event. “Whoadeo offers the perfect chance for families searching for great kids activities, festive fall decorations, food, mascots and storytelling. Activities include costume contests, mascot characters from a variety of Smoky Mountain attractions, stick horse competitions and a free outdoor carnival from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Area attractions as well as law enforcement, fire and rescue partners also are part of this special event, adding to the family atmosphere and offering information in an entertaining way.

Celebrity Storytelling Stage

The popular celebrity storytelling stage returns this year highlighting Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Guest storytellers include Knoxville TV personalities, Stampede emcee Jay Teter and his sidekick Skeeter, Pirates Voyage very own Blackbeard and performers from Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Feud, The Comedy Barn Theater and Smoky Mountain Opry.

Costume Contests & Stick Horse Competitions

Everyone is looking forward to the costume contest and stick horse competition. Children will participate in three age groups: ages 3-5; 6-9 and 10-12. Every Whoadeo participant (ages 3-12) receives a free Stampede admission ticket to the 3:30 p.m. dinner show on Sept. 21. Children may register for the Whoadeo on Saturday, Sept. 21 beginning at 8 a.m. at Dolly Parton’s Stampede located at 3849 Parkway in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

The only requirement to compete in the competition is a stick horse which can be homemade or purchased. Free stick horses also will be provided at the event, while supplies last. Participants will compete in a series of Whoadeo competitions, including a cowboy costume contest, a “parade of stick horses” and “stick horse barrel races.” These contests all will take place inside the Stampede building, offering a rare chance for children to actually participate on the main arena floor. Contestants compete for first, second and third place prizes in each of three age brackets (ages 3-5, 6-9 and 10-12) for each competition – including bicycles and tablets.

Stick Horse Competition Times

  • Ages 3-5 (10 AM)
  • Ages 6-9 (11 AM)
  • Ages 10-12 (12 PM)

*Registration ends 45 minutes prior to each competition.

“This is Food City’s 13th year to join Dolly Parton’s dinner shows for this family-friendly Whoadeo event,” said Steven C. Smith, President/CEO of Food City.  “From returning competitors to first-time participants, this event celebrates creativity in an atmosphere that’s fun for everyone.”

Free Whoadeo Carnival

All children must be accompanied by a parent and/or guardian. Families are invited to attend the free Whoadeo carnival from 8:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. in the Stampede parking lot. Food City will provide complimentary snacks for participating children and Coca-Cola® will provide free soft drinks. Each Whoadeo participant also will receive a Kid’s Club backpack from Food City (while supplies last), a voucher for one free child’s ticket to The Comedy Barn Theater and a complimentary one-day child’s ticket to Dollywood (valid for children ages 3-9 years old).

For more information on the Whoadeo Kids Event, call 865-453-4400 or visit DPStampede.com/KidsEvent.

“Coca-Cola” is a registered trademark of The Coca-Cola Company.

Team Dolly13th Annual Fun-Filled “Whoadeo” Kids’ Event At Stampede

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