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Dolly Parton Will Read Children's Books On YouTube "To Share Some Love"

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As if more evidence was needed to prove that she's an absolute national treasure, Dolly Parton announced she will read children's books on YouTube before bedtime during this time of global crisis. Starting on April 2, the "Islands In The Stream" singer will start her new series on her Imagination Library YouTube channel called Goodnight With Dolly.

For the next 10 weeks, kids can tune into her YouTube channel on Thursday nights at 7 p.m. EST to have a story read to them. Or even adults, if you just feel like you might need to have a story read to you by Dolly Parton before bed to combat all of the doom and gloom happening in the world right now.

"This is something I have been wanting to do for quite a while, but the timing never felt quite right," the beloved country singer told ABC News. "I think it is pretty clear that now is the time to share a story and to share some love."

In the preview for her new series, Parton refers to herself as "The Book Lady" from the Imagination Library. "I want you to join me, April the 2nd, when I start Goodnight with Dolly," she says in the promo video. "I'm gonna be reading some stories from the Imagination Library."

The "Jolene" singer has long been an advocate for children's literacy; in 1995, she launched an initiative called Imagination Library, a program where children are gifted books in the mail from birth until they start school no matter their family income. The program initially started out in Sevier County, Tennessee, where Parton grew up, but now sends millions of books every year to children in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia.

The list of books Parton will read has been carefully selected through the Imagination Library, according to Rolling Stone, and include two of her own stories:

  • 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 Dolly 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
  • Coat of Many Colors by Dolly Parton
  • The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper

As the coronavirus outbreak continues to keep children at home and away from schools and day care centers across the country, little ones can at least look forward to a special treat from Dolly Parton at the end of their day.

If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all of Romper’s parents + coronavirus coverage here, and Bustle’s constantly updated, general “what to know about coronavirus” here.