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Free Children's Books from Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

Updated on December 30, 2012

Dolly discusses the program

What is the Imagination Library?

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library is a nonprofit organization that gives FREE - yes, FREE - books to children from birth to their fifth birthday. Funding for the program comes from community organizations who sponsor it.

Begun in Dolly's home county of Sevier in Tennessee in 1996, the program has helped to foster literacy to children around the world. Since 2006, more than 40 million books have been distributed to children. Currently, more than 625,000 children in the United States alone receive free books each month.

Now located in more than 1,600 communities, this program is available to children in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Information is available for starting a program in your community and to register a child.

What kinds of books do children receive?

All books are age-appropriate from birth to age five and are published by Penguin Group Inc. They are also available in Braille or in audio-book form for those meeting certain criteria.

During a child's first year, he receives simple and colorful board books that are sturdy and engaging. The first book every child gets is The Little Engine That Could.

Second-year books include a lot of repetition, real photos, letters and numbers and bright colors. A 2012 example is Llama, Llama Red Pajama.

Books for a child's third year introduce values, characters and issues of relevance for children today, such as Corduroy.

In the fourth year, children receive books about diversity and play, as in Ladybug Girl & Bumblebee Boy.

The fifth and final year includes books in preparation for school attendance and rhymes that are fun and entertaining. Owl Moon is a current 5th year title.

Does my community participate?

To see if your community participates, and register your child(ren) go to:

To start a program in your area, look here:

Does (did) your child(ren) receive free books from Dolly Parton's Imagination Library?

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Submit a Comment

  • Esmeowl12 profile image

    Cindy A. Johnson 5 years ago from Sevierville, TN

    You are very welcome. It's a great resource for parents. Thanks for stopping by!

  • teaches12345 profile image

    Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

    I have not heard of this program, but I think it is absolutely wonderful. Dolly certainly has a heart for others and what a great way to contribute to society. Thanks for sharing this information.

  • Esmeowl12 profile image

    Cindy A. Johnson 5 years ago from Sevierville, TN

    It really is a fabulous program. I would definitely have participated when my son was younger if I had known about it then. Thanks for reading!

  • bat115 profile image

    Tim 5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

    This is an awesome idea! Never heard of it before reading this hub. Dolly is really a wonderful person who gives back to the community.