2021
2021

Happy Birthday, Dolly Parton!

January 19, 2021
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Today is Dolly Parton's 75th Birthday! As one of the most-honored female country performers of all time, she has earned 10 Grammy Awards and a total of 50 Grammy  nominations, the 2nd most nominations of any female artist in the history! Maybe most impressive, her literacy program, Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, mails one book a month to each child enrolled in the program from birth until kindergarten. Currently, over 1,600 local communities offer the Imagination Library to almost 850,000 children across the U.S., Canada, the UK, Australia, and Ireland. In 2018, Parton was honored by the Library of Congress for The Imagination Library sending out its 100 millionth book.

To celebrate our favorite hitmaker and humanitarian's big day, we've round up our top 3 favorite Dolly books. Here is our list:

1. Dolly Parton, Songteller

Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics is a landmark celebration of the remarkable life and career of a country music and pop culture legend.

As told by Dolly Parton in her own inimitable words, explore the songs that have defined her journey. Illustrated throughout with previously unpublished images from Dolly Parton''s personal and business archives.

Mining over 60 years of songwriting, Dolly Parton highlights 175 of her songs and brings readers behind the lyrics. It's lacked with never-before-seen photographs and classic memorabilia, and explores personal stories, candid insights, and myriad memories behind the songs

Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics reveals the stories and memories that have made Dolly a beloved icon across generations, genders, and social and international boundaries.

2. She Come by It Natural: Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs

The National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author of Heartland focuses her laser-sharp insights on a working-class icon and one of the most unifying figures in American culture: Dolly Parton.

Growing up amid Kansas wheat fields and airplane factories, Sarah Smarsh witnessed firsthand the particular vulnerabilities--and strengths--of women in working poverty. Meanwhile, country songs by female artists played in the background, telling powerful stories about life, men, hard times, and surviving. In her family, she writes, "country music was foremost a language among women. It's how we talked to each other in a place where feelings aren't discussed." And no one provided that language better than Dolly Parton.

Smarsh challenged a typically male vision of the rural working class with her first book, Heartland, starring the bold, hard-luck women who raised her. Now, in She Come By It Natural, originally published in a four-part series for The Journal of Roots Music, No Depression, Smarsh explores the overlooked contributions to social progress by such women--including those averse to the term "feminism"--as exemplified by Dolly Parton's life and art.

Far beyond the recently resurrected "Jolene" or quintessential "9 to 5," Parton's songs for decades have validated women who go unheard: the poor woman, the pregnant teenager, the struggling mother disparaged as "trailer trash." Parton's broader career--from singing on the front porch of her family's cabin in the Great Smoky Mountains to achieving stardom in Nashville and Hollywood, from "girl singer" managed by powerful men to leader of a self-made business and philanthropy empire--offers a springboard to examining the intersections of gender, class, and culture.

Infused with Smarsh's trademark insight, intelligence, and humanity, She Come By It Natural is a sympathetic tribute to the icon Dolly Parton and--call it whatever you like--the organic feminism she embodies.

3. Little People, Big Dreams: Dolly Parton

In this book from the critically acclaimed, multimillion-copy best-selling Little People, BIG DREAMS series, children can discover the life of Dolly Parton, the singer-songwriter and businesswoman.

Little Dolly grew up in Tennessee in a family "as poor as dirt." She started performing at an early age, singing on local radio and television. After graduating high school, she moved to Nashville to pursue her singing dreams. Her managers wanted her to sing pop, but she followed her heart to sing and write country songs. Her heart was right--Dolly became a musical superstar, but she never forgot where she came from. She now uses her wealth to give back to people, children, and animals in need. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the singer's life.

Little People, BIG DREAMS is a best-selling series of books and educational games that explore the lives of outstanding people, from designers and artists to scientists and activists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream.

This empowering series offers inspiring messages to children of all ages, in a range of formats. The board books are told in simple sentences, perfect for reading aloud to babies and toddlers. The hardcover versions present expanded stories for beginning readers. Boxed gift sets allow you to collect a selection of the books by theme. Paper dolls, learning cards, matching games, and other fun learning tools provide even more ways to make the lives of these role models accessible to children.

Cited: Knox News, Wikipedia

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