My 4-year-old daughter loves Dolly Parton. 

At first I was a little concerned about why, but I soon figured out she loves Dolly Parton for the right reasons. It’s not because she is famous, beautiful or a talented musician. In fact, I doubt she knows Dolly Parton even sings. The only song of Dolly’s she’s ever heard was a cover of “Jolene” done by the punk rock group, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. 

My girl loves Dolly because she believes Dolly Parton is the best children’s author and illustrator she has ever known.

My daughter understands that inside covers of her books, is often a picture of a person, and that person created the book. But she gets one thing confused. 

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a program that gifts books free of charge to children from birth to age five, through funding shared by Dolly Parton and local community partners like Mora’s Early Childhood Family Education. 

Each month since she was born, my girl has received a book in the mail from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library — every one with a picture of Dolly inside the cover. Even though Dolly founded the Imagination Library, very few of the books distributed this way were actually written by her. 

Unfortunately for the wonderful authors and illustrators like Keiko Kasza, Ezra Jack Keats and Cori Doerrfeld— my daughter gives Dolly all the credit. 

I guess I’m OK with that. Of all the people she could choose to look up to, Dolly Parton’s not a bad choice.  

I can take or leave her music, but I appreciate Dolly Parton because of her continued humanitarian efforts, including contributions to the development of the Moderna vaccine.

Our family is thankful to Mora’s ECFE, Dolly Parton and her Imagination Library, not to forget Booktown Mora and the Mora Public Library for their investment in our children’s wellbeing and education. We express our thanks by reading to our child every day, and hope other families will do the same. 

Kirsten Faurie is the editor of the Kanabec County Times. She can be contacted at editor@moraminn.com or by calling 320-225-5128.

 

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