Dolly Parton is reading books to scared children during coronavirus and she must be protected at all costs

Dolly Parton

Beloved gay icon Dolly Parton will be reading stories to children online to comfort them during the coronavirus pandemic – and grown ups are free to join too.

The country music star announced on Facebook yesterday that she is starting a weekly web series, ‘Goodnight with Dolly’, to give kids “a welcomed distraction during a time of unrest”.

The readings will be broadcast on Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library YouTube channel every Thursday night at 7pm EST for the next ten weeks, starting tomorrow.

“This is something I have been wanting to do for quite a while, but the timing never felt quite right,” she said on her blog.

“I think it is pretty clear that now is the time to share a story and to share some love. It is an honour for me to share the incredible talent of these authors and illustrators. They make us smile, they make us laugh and they make us think.”

Dolly Parton may be a country music legend but to many young children she’s known simply as ‘The Book Lady’.

She started her Imagination Library program in Tennessee in 1995 and took it to the national level in 2000. She has now delivered more than 130 million free books to children, earning her special recognition from the Library of Congress.

Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton will air the first episode tomorrow, April 2 (Facebook/Goodnight with Dolly)

Among the bedtime stories she’ll be reading online are The Little Engine that Could, There’s a Hole in the Log on the Bottom of the Lake, Llama Llama Red Pajama, Violet the Pilot, and Stand Tall Molly Lou Mellon.

And there will also be a few stories written by Dolly herself, including I am a Rainbow and Coat of Many Colours.

As further evidence that we do not deserve Dolly Parton, she has announced that the readings will be free as “a personal gift from Dolly to all families”, but not free from obligation, “as the message will be to pass on the love and keep hope alive because we are all together, you and I.”