One of Dolly Parton’s most dear initiatives is fostering children’s literacy. In 1995, she founded the Imagination Library, a program that provides kids in East Tennessee, where she grew up, with an abundance of books, delivered by mail each month. Now, the superstar country singer is taking her mission one step further: by adapting her signature song “Coat of Many Colors” into a children’s book.
Due October 18th, Coat of Many Colors tells the story of a young mountain girl whose family can’t afford to buy her a winter jacket. Her mother comes to the rescue, making a coat out of an assortment of rags, which unfortunately doesn’t win the girl any new friends at school. The book includes pages of illustrations as well as the download of a new song from Parton, “Making Fun Ain’t Funny.”
Naturally, it’s a message the girl in the makeshift coat takes to heart – and one that rings true in this age of incessant bullying.
The TV-movie version of Coat of Many Colors debuted last December to record ratings. Parton and NBC will follow it up this November with the holiday sequel Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love, featuring a cameo by Parton – as the town prostitute.