Dolly Parton is going to “share some love” and perform weekly online bedtime readings for children during the coronavirus pandemic.
The country music star’s GoodNight With Dolly series will start on Thursday and last for 10 weeks.
She is one of several celebrities – including Amy Adams and Jennifer Garner, David Walliams and Josh Gad – reading stories to children online as schools are closed during the COVID-19 outbreak.
As cases of coronavirus continue to rise in the UK and US, Parton, 74, said she wanted to offer a distraction and some comfort for children during difficult times.
“This is something I have been wanting to do for quite a while, but the timing never felt quite right,” she said.
“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.”
Best known for hits including Jolene and 9 To 5, the singer is no stranger to supporting children with reading, having released a kids album in 2017 to raise money to buy books.
She has also posted messages of support to healthcare workers and servicemen and women working throughout the pandemic.
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Parton’s Imagination Library, a book-gifting programme set up by the star, said in a statement she now wants to offer reassurance to children shaken by the outbreak.
“Dolly hopes these videos will provide a welcomed distraction during a time of unrest and also inspire a love of reading and books in the hearts of the children who see them,” the statement added.
The free series kicks off with Parton reading The Little Engine That Could, which the Imagination Library said has been “a source of inspiration” for the singer throughout her life.
Other books include There’s A Hole In The Log On The Bottom Of The Lake by Loren Long, and Max & The Tag-Along Moon by Floyd Cooper.
Parton’s readings will air online once a week on the Imagination Library’s Facebook page at midnight UK time.