On Thursday (December 8th), country music icon Dolly Parton announced she will be releasing her third children’s book this upcoming spring.
According to PEOPLE, the singer’s third children’s book, Dolly Parton’s Billy The Kid Makes it Big hitting stores on April 25, 2023. The new book will feature illustrations from MacKenzie Haley. It follows Billy the Kid, which is a dog that loves barking to the beat of country music. The dog also wants to make it big as a county music star in Nashville, Tennessee.
However, Billy the Kid runs into some bullies at the Battle of the Bow-wows. To take on the bullies, he must call on his favorite songs and help from new friends. He regains his self-confidence and becomes the star he always knew he could be.
Speaking about the new book, Dolly Parton declared, “I am so proud to bring this book and the message it conveys to life. Years back, I wrote a song Makin’ Fun Ain’t Funny for my children’s album I Believe In You. I wanted kids to understand how harmful bullying can be to someone.”
Dolly Parton went on to declare, “When I launched the Doggy Parton line of pet products earlier this year, my god-dog Billy got to be the star of the show. Since he’s a big star now, I knew a story with him at the center could help drive home important messages in a unique way,” she adds. “I hope this is the first of many books with Billy.”
The new book follows Dolly Parton’s children’s books, Coat of Many Colors (1994) and I Am A Rainbow (2009). Along with writing books, Parton also has her Imagination Library program. The program delivers free books to children from birth until they begin school.
Dolly Parton Previously Discussed the Importance of Reading to Children
During an interview with PEOPLE in 2018, Dolly Parton spoke about the importance of reading to children and how it creates memories that last forever.
“I believe initiatives like Reading Month in YouTube Kids that encourage kid’s love of reading at an early age are so important,” Dolly Parton explained. “These are the moments when dreams are born and these are the memories that last forever. It’s a fact that the most important thing we can do to inspire kids to be lifetime learners is to read to them as much as possible.”
Also speaking about her reading program, Dolly Parton revealed that she started it in honor of her father. “My dad was not able to read and write — he was a country boy with a bunch of kids, and he had to work instead of going to school when he was a little boy, and so he never had the chance to get an education,” she continued, adding that “it seemed to really bother him a lot and I thought, ‘Well, what can I do for my precious dad?’ ‘Cause he was the greatest daddy in the world and one of the smartest people I’d ever known.”