Seattle's Child

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Photo courtesy Dolly Parton Imagination Library

Local authors selected for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

Enrollment in free book mailings is free to families

Imagine you are an author of a children’s book, and in one fell swoop, 400,000 to 600,000 copies of your book make it into the hands of kids who might not find or be able to afford your book. 

Hello Dolly!

That’s precisely what will happen for two local authors this spring. The Dolly Parton Imagination Library has chosen to mail their books to 3- and 5-year-olds across the country next month. The library is a non-profit foundation that sends books monthly at no cost to children under the age of six who sign up for the program. All children under age 6 are eligible to receive books. Each month, the library sends out more than 2.4 million books (more than 28 million books a year). 

According to the library, one in seven children under age 5 in the U.S. receive the books.

Dolly Parton Imagination LibraryYou are a honey bee!

In April, 400,000 of “You are a honey be!” by Bellevue author and former software engineer Laurie Ann Thompson will be sent to all 5-year-olds enrolled in the program. 

Illustrated by Jay Fleck, the hardcover book was published by Dial Books for Young Readers in 2023 and invites readers into the world of bees. Kids will learn that big bees clean their rooms, help feed baby bees, and build their hives. It’s also the first in Thompso’s Meet Your World series, designed to give young readers a look at the animals that live right alongside them in rural, suburban, and urban landscapes across North America. 


Dan Richards’ book Nubby will be distributed to 600,000 3-year-olds in May. Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers in 2023, the picture book tells the story of an overworked stuffed bunny who strikes out on his own in search of fame, glory, and better treatment. As his human child’s favorite toy, he’s been dropped, dragged, and even used as a nose wipe. While he finds rewards along the way, he learns they aren’t as sweet without his loving human. 

Richard lives in Bothell and has published six picture books and two middle-grade novels. 

Sign up for Dolly Parton Imagination Library

Each month, the Dolly Parton Imagination Library mails age-appropriate books to all children registered for mailings. The books are addressed to the child and sent at no cost to the family. 

The library partners with local organizations to enroll children who live within their geographical area and negotiates wholesale pricing for the books sent to young readers. Local affiliates are responsible for securing funds to cover book costs. In King County, Africatown Community Land Trust serves as the library’s primary affiliate.

To enroll your child on the Dolly Parton Imagination Library list, visit the foundation’s webpage and follow the prompts.

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Seattle Child Staff

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