Get Free Books For Your 0-5 Year Old Via Dolly Parton

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Dolly is on the train!

This summer you can kickstart your baby and toddler’s reading with a brand new book each month! Dolly Parton, superstar songwriter, singer and actor, is also the founder of a nationwide virtual library: the Imagination Library.  It’s a program she started to help kids love reading by sending a brand new, age appropriate book each month to every child under 5 years.

It all started in 1996 when Dolly decided that every child in her home county of east Tennessee would have access to books, regardless of their family’s income. That was a huge success and so other counties clamored to provide the Imagination Library to their children. So, Dolly created a foundation with a panel of experts to select just the right books and secured Penguin Group USA to be the exclusive publisher for the Imagination Library.

Here’s how it works:
In order to participate, your community must make the program accessible to all preschool children in their area. NYC is a registered community and so that means all the families of the 5 boroughs can get on the train! The community pays for the books and mailing, promotes the program, registers the children, and enters the information into the database.

Here’s how to enroll:

1.  Go to

2.  Choose your country and settings

3.  Then choose “First Time Users”

4. Then choose ” I Want to enroll my child”

5. Below that, click the grey rock that says “GO”

6.  Accept the terms and follow the steps provided on screen

What if you aren’t in NYC and want to see if your community is listed?

1.  Go to

2.  Choose your country

3.  Then choose “First Time Visitors”
4.  At the very top of the page you will then see a train cart button. Click “About Us”

5.  On this next page you will see, near the middle of the page on the left, several buttons, one called “Affiliates”
6.  Click “Affiliates” and you will then see a map of your country and a list of participating areas

Map of all the enrolled communities in the U.S.

We joined the club last year to test it out and have received some wonderful books- it’s a fabulous program!

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  1. My kids love the books by Anna Dewdney llama llama. books

  2. Hi, my friend told me about this program and she lives in detroit mi and recives books, but when i try to register my daughter it’s telling me that the program is not available in my area :-( why is that?

  3. I loved this program and my daughter absolutely loved getting her very own mail. Unfortunately she has recently turned 5 and is no longer elligelble. Is there another program out there similar to Dolly Parton’s that is for older children? Thanks in advance.

  4. Hi There! I just was wondering why there is not a service for my 3 yr. old grandson in the Cedar Rapids, IA area? My other grandchildren receive them in Davenport, IA area, which is only 80 miles away. I have adopted Draven and have had him since he is 8 months old. Draven simply loves to read everything, everyday! I do go to the library, but it would be great to get these books. I only work part-time and cannot afford to purchase these books for him. My other grandchildren love them as well. My youngest daughter told me that her son gets them also, just yesterday. I simply do not understand this. I would seem that it would be a program for lower income children, which we are. Please let me know why I cannot receive these books, as Draven could truly benefit from these. Thanks so much! Christine Blumer

  5. Is this available to military families stationed overseas with an APO address?

  6. Thanks for looking into it. I hope they can bring it back because it really was a good program.

  7. HI
    The word has been that they are trying to get it up and running for Brooklyn again. I did get a book from them this fall. I signed up 3.5 years ago. I have written to them and they have only said they are trying…..

  8. Is this program still working? I registered my kids early last year and started receiving books a couple of months later. My problem now is that I haven’t received any books for the past few months. When I tried finding the affiliate to call and see what was the problem there was no information. So I tried to re-register and a message came up, “We’re sorry but unfortunately, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is not available in your area at this time.” It’s a shame because my kids really looked forward to receiving their books each month and it’s such a great program. What happened?

  9. Thank you, Karen. Good news :-)

  10. Hi Taty,
    See what Ana found out in her comment…..

  11. I have also tried Brooklyn, NY. Still not working…

  12. Ana- thank you so much for following up! You are awesome. I got a response on Twitter that they were investigating…and so I’m thrilled you got the answer!

  13. FYI – I contacted the regional program director and got this email response:


    The NYC program is transitioning to a new agency so the good news it will be back up and operational we hope by the end of October. This means your Imagination Library books should resume in November. I do apologize for the breakdown in communication between the local affiliate and your family. If I can be of any other assistance please let me know.

    Christy Crouse Regional Director
    Imagination Library


  14. HI Ana
    I just tried it putting my address in and got this,

    “We’re sorry but unfortunately, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is not available in your area at this time however, if you would like to be notified if the program becomes available in your area, click here. If you would like to become the local champion that brings Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to the children in your community, then click here to get started!”

    I looked for it also by location- no luck for Brooklyn. I did a google search too to see if anyone else has the answer. No luck.

    So, I just tweeted them. Hoping to get a response soon.

  15. I also just tried registering my youngest child with our Brooklyn address but I got a message saying “We’re sorry but unfortunately, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is not available in your area at this time”. Same thing when I search for an NYC affiliate on the map. Can’t find one… This is strange because my older son is registered and he just got his July book 2 days ago. Did the NYC program shut down?

  16. HI bkdaddy,

    NYC and Brooklyn are included.
    Go to the link above and then at the top click “Register My Child”. Online registration is closed this week (1st of the month it closes for 3-5 business days) so they can send out the books.
    Give it another try and let me know if something still doesn’t work.

  17. I tried it but Brooklyn and NYC are not included?

    I also tried to follow your instructions but there isn’t a “first time users” option?

    Any help?

  18. Love your story Claudine! What was the horse book?

  19. I applied close to two months ago and received my first book in the mail two weeks ago. My 18 month old son couldn’t stop screaming “horse” when he got it.

  20. My first book arrived about 6 weeks after I submitted.

  21. Hi sent a form off for free books for my daughter Hannah. And i am curious to know when she will be receiving her first book. If you will let me know. Her name is Hannah Grace Hunter. Thank you

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