Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors book entertains and educates

Live at Five at 4November 15, 2016Dolly Parton's classic song delivers a hopeful message in a children's book.

It's a book you may want to add to your Christmas wish list  for children. Dolly Parton's "Coat of Many Colors" is available in book stores and online. The picture book is both entertaining and educational.

The songbird from Sevier County has a little fan in Roane County, five-year-old Blakely Gulmire, who has her own coat of many colors.

"When the movie came out everybody said that she looked like that little girl," Lindsey Gulmire said of Blakely. "I think it made her want to watch the movie more so she watched it about 10 times when it first came out."

Lindsey Gulmire has watched her daughter grow to love the story. The lyrics of Dolly Parton's song are the words in her picture book.

"She loves the book. We've been reading it for the last several weeks because she was Dolly for Halloween," Lindsey said.

David Dotson is the President of the Dollywood Foundation, which oversees the Imagination Library.

"It's really the story of Dolly's mom making her this beautiful coat of rags and scraps and she thinks it is the most beautiful coat in the world, but when she gets to school she's made fun of and ridiculed and it really was a deep hurt for her," Dotson said.

At the end of the year, one million children will be enrolled in the Imagination Library literacy program. It promotes a love of reading by mailing age appropriate books to children like Blakely.

"She gets very excited every month when she gets the books. She says Dolly sent me a present," Lindsey said.

"She sends me books," Blakely said. 

"Coat of Many Colors" will be part of that book list starting this fall.

Like many of the books in the Imagination Library, "Coat of Many Colors" conveys a message.

"In this case how everybody is special, never make fun of anyone and be proud of who you are," Dotson said.

Both the book and song end on positive a note.

"Only her mother could comfort Dolly by telling her this was a coat made from love," Dotson said. "Her mother told her it was a coat of love and that coat was as special as she was." 

(© 2016 WBIR)


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