The Power of Parenting

Tuesday, 20 October 2020

The Book Lady Launches

Wednesday, September 17, 2020

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Program in Canada Profiled in New Documentary Launching at Atlantic Film Festival

(Toronto, September 17, 2020) - The Book Lady, a documentary about country music legend Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library children’s literacy program, is set to have its international premiere at the 28th Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax, NS on September 20th.

The film, which was produced by Atlantic Canada’s Brad Horvath and directed by Natasha Ryan, chronicles the November 2006 launch of the program in Canada, when national charity Invest in Kids partnered with The Dollywood Foundation of Canada to bring the program to this country. The film features several Canadian communities that participated in the pilot and The Imagination Library has since been brought to communities coast-to-coast.

In March, Nova Scotia became the first province in which all First Nations communities participated in the program. The Yukon Territories has been running the program in all communities outside of Whitehorse since October 2007. Whitewood, SK became the first community in Saskatchewan with its launch in April and this month the Province of British Columbia announced that 30 rural and remote First Nations communities would be launching the program. These are among the many communities throughout Canada that are taking part.

Invest in Kids’ President & CEO, Nancy Birnbaum, appears in the documentary to explain why the national charity believed that this program was so important to parents and their young children.

“Since we partnered with The Dollywood Foundation in 2006 to bring The Imagination Library to Canada, we have been able to see firsthand how this program instills a love of reading and books in children,” says Birnbaum. “We are so pleased to see The Book Lady debut at this prestigious festival so that even more people can learn about the program and how it offers a way for parents to connect with their children, support their children’s language development and prepare them for kindergarten.”

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is designed to give children an early start to their learning and development and to encourage reading and language skills by providing an age-appropriate book once a month until the child’s fifth birthday. Each month children participating in the program receive books that are carefully selected by a group of experts in education, child development and early childhood literacy, ensuring that the content they read and the illustrations in the books are supporting the child appropriately at every stage of his of her development. In Canada, each book comes with one of Invest in Kids’ Comfort, Play & Teach cards, which give parents tips and ideas they can use while reading with their child. This year over 5 million hard cover books will be delivered to over 480,000 children throughout the United States, the U.K. and Canada.

The Book Lady features appearances by Dolly Parton, Miley Cyrus, Keith Urban, Sarah Harmer, Justin Rutledge, Natalie MacMaster and children’s author Robert Munsch and was executive produced by Thom Fitzgerald’s Emotion Pictures. It has been pre-sold to CBC Television, Bravo! and Book Television for national broadcast in Canada. It was produced with the participation of Film Nova Scotia and the National Film Board of Canada.

To learn how to start an Imagination Library program in your community, please call The Imagination Library at 1-877-583-KIDS x 293 or visit or

Invest in Kids is a national charity dedicated to helping parents become the parents they want to be. By translating the science of parenting and child development into engaging, easy-to-understand, relevant resources for parents and professionals, Invest in Kids aims to strengthen the parenting knowledge, skills and confidence of all those who touch the lives of our youngest children to ensure the healthy social, emotional and intellectual development of children from birth to age five. For additional information, visit

The Dolly Parton Imagination Library supports children’s language and literacy skills and prepares them for school by gifting every signed-up newborn with a free age-appropriate book a month until the child’s fifth birthday. It helps parents build a positive parent-child relationship through rich sensory exchange as they start reading to their child from early on. Started in the U.S. by Dolly Parton in 1996 in her native Tennessee, the Imagination Library expanded across the States and is currently benefiting more than 480,000 families and their young children. The program has been available in Canada to families with children under five since November 2006, when it was launched by Invest in Kids in partnership with The Dollywood Foundation of Canada. For additional information, visit: or

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Media contact:
Krista Lamb
Invest in Kids
Manager, Media Relations and Publicity
1-877-583-5437 or (416) 977-1222 ext. 224
[email protected]