Dolly!: The Story of Dolly Parton and Her Big Dream

Christy Ottaviano//. Jun. 2022. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780316324526.
Gr 2-4–Composer, entrepreneur, performer, and philanthropist Dolly Parton’s lifelong love of music bubbles to the top in this new picture book biography, focusing on her tough upbringing in Tennessee and how that shaped her path. For children unfamiliar with Parton, this digitally illustrated book is as bright as the singer’s favorite outfits and its exaggerated cartoon style will connect with fans of animated shows popular today. The text focuses almost disproportionately on Parton’s early life, circling around the different ways music made an appearance in her early years—from porch concerts to radio listening to her mama singing—and then moves on, in the final pages, to the artist’s first public performances and ultimately her career successes. The language is more poetic than many biographies, but, surprising for the true story of a lyrical maven, lacks flow and rhythm. The inclusion of “Dolly-isms” in the back matter is a treat.
VERDICT Add this to any collection that lacks a Parton biography.

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