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Eureka! Nonfiction Silver Honor Award (California Reading Association)
This inspirational and dazzlin’ story of Dolly Parton—noted singer, songwriter, and humanitarian—follows her rise to fame, from her beginnings in East Tennessee to performing to thousands at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.
Dolly is a little girl with a BIG voice. Music fills Dolly’s heart so plumb full she has to let it out! She’ll even sing to her cornhusk dolls or a pen full of pigs. She makes her own drum from a pot and her own guitar from a broken mandolin. But what Dolly dreams of is performing for a real audience—people who would hear her sing, and applaud!
And when she gets her big break at age ten, the soul-singin’ and big-dreamin’ Dolly discovers she’s scared to sing on stage in front of all those people. Will she summon up all of her courage and make it to the stage of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville? Young readers will learn about Dolly’s early history, her endless creativity, and her plucky perseverance in this entertaining picture book that’s perfect for fans of all ages.
About the Author
Suzanne Slade is the author of over 150 children's books, including Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks, a Sibert Honor book; and Swish! The Slam-Dunking, Alley-Ooping, High-Flying Harlem Globetrotters, a Junior Library Guild book. An engineer by training, she worked on rockets and cars before beginning her writing career.
Edwin Fotheringham is the award-winning illustrator of many picture book biographies, including Eleanor Makes Her Mark, Full of Beans, Blue Grass Boy, What to Do About Alice?, and Those Rebels, John & Tom. He is also the illustrator of the Tony Baloney series by Pam Muñoz Ryan.
Illustrator website: edfotheringham.com
“In this upbeat new picture book, bestselling author Suzanne Slade tells young readers the inspiring story of how Dolly Parton's creativity and determination helped her become one of America's most beloved musicians, songwriters, and humanitarians. Highly recommended for ages 5 to 9.” —A Mighty Girl
"A title brimming with love for a favorite country music star. Slade’s text includes quotes from Parton and adopts a down-home voice for the narration as she returns to Dolly’s Tennessee roots to tell her rags-to-riches coming-of-age story....Fotheringham incorporates symbols and motifs...that are important to Parton’s career or figure prominently in her lyrics, which will delight those familiar with her catalog. A new generation will understand why we will always love this iconic singer/songwriter." —Kirkus Reviews
"Free verse peppered with Southern dialect and colloquialisms reads like a ballad of Dolly Parton’s perseverance on her rise to stardom in this spirited picture book biography...Slade’s alliterative, rhythmic lines dynamically resonate with the book’s subject. Focusing on Dolly, portrayed throughout wearing pops of red, Fotheringham’s digitally rendered artwork leaves backgrounds sketchy and muted for contrast, an apt visual metaphor for the biography’s 'dazzlin’ ' subject." —Publishers Weekly
"The tale of Dolly Parton's rise to fame is one of rags to riches, in which a resourceful and determined young girl is able to make it big...Readers will find a lot of charm here, and the illustrations bring one back to the period, into the rural Tennessee mountains, and ultimately to the big city, where Dolly finally finds fame." —Booklist
"Young readers will be inspired by this story of a girl who always knew what she wanted, and didn’t let difficult circumstances, or setbacks like stage fright, stand in her way….an entertaining look at a true national treasure that should be included in classroom and library biography collections in need of some contemporary heroes. Readers in grades 2-5 will enjoy learning about Dolly’s childhood (even if they aren’t necessarily fans of her music), and it will be valuable for biography research projects as well." —Youth Services Book Review
“Slade's charming narrative reads like Dolly herself is speaking… a fun, inspiring book to share with others.“— The Nonfiction Detectives
"Suzanne Slade weaves an engaging account of Dolly Parton’s music-filled childhood in the Tennessee mountains, her first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry as a thirteen-year-old, and her move to Nashville after high school. Beautifully illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham, this charming book will inspire young readers to nurture and follow their own dreams, just as Dolly did." —Lydia Hamessley, professor of music at Hamilton College and author of Unlikely Angel: The Songs of Dolly Parton