60+ Free Children’s Books

Reading has always been important to me, and it is equally as important for me to make sure my children have an appreciation for reading. The ability to read, and enjoy it, opens up so many doors for you and your future. There is a program in place which may provide you the ability to receive free book every month for your children under the age of 5.

What it Is

The program is called Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and it was started by non other than Dolly Parton in 1996 as a way to provide every child under 5 in Sevier County with a free book every month. Since those humble beginnings the program has grown to encompass all of Tennessee and a good part of the counties throughout the country, parts of Canada, and the UK.

How it Works

The program is sponsored by and paid for by the communities which sign up to be affiliates of the Imagination Library. If your community is an affiliate your children are eligible to participate in the program.

The Tennessee Governors Books From Birth Foundation ran a study of Pre-K and Kindergarten teachers to determine whether students who had participated in the program were better prepared than students who had not. The following graphic was taken from their report showing their findings.


The first book you receive is the Little Engine That Could, after that the book lineup changes every year. A committee selects the books which will be sent out and then once a month you will receive a new book addressed to your child.

Who is Eligible

The program is available to ALL children under 5 in participating affiliate areas. This includes every child in your household under the age of 5 so if you have 4 children under 5 you get 4 books a month. We have been getting the books now for two, almost three, years and have loved them. My son gets excited every time he gets a new book and we have to read it to him right there.

How to Sign up

If you find your local affiliate they usually have flyers with the information you need to sign up for the program, they also offer online signup for United States residents. If you prefer to signup through your local affiliate you can find them at the Imagination Library site as well.

This is one of those things in life that you really can’t pass up. Reading to your children is great because it allows you to develop a bond with them and at the same time increase their knowledge and understanding. Please drop by Dolly’s site and look into whether or not your area currently offers this program. If it doesn’t petition your community leaders to sign up and start offering this service. It makes a difference and it is probably the coolest charity I have ever seen created.  I would love to hear from anyone who signs up, or any current participants so leave me a comment and tell me about it.


1 Baker @ ManVsDebt May 1, 2009 at 10:39 am

Wow, I had no idea this kind of thing existed. It’s actually a pretty sweet deal. It’s really neat to see a concept that started very local and exploded nationally because it was so awesome. Thanks for the info!

2 Erica Wright October 3, 2011 at 3:16 pm

I found out about this program for my granddaughter. She was on it for about a year. Then she turned 6. She enjoyed receiving the books and reading them. I was wondering if there is anything for kids to receive books beyond that?

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