Goodnight with Dolly

TV review by
Jenny Nixon, Common Sense Media
Goodnight with Dolly TV Poster Image
Country legend Dolly Parton reads comforting storybooks.

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Kids say

age 2+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

Goodnight with Dolly encourages literacy in young kids, and the books examine topics such as bullying, self-esteem, and diversity.

Positive Messages

The books Dolly reads explore themes like community-building, friendship, helping the less fortunate, optimism, and empathy.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The books chosen by Dolly portray kids and characters from diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

There aren't calls to purchase anything in these videos, but the final episode spends more time talking about Dolly's Imagination Library literacy project than on the actual storytelling. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Goodnight with Dolly is a 10-episode YouTube series that features Dolly Parton reading a bedtime story aimed at young viewers. This project is an extension of the country star's Imagination Library project, a nonprofit book-gifting program that sends free books to kids from birth up to age five in more than five countries. The very last episode might be a little boring for kids to get through, as it is padded at the beginning and end with slideshow-style footage and infographics about the Imagination Library, with the actual storytelling segment nestled in between -- but it's easy enough to fast-forward for antsy kiddos who just want to read the book.

User Reviews

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Teen, 15 years old Written byLoranikas303 April 11, 2021

Goodnight with Holly

Of course! Imagine that her daughter is having a nightmare about Holly R in the show. I guess she will probably freaked out by drag queens too. I've never... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byDogcat April 11, 2021

Goodnight with Holly

Maybe Holly R.’s daughter will be scared of this show?!

What's the story?

GOODNIGHT WITH DOLLY is a short-but-sweet web series featuring a pajama-clad Dolly Parton reading a children's book aloud from the comfort of her fluffy bed. As she turns the pages and narrates, the artwork and text are shown onscreen so kids can follow along. The books -- which include Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney, Pass it On by Sophy Henn, and Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña -- were specifically chosen in hopes of providing a sense of comfort to kids during the COVID-19 quarantine. She ends each episode with a few bars of singing that echo the themes of whatever book she's just read, then sends viewers off with a cute goodnight message. Some episodes also feature a few minutes of talking with the authors.

Is it any good?

Hearing a story read aloud is always a comforting feeling, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a narrator with a more mellifluous or charming voice than beloved country musician Dolly Parton. The woman is a national treasure, and her Goodnight with Dolly series has those famously sing-song tones in full effect -- yet wisely puts each book's colorful artwork front and center for sleepy kiddos to appreciate. After the book wraps up, Dolly talks a little about the meaning behind the story and how these themes are reflected in our daily lives. Her loving granny vibes and the positive messages conveyed in the stories makes this a great bet for families looking for something different to add to their bedtime routines.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about their favorite books from the Goodnight with Dolly series. Which titles stood out to you and why?

  • What kind of differences do you notice between watching a story and listening to a story with no pictures? Do the images you see onscreen match the ones in your head?

  • Talk to kids about what lessons they learned from the books Dolly read. Are there any books in their own collection that have similar themes?

TV details

  • Premiere date: April 2, 2020
  • Cast: Dolly Parton
  • Network: YouTube
  • Genre: Educational
  • TV rating: NR
  • Available on: Streaming
  • Last updated: April 4, 2021

Our editors recommend

For kids who love story time

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