Reviews for Dolly! : the story of Dolly Parton and her big dream

Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

A poor country girls journey from pounding out rhythms on pots and pans to achieving global music stardom.McGrath re-creates the flavor of Partons childhood deep in a holler of the Great Smoky Mountains with well-chosen details, such as a reference to a handmade corncob doll that was the subject of young Dollys first song. The narrative portrays Partons musical development, from singing to farm animals and juggling songwriting with corn hoeing to listening to country music on the radio with her family. It relates a well-known incident from Partons childhoodshe was mocked by classmates for wearing a patchwork coatand her famous 1971 ballad inspired by the experience. Surreys warm gouache spreads capture the blond, blue-eyed songstresss cheerful nature, often depicting her smiling radiantly against backgrounds of butterflies and sparkling stars. Readers learn that it was her uncle who initially helped her achieve her dream, first shepherding her to an on-air variety show performance and later driving her to Nashville, where, after many rejections, Johnny Cash welcomed the young singer into the world of the Grand Old Opry country music show. The final illustration of the dazzling, successful performer poised in front of a microphone is a poignant contrast to the opening illustration of a young barefoot Dolly on the front porch of her humble childhood home, belting into a broom. (This book was reviewed digitally.)A profile of the Queen of Country Music that conveys the spirit and spunk of a little girl with a big vision. (further reading, quotes, bibliography) (Picture-book biography. 5-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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.—Aryssa Damron


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

A poor country girl’s journey from pounding out rhythms on pots and pans to achieving global music stardom. McGrath re-creates the flavor of Parton’s childhood “deep in a holler of the Great Smoky Mountains” with well-chosen details, such as a reference to a “handmade corncob doll” that was the subject of young Dolly’s first song. The narrative portrays Parton’s musical development, from singing to farm animals and juggling songwriting with corn hoeing to listening to country music on the radio with her family. It relates a well-known incident from Parton’s childhood—she was mocked by classmates for wearing a patchwork coat—and her famous 1971 ballad inspired by the experience. Surrey’s warm gouache spreads capture the blond, blue-eyed songstress’s cheerful nature, often depicting her smiling radiantly against backgrounds of butterflies and sparkling stars. Readers learn that it was her uncle who initially helped her achieve her dream, first shepherding her to an on-air variety show performance and later driving her to Nashville, where, after many rejections, Johnny Cash welcomed the young singer into the world of the Grand Old Opry country music show. The final illustration of the dazzling, successful performer poised in front of a microphone is a poignant contrast to the opening illustration of a young barefoot Dolly on the front porch of her humble childhood home, belting into a broom. (This book was reviewed digitally.) A profile of the Queen of Country Music that conveys the spirit and spunk of a little girl with a big vision. (further reading, quotes, bibliography) (Picture-book biography. 5-8) Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

“Deep in a holler in the Great Smoky Mountains, Dolly stood on her front porch, ready to perform,” opens this upbeat, colorful look at the beloved singer’s childhood and rise to fame. McGrath’s accessible text and Surrey’s gouache illustrations of Dolly and her home, family, and performances bring to life the singer’s early ambitions and struggles. While happily dismissing doubters, Dolly got on with becoming a performer, creating rhymes that showed her feelings, tapping a rhythm when Mama snapped beans, and corralling her siblings into being her audience. Readers with their own passions will nod in recognition as the young singer’s heartbeat quickens with joy when she hears music from the Grand Ole Opry, and they'll be encouraged when Dolly’s perseverance pays off, moving from being mocked for her clothes to life as a glamorous superstar. Closing notes give more detail about the singer and offer a wonderful coda: a list of “Dollyisms”—among them, “If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one,” as the singer did herself.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

“Deep in a holler in the Great Smoky Mountains, Dolly stood on her front porch, ready to perform,” opens this upbeat, colorful look at the beloved singer’s childhood and rise to fame. McGrath’s accessible text and Surrey’s gouache illustrations of Dolly and her home, family, and performances bring to life the singer’s early ambitions and struggles. While happily dismissing doubters, Dolly got on with becoming a performer, creating rhymes that showed her feelings, tapping a rhythm when Mama snapped beans, and corralling her siblings into being her audience. Readers with their own passions will nod in recognition as the young singer’s heartbeat quickens with joy when she hears music from the Grand Ole Opry, and they'll be encouraged when Dolly’s perseverance pays off, moving from being mocked for her clothes to life as a glamorous superstar. Closing notes give more detail about the singer and offer a wonderful coda: a list of “Dollyisms”—among them, “If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one,” as the singer did herself.

Back