Dolly Parton’s Favorite Fictional Hero Is the Little Engine That Could

(p. 10) Who is your favorite fictional hero or heroine? . . .

My favorite hero is the Little Engine That Could. . . .

What kind of reader were you as a child? Which childhood books and authors stick with you most?

When I was a little kid, my dad didn’t want us to have library books around the house because the younger kids would ruin them and he couldn’t afford to replace them. I have always loved “The Little Engine That Could,” so I started my Imagination Library with it to show kids that they can do anything. I’m really proud that we’ve given away over 145,000,000 books to kids and have more than 1.7 million children registered around the world — in fact, last September [2020] was our highest enrollment of children yet. Books were a lifeline to me as a child — I know they make a difference.

For the full interview, see:

“BY THE BOOK; Dolly Parton.” The New York Times Book Review (Sunday, December 6, 2020): 10.

(Note: ellipses added. Questions quoted above are by the anonymous NYT interviewer. Answers are by Dolly Parton.)

(Note: the online version of the interview has the date Dec. 3, 2020, and has the title “BY THE BOOK; Dolly Parton Likes to Read by the Fire in Her Pajamas.”)

Dolly Parton’s favorite fictional hero is the focus of:

Piper, Watty. The Little Engine That Could. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1990 [1930].

Bruce Yandle has argued that books like The Little Engine That Could, can help build a culture of entrepreneurship:

Yandle, Bruce. “I Think I Can! Does the Little Engine That Could Matter?” Journal of Private Enterprise 26, no. 2 (Spring 2011): 127-42.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *