Dolly Parton Wrote a New Children's Book — and It Looks Like an Instant Classic
If you love Dolly Parton, dogs, and your kids (in that order), well, we have some good news for you. The country icon is releasing a children's book and it's all about her god-dog and social media influencer Billy the Kid, aka @btkthefrenchie.
Aimed at readers ages 4 to 7, the picture book follows the story of Billy the Kid, a dog who loves barking to the beat of country music and wants to make it big as a country music star in Nashville (sound familiar?). Dolly Parton's "Billy the Kid Makes it Big" ($20), illustrated by MacKenzie Haley, follows the singer's other two children's books, "Coat of Many Colors" in 1994 and "I Am a Rainbow" in 2009.
"I am so proud to bring this book and the message it conveys to life," Parton said in a statement, per People. In the book, when Billy the Kid runs into bullies at the "Battle of the Bow-wows," he must call on his favorite songs and help from new friends to regain his self-confidence and become the star he always knew he could be. "Years back I wrote a song 'Makin' Fun Ain't Funny' for my children's album 'I Believe In You,'" Parton continued. "I wanted kids to understand how harmful bullying can be to someone."
In real life, the French bulldog is owned by Parton's manager, Danny Nozell, who says Parton and Billy are inseparable. In 2020, Nozell told People that Parton and Billy formed a "bond that can't be broken" the first time they met.
A lifelong pet-lover, Parton debuted Doggy Parton this past summer, a line of canine apparel, accessories, and toys. Billy the Kid is — of course — the face of the collection.
"When I launched the Doggy Parton line of pet products earlier this year, my god-dog Billy got to be the star of the show. Since he's a big star now, I knew a story with him at the center could help drive home important messages in a unique way," she added. "I hope this is the first of many books with Billy."
The book will be released on April 25, 2023, by Penguin Workshop.